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Psycho (Psycho #1)

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  44,030 Ratings  ·  1,760 Reviews
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.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published January 31st 1999 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published 1959)
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Kemper
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Raeleen Lemay
ugh this was just so good.

I really love how short this was, so there was never a dull moment. I still haven't seen any of the movie adaptations but I can only imagine how fast paced they must be.

I will say, I binge watched Bates Motel not too long ago and that's the main reason I picked this up, but I loved how different this was (in a way). Bates Motel took a little nugget from this book and turned it into a much more broad-scope world and story (which was awesome) and this story is just a tiny
...more
Dan Schwent
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
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
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

4.5 Stars

Houston commercial photography

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
...more
Lyn
Jun 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Carol
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

...more
Jaidee
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 1950s buffs
Recommended to Jaidee by: wanted to read this for a long long time
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 mov
...more
R.K. Gold
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Fabian
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So it is that Psycho really IS 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 d
...more
Mia Nauca
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Eve
Nov 09, 2015 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
...more
Simona Bartolotta
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, ...more
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
...more
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
...more
Amelia
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)
Susanne
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 28, 2015 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
Bradley
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.

Thi
...more
Wayne Barrett
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, classics, horror

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 giv
...more
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
...more
Denisse
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
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
...more
Erin
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Vanessa
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Psycho felt like the perfect autumnal Halloween-month read. I'm a big fan of the Hitchcock film adaptation, and I always wanted to read this, so was excited to see it on display in my local library.

Bloch's original novel is a quick read, despite having a not so fast-paced plot, and really allows you to get into the head of not only Mary Crane, but of Norman Bates as well. Norman's chapters were absolutely fascinating, and I loved seeing the constant narrative through his mind twisting and turni
...more
Annerlee
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Excellent. Loved it!
Quentin Wallace
Sep 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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
...more
Marianna Neal
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it

Even though I've seen the Hitchcock movie, I still really enjoyed the novel (though I wished it was a bit longer). I will say that the characters are definitely more likable in the movie, but the book makes up for that by exploring the relationship between Norman Bates and his mother much more. The novel also feel a bit more sinister, and being inside Norman's head can be quite disturbing. Overall, Psycho is a quick, engaging, and thrilling read. I definitely recommend checking it out, whether
...more
Tom Mathews
This is a very entertaining novel whose only problem is that people who have watched Alfred Hitchcock's movie version will not be able to enjoy the surprises.

My thanks to the folks at the Horror Aficionados group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.
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.

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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
More about Robert Bloch

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“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.” 207 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.” 189 likes
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