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Psycho #1


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It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane glimpsed the unlit neon sign announcing the vacancy at the Bates motel. Exhausted, lost, and at the end of her rope, she was eager for a hot shower and a bed for the night. Her room was musty but clean and the plumbing worked. Norman Bates, the manager, seemed nice, if a little odd.

208 pages, Paperback

First published April 10, 1959

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About the author

Robert Bloch

951 books1,148 followers
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 fiction (Psycho). He was one of the youngest members of the Lovecraft Circle; Lovecraft was Bloch's mentor and one of the first to seriously encourage his talent.

He was a contributor to pulp magazines such as Weird Tales in his early career, and was also a prolific screenwriter. He was the recipient of the Hugo Award (for his story "That Hell-Bound Train"), the Bram Stoker Award, and the World Fantasy Award. He served a term as president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Robert Bloch was also a major contributor to science fiction fanzines and fandom in general. In the 1940s, he created the humorous character Lefty Feep in a story for Fantastic Adventures. He also worked for a time in local vaudeville, and tried to break into writing for nationally-known performers. He was a good friend of the science fiction writer Stanley G. Weinbaum. In the 1960's, he wrote 3 stories for Star Trek.

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5 stars
26,131 (40%)
4 stars
24,449 (37%)
3 stars
11,875 (18%)
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695 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,705 reviews
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,978 followers
September 17, 2014
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 shower, and a butcher knife to create one of the defining scenes in horror history. There might be a lesson in that story somewhere, Hollywood.

Legend has it that Hitchcock had all the available copies of the book bought up after he obtained the rights so that he could keep the story secret for his version. If that isn’t true, it should be. I’ve often wished that I had a way to temporarily blank out my memory of certain stories so that I could read or see them for the first time all over again and be completely surprised. Unfortunately, alcoholic blackouts are extremely unreliable at this so I just have to try and imagine what it would have been like to read this book before the story became a classic. I bet it was a complete mind fuck for those poor bastards who did read it back in 1959.

It holds up remarkably well despite knowing the story and it being over 50 years old. Shifting narration to the inner dialogues of different characters was very effective, especially with Norman himself. My only real complaint is that I wished it would have been the sister Lila and not Mary who took the infamous shower because Lila is a shrill nagging harpy that annoyed the hell out of me.

Profile Image for Maureen .
1,449 reviews7,061 followers
October 22, 2020
*3.5 stars *

Good old fashioned horror but preferred the movie!
Profile Image for Dan Schwent.
3,005 reviews10.6k followers
April 22, 2017
When Mary Crane skips town with $40,000 of her boss's money, she drives and drives, bedding down at the Bates Motel. She meets Norman Bates, who harbors secrets even more interesting than stolen money...

Everyone knows the basic beats of Psycho due to the iconic Alfred Hitchcock film. Woman gets knifed in the shower, psychotic mama's boy, etc. When it popped up for ninety-nine cents, I figured, what the hell? Shooting Star / Spiderweb was pretty good. Psycho was definitely worth the buck.

Inspired by real-life serial killer Ed Gein, Psycho is a tale of mental turmoil and the way it shapes the life a man dominated by his mother. And some woman gets killed and her boyfriend and sister try to figure out what the hell happened. Despite knowing quite a bit going in, Psycho was still a suspenseful read. Since stuff gets lost in translation from book to movie, a lot of it was still surprising. Of course, not having seen the movie in something like thirty years helped...

Bloch's prose is pretty tight. He doesn't waste a lot of time on flowery language, and knows how to ratchet up the suspense. I can see why Hitchcock chose to adapt it, though he chose to focus on different aspects than Bloch. The book and the movie are definitely different animals.

Psycho probably didn't have quite as much of an impact on me that it should have but that's because it's been dissected and imitated to death in the decades since it was written. It holds up really well compared to a lot of suspense novels written during the same era. Four out of five stars.
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,883 reviews16.6k followers
April 7, 2017
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 is intense and suspenseful. I imagined the thrill of a reader in 1959 reading this narrative for the first time as it moved along in Bloch’s masterful recitation and how surprising and thrilling some of the realizations must have been. This is also a seminal work for the horror genre, both in literature and in film, and some of the techniques Bloch used to such great effect more than 50 years ago are still tried and true today.

