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Psycho (Psycho #1)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  27,512 ratings  ·  740 reviews

Robert Bloch's Psycho captivated a nation when it appeared in 1959. The story was all too real-indeed this classic was inspired by the real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic murderer who led a dual life. Alfred Hitchcock too was captivated, and turned the book into one of the most-loved classic films of all time the year after it was released.

Norman Bates loves his Mothe

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Paperback, 175 pages
Published 2010 (first published 1959)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
Nowadays, it seems like every horror movie is either a remake, a sequel or the kind of vile torture porn that makes you want to puke in your bag of popcorn. Filming one of these flicks requires tens of millions of dollars for a platoon of pretty actors, gallons of fake blood, special effects and a marketing campaign. Oddly, they don’t seem to spend any money on scripts for these things.

But Alfred Hitchcock only needed about nine grand to buy the rights to this book. Then it only took a blonde, a
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

4.5 Stars

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That’s what I tell my boys all the time. I hope they turn out just as friendly and loyal to their momma as Norman did.

Is there anyone even on the planet who hasn’t at least heard of Psycho before? What can I say that you don’t already know? Well, I can confirm that this book is short at roughly 200 pages. Due to its brevity, I can also say not a paragraph is wasted on filler. Every scene that occurs does so for a reason. What
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Lou
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A gripping story!
If you've seen the movie this is better, you get that missing insight of being in Norman's mind. The story is a page-turner. Bloch is a good writer and has plotted the story well no sentence is wasted or boring. After reading Darkly Dreaming Dexter I thought I would try and get into rambling mind of a different kind of killer. Bates is obsessed with his mother wants to be like her And wants her to be part of him.

Some facts
The novel "Psycho", written by Robert Bloch, was actuall
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Zoeytron
Horror is my "go to" genre, my bread and butter. Although more than 50 years have passed since the movie was made, Psycho remains at the top of the tree on my list of best horror flicks. It's dated, certainly. Filmed in black and white, complete with melodramatic music and exaggerated close-ups, but it works beautifully by leaving something to the imagination.

The book, written in 1959, stands the proverbial test of time, as well. 'You do not want Mother using her keys.' Quite right. The poundin
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Edward Lorn
Apr 28, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror and thriller fans
Shelves: audio-books
Other than Norman being a Tubby Trooper in the book instead of the Starved Stanchion he is in the movie and television series, I found no glaring differences between the Hitchcock film and the book. I can't even say that the book is better than the movie. They are completely equal in my eyes. Now the sequels? I haven't a clue. I have not seen the later movies, nor have I read the follow-up novels Bloch published (Psycho 2 and Psycho House). Now that I've tackled the first book, I feel comfortabl ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Oct 01, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Mystery)
Well-written. Straightforward third-party alternating narrations. No wasted words. Memorable classic scenes that have the ability to stay in your mind for a long time. Who has not seen the movie? Who does not remember the shower scene? The house on the hill behind the hotel? The old woman sitting on a rocking chair by the window?

This is a classic crime book featuring the popular serial killer called Norman Bates. This 1959 book may not be the pioneer in this genre but the English film director a
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Susanne
What strikes me most about this book is: the things for which its movie is known are ABSENT from these pages.

The movie Psycho gave us that bedrock upon which all future slasher films were built - sex = death.
The 'bad girl' - bad because she had premarital sex - will die. The virgin will live. (If you don't know these rules, you need to watch Scream.)

Psycho the film actually opens in the bedroom, where our heroine is in her bra having just had sex with a man to whom she's not married.

Norman Bates
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Quentin Wallace
If you ask the average person who wrote Psycho, they will probably say Alfred Hitchcock. But we here at Goodreads know better. The book and movie were released very close together, and the subject matter was really strong for the time.

I think the book and movie are probably equally as good, but the movie really went on to greater acclaim due to the direction of Hitchcock. The story was loosely based on Ed Gein (as was The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a few more stories as well.) I think almost a
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Becky
Hitchcock's adaptation of this book is a horror classic, and is one that is so iconic that it's part of common knowledge, regardless of whether the movie has actually been seen by the person holding an imaginary knife and screeching "Ree! Ree! Ree! Ree!" (You know what sound I mean. Don't look at me like that.)

I have seen the movie, though it was years ago. And so, going into the book with the foreknowledge of the plot and the twist, I was able to focus on the writing and the technique along wit
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Mr. Matt
Norman Bates is a troubled man. His mother is a shrewish harridan. Nothing that Norman does is ever good enough. He wants to get out from under her thumb, but she took care of him when he was little. So how can he abandon her now when she is old and sick? Even so, Norman knows his life is incomplete, inadequate. At his age a real man would have a wife, a family of his own; especially a woman like Mary Crane.

