American Psycho Book Review [Spoiler-Free]

  • Title American Psycho
  • Author Bret Easton Ellis
  • Genre Satire, Horror, Dark Comedy
  • My Rating 3.2 / 5

“Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?” – Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

This book being the first review on RedrumReads really sets the ~spooky~ tone for the blog, even though I won’t be reading many books quite like this one. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis is a literary classic, a book that people say you should read at least once in your lifetime. I do agree that this book is a masterpiece in that it is written very well, almost too well at times, giving the reader an eerie chill down their spine and the insistent feeling that forces them to peer over their shoulder more than once. This isn’t a book that you should read for pleasure, it’s very far from a fun, quick read. You shouldn’t get comfy in bed and think you can read American Psycho right before you go to sleep, it just isn’t that kind of book. It will make your skin crawl and your brows furrow in disgust, it will make you feel icky, like you’re reading something you shouldn’t, and if you’re a woman it will bring an all too familiar terror into your home. These feelings, no matter how discomforting, are all signs of a well written horror book. It really puts you in the mind of a psychotic serial killer and tests your limits as a reader. If you think you know how much blood and gore you can stomach, you might wanna think again before picking up this book.

The novel takes place in the 80s and follows Patrick Bateman, a New York City investment banker who rents a lot of movies and kills a lot of people in his free time… Or does he? The line between reality and fantasy is very thin, especially towards the end of the novel, making it hard to discern whether or not Patrick is delusional or if those around him are too self absorbed to notice that a serial killer walks among them. It’s left up to the reader to decide what they think the ending reveals about Patrick and the society that he is apart of. I believe Ellis gives the readers hints throughout pointing to the fact that Patrick is imagining all of the gruesome acts instead of actually torturing and murdering people, (I could be totally wrong, I just like to theorize) but his vivid imagination is almost as bad as the real thing. Either way, his imagination is horrifying and gruesome. There’s a particular scene with a rat that I could have gone my entire innocent life without reading and picturing in my head…

Overall, I don’t think I’ll ever be reading American Psycho again, but I am glad that I read it this once. Just some words of advice, if you remind yourself that it’s all fictional, it helps you sleep at night while you read this book.

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