Turns out the apple did not fall far from the tree. Robert Bloch was heavily influenced by, and in fact mentored by, none other than H.P. Lovecraft himself. The young Bloch was encouraged by the older writer and Lovecraft even dedicated a story to Bloch, “The Haunter of the Dark” (1936). Both writers were frequent contributors to Weird Tales and Amazing Stories. Bloch’s earliest writing was unapologetically influenced by Lovecraft and was even frequently set in the Cthulhu mythos.

Still creepy and psychologically terrifying decades later, a fan of this genre will want to discover the origin of Norman Bates and will be enthralled by Bloch’s excellent work.

Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,487 reviews7,783 followers
May 18, 2015
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 else? Ah yes, the writing. If I hadn’t already been privy to the fact this was an oldie by a goodie, I would have never guess this story to be 50+ years old. The subject matter as well as use of graphic language is not something I’m accustomed to when reading books that are a bit long in the tooth. Bloch had zero fear when tackling the taboo, that’s for sure. If you’re someone with a bit of a . . . dark sense of humor like me, you might even find yourself getting a morbid chuckle or two . . .

“No sense crying over spilt milk, though. Even if it hadn’t been milk.”

As is the case with me and most things dubbed “horror” I wouldn’t put Psycho in that category. Instead I’d call it a riveting page-turner of a suspense. One that I’d highly recommend to all.

If you’re not interested in the book, but rather the film I ask you – WHAT THE F*&^ ARE YOU DOING ON A BOOKNERD SITE?!?!?!? Nah, just kidding. The differences in the translation from page to screen lie almost exclusively in the casting. As my friend Ed called out in his review, the book version Norman Bates was a fella who was a bit festively plump – proving that the casting of this guy . . .

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was spot on if the remake had been done a few years later. Poor Vince. Remember when he was a real looker????

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(Well, not compared to Jeff Goldblum, but he wasn’t anything to chuck a rock at)

The only other Hitchcockian magic? Tweaking the following line into one of the most quotable of all times . . .

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

and creating another use for chocolate syrup ; )
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,154 reviews62 followers
October 28, 2020
I’ve always shied away from books in the horror genre as I think they will be too gruesome for me. The violence, the blood, guts, and gore, and overall creepiness are not things I enjoy reading about or envisioning in any way. I decided to give Psycho a chance as it’s a classic horror read. I didn’t know much going in – just that the main character is Norman Bates, he lives at a hotel with his mother, and there is both a TV series and a movie based on the book. I figured if things got too appalling and repulsive I could always quit reading.

So with trepidation, I began reading and found myself quite surprised at how tame this novel is. The acts of violence that I was so worried about are succinctly mentioned but not described in any great detail. The story itself was quite short and rather slow at times and in the end, I must say I found it rather anticlimactic. I thought there would be more – more ghastliness, more psychological illumination, just plain more than this relatively simple story. The world is a different place from when this book was first published 60 years ago, and perhaps I am more accustomed to the awful atrocities that happen both in plain sight and behind the scenes, and thus the shock value wasn’t there for me. But even considering that, I still found this to be undramatic and lacking the punch that would elevate it to a truly suspenseful and horrifying read.

Many reviewers said that this is a case where the movie is better than the book, so I’ll be watching the movie soon to see if I like it better. I am glad I gave the book a chance, and it will be interesting to see how it compares to the movie.
Profile Image for Fabian.
957 reviews1,623 followers
January 15, 2020
So it is that Psycho really IS very much like The Exorcist. Both may vie for the Scariest Film title, but apart from that: the books are stupendous. & if you like the movies, you are making yourself a disservice by not reading the literary progenitors.

Psycho may be perfect. Strange how little Norman Bates gets the Oscar in the book--you actually miss him in the parts where he is not a figure. And his obsessions/psychosis/murderin' are the fault of the town, of his circumstances. And, although it IS dated (yet still retains all the Southern Gothic elements), we can all agree: mental illness is fucking terrifying.

Hey: Read it!
Profile Image for Coos Burton.
787 reviews1,340 followers
July 4, 2019
"Odias a la gente; y la odias porque la temes, ¿no es cierto? Siempre te ha asustado, desde que eras niño. Prefieres acomodarte en un sillón y leer. Ya lo hacías hace treinta años, y lo sigues haciendo. Te escondes bajo las cubiertas de un libro."

