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Psycho (Psycho #1)

4.07  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,066 Ratings  ·  986 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

Paperback, 175 pages
Published 2010 (first published 1959)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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
First published in 1959, there is no doubt about it, PSYCHO is an absolutely great horror classic.

If by some freak of nature you happen to be in the dark regarding Robert Bloch's Psycho I will warn you not to go in the shower at the Bates Motel, and be green with envy that you can read the novel with no prior knowledge of the intriguing plot.

If you are familiar with Alfred Hitchcock's movie version (released in 1960) then you will notice two obvious differences when reading the book, the first o

Dec 25, 2015 Eve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
“We're all not quite as sane as we pretend to be.”

I am a great fan of Alfred Hitchcock and his films, but this is the only film that I haven't watched more than once. Sure, that includes a string of other Oscar winners like Shawshank Redemption and Forest Gump; I'm just a weirdo. Psycho really scared me when I was young, though. There was no way to explain how the silhouette of mother's chair rocked on its own while Norman was at the hotel. I don't like unexplainable things.

The novel was actuall
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
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
I was surprised at how much the book and the movie are alike. As far as I can tell there are only two distinct differences that wouldn't have had any impact to the plot. One being Norman's size and the other I won't comment on you'll just have to read the book yourself.
Jan 15, 2016 Denisse rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 I really enjoy the read. Something about the writing is so very…well, psycho. I’m sure, even if you know the big plot twist –who doesn’t- the book is addictive and completely interesting. It has a great inside-killer POV and a perfect pace, the last chapter is pure psychological gold. Special for psycho-thrillers fans and I would suggest reading the novel if you like the movie; youll definitely pay more attention to certain details. At the end Psycho is a great thriller book, it might have b ...more
Jan 03, 2013 Susanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror and thriller fans
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 liked it  ·  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
Vitor Martins
Nota: 4,5

Antes de ler o livro, eu nunca tinha assistido ao filme e pra falar a verdade nem sabia do que se tratava. Conhecia a famosa "cena do chuveiro" e só.
Por conta disso, esse livro me surpreendeu bastante. O clima de suspense dura por todas as páginas, e a leitura flui muito rápido porque você quer saber logo o que que tá acontecendo de verdade!
O que achei mais interessante foi essa coisa do mistério não ser "quem matou fulano?". Isso a gente já fica sabendo logo no começo e daí pra frente
Dannii Elle
Every bit as chilling as I thought it would be. Review to come.
Jim Ef
Jan 31, 2016 Jim Ef rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was raining that night, the night Mary Craine took a wrong turn and find herself in the middle of nowhere. Lucky for her she saw this
image: description

How lucky she was indeed. Norman, the owner of the place, was about to close. He lived there alone with his sick mother. Since the town wasn't that close and the weather was that bad he invited her for dinner. After the weird conversation during the dinner, Mary returned to her room. It was there where she decide that this all was a big mistake, in the mo
Quentin Wallace
Oct 26, 2014 Quentin Wallace rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Frank Errington
Apr 09, 2016 Frank Errington rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 of 5 Stars

Why did is take me nearly 57 years to get around to reading Robert Bloch's Psycho? Maybe it was because I was a mere seven years old when it was first published and I was still reading such classics as Fun With Dick and Jane and it would be a number of years before I learned of the fun to be had with a good horror book and by then it just became lost in the all the new material released in the intervening years.

So what made me decide to read this essential work now? Well, this Monday
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
Mr. Matt
Oct 07, 2014 Mr. Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2014
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
Alissa Patrick
Oct 13, 2015 Alissa Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Norman Bates. Freaking creepy as hell but you can't help it but like him. There's a reason why this is a classic. Amazing.
Aug 16, 2015 Estelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply genius and just as perfect as the movie.

“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.”

When Mary Crane stops for the night in a tiny, obscure little motel she thinks nothing of the odd but seemingly nice manager Norman Bates. All she’s concerned about is getting cleaned up and resting before she sees her fiancé the next day. The two are going to finally be able to start their life together after Mary stole $40,000 from her employer. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan for Mary Crane.

Psycho is one of those mandat
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
Feb 09, 2011 Mariel rated it it was ok  ·  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'
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 (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
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
Mar 14, 2015 Abril rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 16, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 18, 2014 Kirstin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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!
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.
Nov 04, 2014 Brittany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: simply-adored, horror

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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Hopeful Wanderers: Psycho 2 3 Dec 21, 2015 10:20PM  
Classic Trash: Psycho: Finished (Spoilers) 8 5 Oct 13, 2015 03:58PM  
Classic Trash: Psycho: In Progress (No Spoilers) 12 4 Oct 09, 2015 04:37PM  
Crazy for Young A...: Psycho, by Robert Block → Start Date: June 9, 2015 22 13 Jun 09, 2015 03:34PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Abrigded and graded version, free available... 1 14 Jun 01, 2015 06:18AM  
Book or Movie; Yo...: October Genre-Horror Psycho 1 7 Oct 01, 2014 11:03AM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Psycho di Robert Bloch 4 17 Jul 30, 2014 05:15AM  
  • Halloween
  • A Stir of Echoes
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  • The Face That Must Die
  • Legion
  • The Other
  • The Howling
  • Falling Angel
  • Ring (Ring, #1)
  • Damien: Omen II
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • The Sentinel
  • Cape Fear
  • The Bad Seed
  • The Girl Next Door
  • The Lottery and Other Stories; The Haunting of Hill House; We Have Always Lived in the Castle
  • Some of Your Blood
  • If You Could See Me Now
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
More about Robert Bloch...

Other Books in the Series

Psycho (4 books)
  • Psycho: Sanitarium
  • Psycho II
  • Psycho House

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“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.” 172 likes
“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.” 166 likes
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