I wish I had read this before seeing the movie! How amazing would this story have been h
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Sam Quixote
Mary is entrusted with $40k to deposit in the bank - but decides to run away with it instead. On her way to the small town where her fiance, Sam Loomis, lives, she decides to stop at a motel for the night, freshen up with a shower and some sleep, and be ready to surprise Sam in the morning to start their new life together. But this is the Bates Motel run by the very odd Norman Bates and his “mother” - and Mary will never see Sam again…

Robert Bloch may not be a great writer but he struck literary
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Mariel
Feb 09, 2011 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: your joy is my low
Recommended to Mariel by: an i for an i
I really just wanna plagarize Esteban's lovingly concise review of Jaws "The movie's better". If only plagarism didn't have such a bad rap! Mother, may I call it an homage? Like maybe the "homage" of Hitchcock's Psycho that Gus Van Sant regurgitated (birds show love by regurgitation. Fact. It is also how they feed their little ones- whom they probably love!) in the 1990s.

Sigh. I gotta write a "real" review now.

This is on my "film is better shelf". I'm not a devoted slave to the movie, though. I'
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Aric Cushing
Surprisingly great book that still holds up. The first few chapters take you by surprise. Pulp at its best, especially for the time period. Worth a 2 evening read. Fantastic.
Jennifer
First the movie:
Hitchcock did an amazing job ramping up the scary/creepy factor of this story. The shower scene in the book, just does not compare. It was an amazing movie for it's time. I daresay, it still is. The movie (as many do) fell flat at the end if we are doing a direct comparison.

Now the book:
It is a really short quick read. And like most books that are made into movies, we get inside the characters head. It is always powerful. I enjoyed that, getting inside the heads of all the cha
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Brittany

Psycho was straight forward, to the point, horror, and I loved it. Every word has a purpose, no rambling, word vomit here. The dialogue between Sam and Lila felt a bit forced, but it wasn't as noticeable in the interactions between the other characters.

I wish I would have read the book before watching the movies, the twist would have been mind blowing if I didn't already know it. In my opinion, the novel has much more suspense regarding the big reveal than the movies do. Great psychological hor
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Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
Bloch was inspired to write Psycho after a real-life story of Ed Gein, a psychotic serial murderer who led a dual life. Hitchcock was a fan and turned this book into one of the BEST classic horror movies EVER made. Loved this book.

Erin (Paperback stash) *is juggle-reading*
Psycho – It seems like I’ve wanted to read this book forever. When I was a teenager, I had an old paperback copy of Psycho house, which I never got around to, but I was never lucky enough to nab a copy of this gem. When watching the movie, the story is impressive, especially the ending with Norman's inner monologue. I've always loved Robert Bloch as an author, his writing style does it for me, so this read being a love should have been a no-brainer.

Surprisingly the book wasn't perfect insta-love
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Kirstin
Robert Bloch's Psycho is so good that I forgot about the movie while reading. I think that says a lot! I loved Norman and 'Mother' and being privy to Norman's thoughts just added new dimension to the already well known character. The famous shower scene is brilliant, and the ending is perfect. Highly recommended!
Frederick
Nov 30, 2007 Frederick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those interested in pulp fiction, Robert Bloch, or, in Alfred Hitchcock.
Shelves: fiction, bloch-robert
As seems to be the case with a lot of books I'm noticing on Goodreads.com lately, I'm reminded of Hitchcock. How can one not be, when reading the book which formed the basis for Hitchcock's masterpiece?
I first became aware of Robert Bloch, who wrote this novel, before I was ever aware of PSYCHO. I had been given a book called ALFRED HITCHCOCK'S SPELLBINDERS IN SUSPENSE. My brother had another collection in that series. Hitchcock was his own brand name in the 1960s and several marvelous anthologi
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Thomas Strömquist
Quick, effective, great fun old-fashioned horror! Different enough to the movie to offer some surprises and at the same time a great re-visit of the story. I liked this one!
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
This is a well constructed little novel, tight and dramatic and with a convincing take on its psychotic protagonist. Supporting characters are etched in broad strokes, the spotlight is clearly on Norman Bates, although Sam Loomis does receive a fair amount of the spotlight, none of of which is really significant because Bloch isn't especially interested in much beyond unfolding the secret of the strange goings-on at the Bates Motel. Hitchcock's take on evil in his adaptation is a little deeper I ...more
Arun Divakar
One of the most celebrated horror movies of all time, Hitchcock's (in)famous shower scene, Norman Bates the Psycho and many other medals of reputation preceded this book. Now that I am finished with the book, I am convinced beyond doubt that this work belongs to that minority class the-movie-was-better-than-the-book !