"Creo que todos nos volvemos un poco locos, a veces."

Un librazo en todo sentido. Menos en su extensión, diría que es un libro enorme para cualquiera que ame el suspenso, el terror y el crimen. Todos recordamos la grandiosa adaptación cinematográfica de Hitchcock, y sus imborrables escenas truculentas en blanco y negro. Una fiel adaptación, por cierto. No hay forma de pasar por este libro y quedar indiferente. Es sencillamente ver esa cara oculta de gente aparentemente común, es transitar la locura, sentir escalofríos con cada página que avanzas. Un clásico imperdible, más que recomendado.

Si quieren saber mi opinión del libro (sin spoilers) en mayor detalle, los invito a ver mi videoreseña: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuKXs...
Profile Image for Eloy Cryptkeeper.
296 reviews197 followers
June 14, 2021
"-Odias a la gente; y la odias porque le temes ¿no es cierto? Siempre te ha asustado, desde que eras niño. Prefieres acomodarte en un sillón y leer(...)
Te escondes bajo las cubiertas de un libro(...)
_Podría hacer cosas mucho peores. Tu misma me lo has dicho siempre."

"Se lo que estas pensando Norman...Estas pensando que te gustaría matarme ¿eh? pero no puedes, porque no tienes arrestos para hacerlo. Soy yo quien tiene la fuerza; siempre he tenido bastante para ambos. Por eso no te desharás nunca de mi, aunque quisieras hacerlo de verdad."

Icónica novela, icónico personaje "Norman Bates" e icónica adaptación cinematográfica de la mano de Hitchcock.
¿Y de Robert Bloch que decir? Creo que al igual que Richard Matheson (Los pongo en el mismo pedestal, ya que comparten muchos atributos y son contemporáneos), al margen de lo versátiles y elocuentes . Tenían la habilidad de tomar un genero como puede ser el terror o la ciencia ficción y perturbarte, hacerte volar la imaginación sin alejarse de la realidad, reflexionar a traves de los matices, explorar distintos miedos y a la vez sacarte mas de una sonrisa con su humor e ironía. Todo coexistiendo en perfecta harmonía a lo largo de una misma obra, atraves de sus paginas.

A traves de esta relectura puedo decir que la tenia bastante presente, pero me resulto aun mas corta que la primera vez que la leí. Por algún motivo no recordaba algún detalle como la afición de Norman Bates por el ocultismo, su lectura de libros de Aleister Crowley. Sin embargo si recordaba que leía a Shakespeare , ensayos y estudios sobre psicología y crimen.

Al margen de la trama principal referida a Bates, hace bastante hincapié(utilizando principalmente la introspección de Mary) en el hecho de ¿Cuánto uno realmente conoce al prójimo, o aun peor, a uno mismo? y que a veces solo hace falta una chispa...tal vez estos retazos que nos deja un poco al margen en cierta forma sean lo mas perturbador. " Creo que a veces todos estamos un poco locos. Si era cierto .Todos nos volvemos un poco locos, a veces"
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,157 followers
February 18, 2017
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 one (no biggie) is Norman's rather large size, and the shocker, well, the shower scene is actually a bit more grotesque

Overall, I actually liked the movie better than the book, and was all set to give it 4 Stars, but decided that was unfair for if I had not been familiar with the plot from seeing the movie numerous times in my youth, I would surely have given a rating of 5 Big Ones......despite all the typos.

Profile Image for Ashley Daviau.
1,809 reviews801 followers
February 26, 2022
I am a huge fan of the tv show based off this book. Such a huge fan that I was prepared to be disappointed because the book couldn’t possibly be better than the show. I was obviously delusional because this book is bloody fabulous and heaps better than the show! There’s just something about the written word that is unbeatable when it comes to horror stories. Our minds can conjure up much more terrifying images than the big screen can ever bring to life. Bloch has a stunning way of really making the characters and the story come to life, I felt like I was living the story as I was reading it. This is definitely a must read for any horror fan!
Profile Image for Mia Nauca.
124 reviews3,828 followers
August 20, 2016
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 el tiempo.

