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Psycho (Psycho #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  37,676 Ratings  ·  1,296 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, 156 pages
Published March 20th 1997 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1959)
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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)
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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

Jun 23, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We all go a little crazy sometimes.

My generation and everyone since has grown up with the concept of Psycho, stemming from Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller, but all this began with Robert Bloch’s 1959 novel.

Reading this after having seen the film and grown up with the story, I dealt with a fair amount of theatrical irony. While the film stayed mostly true to Bloch’s vision, there were some departures and these were enjoyable to experience. Bloch’s prose is tight and the atmosphere developed
Nov 09, 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
Mia Nauca
Aug 20, 2016 Mia Nauca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Solo puedo decir que después de leer este libro estoy completamente obsesionada con todo lo que tenga que ver con psicosis, la película me encanta y ahora estoy viendo la serie Bates Motel que es I N C R E Í B L E

A pesar de ya saber cual era el plot twist del libro, me enganche desde el principio y lo terminé de leer en 3 horas, definitivamente la película es casi igual, excepto que en la novela podemos reconocer a Norman Bates más como psicópata debido a que tb leemos lo que está pensando todo
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
Jan 01, 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
Apr 28, 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
Oct 30, 2015 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
Oct 25, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2016-shelf
I've been meaning to get around to reading this defining work of horror for quite some time. In fact, SK recommended it to me within Danse Macabre, and I just knew that someday, somehow, I'd come back around to it.

Of course, this book was already old when I read that SK book back in '89 and now I feel kinda foolish for putting off this classic so damn long.

What's my excuse? I thought the story would be kinda... you know... old. Out of date. Without tension.

I really shouldn't listen to myself.

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
Nov 20, 2016 Erin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 1950's a simpler more innocent time when a man could dress up as his dead mother and kill people. Oh memories. Unless you live under a rock you know what Psycho is all about. The famous shower scene. I've seen the movie probably 40x I'm a Hitchcock fanatic but I had never read the book upon which the movie was based. I had watched a documentary about the man who inspired it Ed Gein, btw he was really psycho. I mean Mr. Gein inspired both Psycho and Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs. Qui ...more
Quentin Wallace
Sep 10, 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
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
Jim Ef
Sep 27, 2015 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
Mr. Matt
Sep 19, 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
Oct 30, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2016, horror
This was my first time reading “Psycho,” and I don’t know how I managed this, but I’ve never seen the movie and I knew very little about the story. I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said, so I’ll just leave it at this… If I’m ever driving through rural America late at night and I need a place to sleep, I will not be stopping at any motels.

This was a well written, fast paced book that kept me guessing until the end. Loved it!
Sep 26, 2013 Estelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply genius and just as perfect as the movie.
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.

Horace Derwent
Jun 29, 2016 Horace Derwent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alissa Patrick
Mar 03, 2014 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.
This review is going to contain spoilers, for anyone who is unfamiliar with Psycho... in which case I say, "Bro, where you been?"

So, I did it. I finally read Psycho by Robert Bloch. Alfred Hitchcock's film adaptation of this novel is one of my all-time favorites--which is probably the case for you as well--but I never got around to reading the book until now. And I can't believe I'm actually saying this but... the movie is better.

While this source material for the film is very good and written i
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
Aug 14, 2009 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'

“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
Andrea ❤Ninja Bunneh❤
Meet Norman Bates.

Norman resides in a lovely town, and is the proprietor of the local Bates Motel.

He loves birds and lives with his mummy, whom he adores.

The only problem is that she's a bit of a psycho bitch who enjoys hacking people up in the shower.

Norman will do anything to protect his dear mum which includes covering up her various extracurricular activities.

Now, if you haven't seen the original movie Psycho, I strongly advise that you do. Very rarely do I say a movie surpasses the boo
Erin ☕ *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
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Horror Aficionados : January 2017 Group Listen: Psycho 42 53 Jan 28, 2017 05:15PM  
Around the Year i...: Psycho, by Robert Bloch 3 28 Nov 25, 2016 12:21PM  
Letras Macabras: Psicosis- Robert Bloch 5 51 Sep 30, 2016 10:14PM  
Hopeful Wanderers: Psycho 2 4 Dec 21, 2015 10:20PM  
Classic Trash: Psycho: Finished (Spoilers) 8 6 Oct 13, 2015 03:58PM  
Classic Trash: Psycho: In Progress (No Spoilers) 12 5 Oct 09, 2015 04:37PM  
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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
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.” 186 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.” 176 likes
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