There was hardly anything that I wanted to write as a review for this book. It's very straight and common place a story. Yes, I know that it became a beacon of light for many an asp
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Lindsay
Nov 19, 2007 Lindsay rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans, mystery fans, Hitchcock fans
Shelves: misc-horror
"Psycho" is a good read. It's quick and very to-the-point, something that can be read in a day.
The chapters alternate between different points of view, and I like that very much. That said, Norman Bates' chapters were the best. They were definately spooky in that Norman was constantly wavering between being perfectly rational and completely insane. Bloch does a great job with Norman's chapters.
I wasn't wild about the other characters in the book - particularly Sam and Arborgast. They seemed real
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Mariah
I cannot begin to describe how much I loved this book, but I am going to try anyway. I consider myself lucky to not have seen the movie before reading the book, because I probably wouldn't have been as terrified had I. I thought I knew what this book was going to be about, because who hasn't heard something about Hitchcock's Psycho? I just figured it was going to be about a bizarre relationship between a mother and a son all leading up to a tragic shower scene involving an old woman, a young wom ...more
Marvin
What else can be said about this masterpiece? Although overshadowed by the Hitchcock film, Bloch's original Psycho remains the granddaddy of all psycho killer stories. The novel remains tense and riveting throughout and even those who know the ending, which includes 99% of the world population, will get a kick in the head by the way Bloch approaches the ending. Easily, Bloch's finest novel and one of the greatest mystery-horror novels of all time.
Abril
Este pequeño me rescató de mi reading slump y esa es una de las razones por la que me gustó tanto.
Lo leí mientras esperaba el estreno de la tercer temporada de Bates Motel y me comí un pequeñísimo spoiler de la serie pero idfc.
Me gustó mucho la prosa ágil y sencilla, y la manera en la que todo va tomando forma a medida que avanza la trama; también me gustó muchísimo la manera en la que la última línea corta con el suspenso del último capítulo.
Es muy atrapante y se lee muy rápido, por lo que no p
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Sakura87
Psycho è uno dei volumi con cui la storica casa editrice il Saggiatore ha deciso di riscoprire e ripubblicare le fonti letterarie che ispirarono Alfred Hitchcock.
Se chiunque conosce il film del geniale regista britannico (o almeno la celebre scena dell'assassinio nella doccia), più difficile è trovare qualcuno, al di fuori della cerchia degli appassionati di horror classico, che conosca Robert Bloch e il suo romanzo da cui Hitchcock trasse il capolavoro cinematografico. Si tratta insomma di uno
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Suzanne
This ranks among the best horror I've ever read. Though there were elements that felt dated, it held up remarkably well for having been written more than 50 years ago. I found myself wishing I didn't already know the twist! (As an aside, some would probably suggest I put that last word in quotes, thinking it's so obvious, but I think much like the identity of Rosebud in Citizen Kane, it's just not that well-guarded of a secret in pop culture. Hitchcock's adaptation was so influential that folks ...more
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*
A novel carnivore note: If you are planning on reading both Psycho and A Clockwork Orange , I would strongly suggest reading this one first for true creep impact. I did this in the reverse and found that although I was disturbed in a broad way by this novel it didn't have the shudder worthy affect it probably would have had if I had read the novels in the opposite order.

Norman Bates is just your average weirdo momma's boy, or is he?

The classic thriller that spawned the film that horrified a
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T-bone
Jul 28, 2008 T-bone rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good psychological thriller.
Recommended to T-bone by: The movie
I have always heard about the movie with the same title, that it's so great. But I only recently have heard that it was based on a novel. I really liked the book, I thought it was very good. It was a bit different from the movel; for example, it went much more in depth about Norman Bates' psychological struggle and how difficult his life was. In the movie, Norman seems like a nice guy, but in the book he was much more pitiful. I was amazed at how a deep nasty secret is revealed after someone els ...more
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Robert Albert Bloch was a prolific American writer. He was the son of Raphael "Ray" Bloch (1884, Chicago-1952, Chicago), a bank cashier, and his wife Stella Loeb (1880, Attica, Indiana-1944, Milwaukee, WI), a social worker, both of German-Jewish descent.

Bloch wrote hundreds of short stories and over twenty novels, usually crime fiction, science fiction, and, perhaps most influentially, horror fict
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More about Robert Bloch...

Other Books in the Series

Psycho (3 books)
  • Psycho II
  • Psycho House
Psycho II Mysteries of the Worm: Twenty Cthulhu Mythos Tales by Robert Bloch (Call of Cthulhu Fiction) Robert Bloch's Psychos Night of the Ripper Psycho House

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“Funny how we take it for granted that we know all there is to know about another person, just because we see them frequently or because of some strong emotional tie.” 155 likes
“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.” 145 likes
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