Me parece que el libro debería tener más reconocimiento
Profile Image for R.K. Gold.
Author 14 books10.1k followers
April 7, 2018
Very creepy. I have never seen the movie but when I saw the book was available for free I had to read it. Bloch really included a lot of small hints to keep the reader engaged, and even though I knew what the big reveal at the end would be he still kept it suspenseful and kept me on my toes.
Profile Image for Jaidee.
607 reviews1,204 followers
September 5, 2021
2.5 "sensationalistic, dated, a tad ridiculous, entertaining" stars !!!

Ok...yes...I was mildly entertained while I mostly cringed

-characters....not well formed....1950s stereotypes
-writing....written at a grade four level but for adults
-knowledge of psychopathology....amateurish, outlandish, unbelievable
-plausibility......low no make that very low

despite this I was entertained, mildly entertained but it would have sufficed to have just seen the movie and I have seen it several times

I will not move to Psycho (the sequel)....No Jaidee you will not....but I want to....No Jaidee...Noo nooo nooooo

Omg hes here.....Norman Bates is here...he is here...and so is his mother....o no so is his grandmother....o noooo his great grandmother toooo

Bye everyone ......aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !!
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,872 followers
October 11, 2021
I did not think I was going to enjoy this book as much as I did because of my fierce love for the Hitchcock movie adaptation. I went into this book with eyes wide open. I already know the story. I would be anticipating certain plot twists, right? How can it deliver on any shocking reveals if the reader is already in on them?
Well, Robert Bloch is an excellent storyteller, that's how. This book delivers even *if* you think you know. It's basically what you don't know from watching the movie that helps the book land its punches.
First of all, Bloch's Norman Bates is not Hitchcock's Norman Bates. There are some very distinct differences and it helped me erase iconic imagery from the movie as I read.
The book is FAR MORE violent than the movie. Quite a bit more graphic details.
Right off the bat, Bates is reading a book called, "The Realm of the Incas" detailing a ritualistic, tribal warrior dance involving a drumbeat being played on a human corpse.
Just like that; first few pages.
If you're into True Crime at all, you will know how this psychological horror novel touches on some subjects that must have really made an impression on the reading audience for 1959. First of all, I was struck by the similarities between Bates and Ed Gein. The real-life details are pretty gruesome but true crime junkies will know that the fictional character of Norman Bates and real life American murderer, Ed Gein share in some specific attributes. I think it's rumored that Bloch drew inspiration from Gein's case. This is all before the term "Serial Killer" was coined by the FBI in the 70s.
So that's one fascinating aspect.
Another is how much storytelling and character development Bloch managed to orchestrate in well under 200 pages. It's a masterclass in less is more.
Even though there were reveals in this story that I already knew, I feel like everything readers *think* they know will slip away under the spell of Bloch's magnetic writing. Everything that happens will feel new again. Trust, Mother.
This is a must for horror fans.

Profile Image for Brett C.
806 reviews180 followers
September 5, 2022
"I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times." pg 36
Then she did see it there—just a face, peering through the curtains, hanging in midair like a mask. A head-scarf concealed the hair and the glassy eyes stared inhumanely, but it wasn't a mass, it couldn't be. The skin had been powdered dead-white and two hectic spots of rouge centered on the cheekbones. It wasn't a mask. It was the face of a crazy old woman. pg 41
It was great to see how Norman Bates was originally created. Robert Bloch wrote it in 1959 and Alfred Hitchcock translated it into the classic film the following year. The book was suspenseful, well-written, and evenly paced. It was suspenseful because (even if you've seen the movie) the delivery was creative to keep me engaged. The writing was professional, clear, and concise that added dimension to the suspenseful element. Robert Bloch crafted the story to give it a pulse: there were times when it had quick, bursts of speech to mimic panic and pressure; other times it took deep breaths to calm itself down.

I really enjoyed this even though I've seen the movie countless times. Alfred Hitchcock followed the book but Robert Bloch put the fine details into this masterpiece. I would absolutely recommend this to horror fans and fans of the movie. Thanks!
Profile Image for Paul.
2,309 reviews20 followers
May 17, 2021
I have a confession to make. Here I sit, a 45-year-old man who has been a horror nut since I was in junior school, and I have never... seen... ‘Psycho’.

I know, I know... the shame.

