American Psycho (Vintage Contemporaries)

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9780679735779: American Psycho (Vintage Contemporaries)
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The controversial novel about a handsome serial killer who moves among the young and trendy in 1980s New York.

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Review:

Brett Easton Ellis established a reputation as the enfant terrible of American fiction in the 1980s with his controversial novel Less than Zero, but with the publication of American Psycho he became established as one of the most notorious and reviled novelists currently writing. American Psycho deserves its controversy. The novel opens with a sign scrawled above a New York subway station: "Abandon hope all ye who enter". So begins a hellish descent into the world of Patrick Bateman, the novel's protagonist. Bateman is a handsome 26-year-old Wall Street yuppie, who spends his days listening to Whitney Houston and working out which exclusive restaurant to eat in and what clothes to wear in a dizzying parody of 1980s consumerism run mad.

However, Bateman also has a darker side; he is a psychopathic serial killer, with a penchant for torturing and sexually abusing young women before killing them in the most gruesome and explicit fashion. The novel contains little actual plot, and consists of extended descriptions of exclusive restaurants, designer clothes, TV shows and the minutiae of Bateman's vacuous world, relieved only by clinically described scenes of torture and mutilation which are not for the faint-hearted. Bateman makes little attempt to justify his actions, merely claiming that "this is the way the world--my world--moves". As a satire on the bankrupt, money-driven world of the 1980s, American Psycho is a successful, if rather heavy-handed piece of fiction, whose controversy seems only set to increase. --Jerry Brotton

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Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel . The novelist s function is to keep a running tag on the progress of culture; and he s done it brilliantly . A seminal book. Fay Weldon, The Washington Post
A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book. Katherine Dunn
A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it s the return of one s rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho . There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature. Michael Tolkin
The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes . [Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands come to on the clock. Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair"

"Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel.... The novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of culture; and he's done it brilliantly.... A seminal book." --Fay Weldon, The Washington Post

"A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book." --Katherine Dunn

"A great novel. What Emerson said about genius, that it's the return of one's rejected thoughts with an alienated majesty, holds true for American Psycho.... There is a fever to the life of this book that is, in my reading, unknown in American literature." --Michael Tolkin

"The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes.... [Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands come to on the clock." --Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair

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