I’ve always want to see it but just never got around to it. When I think of some of the dross I have found time for I can’t help but wonder if there’s something wrong with me.

You know... other than the obvious.

Anyway, I thought it was finally time I watched Hitchcock’s horror masterpiece but, just as I was about to press play, a little voice at the back of my mind piped up with ‘You should probably read the book first. Think of your street cred with all those Goodreads kids who hang on your every word!’

Damnit, that voice was right! I threw the DVD out the window and picked up the novel.

At the risk of sounding like a mescaline-crazed Teletubby, I am SO glad I did! What a great horror novel! It was clearly a huge influence on most every psychological horror writer to publish since (not to mention the once-great work of Leo Sayer and Barney Gumble, which I now see for the Bloch-derived trash it so clearly is).

Honestly, all the way through I was wishing Psycho hadn’t insinuated its way into popular culture like a knife-wielding slow worm so I could experience the book as its first readers did (without knowing the major beats in advance).

Needless to say, this is highly recommended to all horror fans who are as remiss as I had been up ‘til now. It’s a great read, even with the spoilers already spoiled like a rancid mango in a fat guy’s girdle.

I have to go now; David Bowie, Pat Methany, Sean Penn and Timothy Hutton are here to watch the movie with me (none of them had seen it either, the dopes) and they’re starting to throw peanuts at me...

My next book: Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men vol. 1
Profile Image for Mohamed Shady.
626 reviews6,684 followers
January 11, 2021
لحسن حظي، لم ألاحظ تلك الجملة المكتوبة بخط صغير على الجانب الأيمن من ��لاف الرواية والتي تقول أن هذه الرواية هي التي حوّلها هيتشكوك إلى فيلم سينمائي أيقوني هو Psycho. وأقول لحسن حظي لأني قد شاهدتُ الفيلم منذ فترة طويلة وما زلت أذكر أحداثه، وهذا النوع من الروايات/الأفلام، يكفي أن تشاهد نهايته مرة واحدة حتى تفسد حبكته تمامًا ويصبح إخراجه من عقلك ومحاولة قراءته/مشاهدته مرة أخرى ضربًا من المستحيل.
إذًا فقد وصلت إلى الثلث الأخير من الرواية دون أن أربط بينها وبين فيلم هيتشكوك الشهير، وقد ساعدني هذا في أن استمتع بالرواية وأقرأها كأني أكتشفتها توًا.
"ماري" هي شابة تنتظر فرصة للنجاح منذ سنوات طويلة، وقد أتتها الفرصة أخيرًا بعد أن عُهد إليها بإيداع مبلغ كبير من المال في البنك باسم مديرها الثري البخيل. لا تفكر "ماري" كثيرًا، ولا تتردد، تضع الأموال في سيارتها وتنطلق لملاقاة حبيبها الذي تُثقله الديون، وفي الطريق ترسم مستقبلًا باهرًا لحياتهما معًا: ستدفع عنه ديونه، وسيعيشان حياةً هانئة في قرية نائية بعيدًا عن أعين رجال الشرطة، لكن كل شيء يتغيّر بعد أن تأخذ منعطفًا خاطئًا في طريقها لتجد نفسها، متعبة ومشتتة، أمام فندق مظلم. كان هذا هو خطؤها الأول والأخير.
داخل الفندق يجلس السيد بيتس، شاب ثلاثيني متعلّق تعلقًا مرضيًا بأمه، التي نفهم من خلال محاوراته وأحاديثه معها، أنها ليست أمًا طيبةً أبدًا.
البرق والرعد والمطر في الخارج، الدفء في الداخل. تدخل ماري لتحجز غرفة لتبقى فيها ليلتها ريثما ينقطع المطر وتتضح الرؤية.
لم تكن ماري تعرف أن هذا الفندق هو آخر الطريق، وأنها، خلال ساعات قليلة، ستواجه قاتلًا وسفاحًا لا يرحم.
Profile Image for Idarah.
464 reviews51 followers
August 10, 2016
“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 actually really good! It was very psychological and Bloch gave the reader a copilot seat into Norman's mind. It's not until the very end of the novel that we finally learn everything there is to know about Norman, his complex relationship with his deceased mother, and his questionable choice of reading material.

For a novel written in 1959, this must have been pretty out there, but it was based on murderer Ed Gein, who was arrested in 1957. He had murdered two woman and apparently exhumed grave sites regularly to showcase body parts. He was even in the process of creating a woman's skin suit to resemble his mother so that he could literally "crawl into her skin." That is some pretty twisted stuff. It makes this book and any other Gein inspired characters appear mild (nod to Buffalo Bill). And now for a break in reading material. Phew!
Profile Image for Zoeytron.
1,036 reviews692 followers
May 5, 2015
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 pounding comes, then the roaring, followed by blessed silence. For a little while, at least. What a trip it would have been to have read the book before seeing the movie. But even with that ship having sailed decades ago, reading the novel was pure pleasure.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,280 reviews1,202 followers
May 12, 2017
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. Quite the gruesome accomplishment. The movie follows the book almost exactly. With one big change the Norman Bates of the book is in his 40's and overweight. I personally preferred the movie version & while reading I thought of Anthony Perkins the entire time. Who would I recommend Psycho to Hitchcock fans obviously & readers who like dark & twisted stories.
Profile Image for Aitor Castrillo.
Author 1 book887 followers
January 5, 2021
Me suele costar leer un libro cuando ya he visto su adaptación cinematográfica, pero esta vez sí me animé a hacerlo porque la novela es de las que se leen muy rápido y porque la obra de Hitchcock me pareció un peliculón.

Si tuviera que definir la historia con tres adjetivos serían: tensión, tensión y tensión. Robert Bloch lo consigue mediante una narración sencilla y fluida generando un ambiente cargado de suspense sin necesidad de grandes alardes descriptivos.

Si hubiera llegado virgen a este libro (sin haber visto la película): 5 estrellas.
Como ya conocía el desenlace (¡EL DESENLACE!): 4 estrellas.

Al personaje de Norman Bates le doy mil estrellas. Desde lejos eso sí… porque no me acercaría ni a 10 kilómetros de ese motel.
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,634 followers
March 16, 2022
لا قول فوق ما قاله هيتشكوك عن رائعة بلوخ
اتمني ان يظل الفيلم القديم هو: الوحيد

Profile Image for Lou.
879 reviews865 followers
October 19, 2012
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 actually part of a series of pulp novels marketed in conjunction with the popular spooky radio show "Inner Sanctum".
Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the novel anonymously from Robert Bloch for only US$9,000. He then bought up as many copies of the novel as he could to keep the ending a secret.
Spoiler! Only read below if you know the story.



Review Also here.
Profile Image for Wayne Barrett.
Author 3 books108 followers
October 29, 2017

What a great classic to read leading up to Halloween. And what better costume could you come up with than that of, my man, Norman Bates. Just put on dead moms dress, smear on some make-up and let's get crazy.

I think the book is very close to the movie version. Obviously you get a greater visual of the shower scene in the movie, but the book really put me more in the head of Norman and I could see the psycho in him much deeper than is revealed in the movie.

Psycho is well written, short, and gives a perfect excuse to avoid seedy hotels along deserted highways.
Profile Image for Amelia.
173 reviews49 followers
February 26, 2018
Absolutely one of my favourite classic horror stories.
I loved Norman Bates in the tv show Bates Motel and I love him in this book!!

(I will not be posting a full review on my blog. I don't have a lot to say about it)
Profile Image for Simona B.
898 reviews3,011 followers
December 3, 2017
First, it wasn't a scary as I thought it would be (which is a very good thing for me, if you're wondering) and secondly, I had foreseen everything that was going to happen at page 10 (which, to be honest, is not as good). This is, however, not the book's fault, as I see it: I believe this is the case of a classic that has become so classic we start to think of it as trite, which in origin it mustn't have been at all. It saddens me, obviously, but this phenomenon often occurs with works so great, and I can't say it caught me entirely unawares. So I blame it all to the passing of time and its effects, such as the immense fame it brought to this story.
I still didn't really enjoy it.
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,215 reviews3,220 followers
September 4, 2022
4.0 stars
This was such a great serial killer story. I don't always always connect with classics but this one was very easy and enjoyable to read. As someone who reads a lot of modern thrillers, this one is arguably predictable but I can't fault it for that, since it was likely revolutionary when it was written. Norman Bates was a fascinating character and loved spending time in his head.
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