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Psycho

(Psycho #1)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  48,960 ratings  ·  2,100 reviews
It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane, exhausted and at the end of her rope, glimpsed the unlit neon sign for the Bates Motel. She was eager for a hot shower and a bed, and the manager seemed nice, if a little odd....
Audiobook, 0 pages
Published February 4th 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published April 10th 1959)
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Jenni Arpalahti Movie is based on the book. Hitchcock went through quite a lot of work to buy all the copies of the book in the area so people coming to the cinema…moreMovie is based on the book. Hitchcock went through quite a lot of work to buy all the copies of the book in the area so people coming to the cinema wouldn't know the story beforehand.(less)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  48,960 ratings  ·  2,100 reviews


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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
...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.

2019 update: I have of course watched the original Psycho movie multiple times since reading this book over a year ago, and I LOVE IT. However, it's definitely more of a slow-burn, not fast paced like I thought it would be. I'm avoiding the Vince Vaughn adaptation like the plague.

I will sa
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Nicola
Aug 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Psycho’ was first published in 1959 by American author Robert Bloch.
The inspiration behind it was the real life story of Ed Gein a psychotic murderer who led a dual life.
Alfred Hitchcock was also captivated by this story 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 mother. She’s been dead for the past twenty years,or so people think.
Norman knows better though!
He has lived with mother ever sinc
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Dan Schwent
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books, 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.
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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 o
...more
Lyn
Jun 23, 2016 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 is intense and suspensefu
...more
Fabian
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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, althou
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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 one (no biggie) is Norman's rather large size, and thplot.

Ifclassic.

If
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R.K. Gold
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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 th
...more
Idarah
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 novelike
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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 actually part of a series of p
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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
...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, and I can't ...more
Sheri
Jun 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, fiction
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 appall ...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)
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 comfortable moving on. Ju(Psycho ...more
Wayne Barrett
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, horror, 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 giv
...more
Susanne
Jan 01, 2013 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.

/>
...more
Ashley Daviau
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Ken
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Psycho is one of my all time favourite movies, so I was curious too see how close the movie which was adapted only a year after the book was release is.

After impulsively stealing $40,000 from her work, Mary finds a motel to rest for the evening.
Owned by bachelor Norman Bates and he’s mother, the motel seemed pleasant enough...

It’s a little more graphic than the movie and Anthony Perkins is a nicer looking version of Norman, but everything else is reassuringly simila
...more
Erin
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
Bradley
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-shelf, horror
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 sh
...more
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Book bum club read "horrorween"

I’m one of the few who has never seen the movie. I’m so glad that was the case. I loved this book! Straight out of the real serial killer zone, but I forget which one, Norman is a real creeper.
Denisse
Oct 30, 2015 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 become the great hit thanks tpace, ...more
Quentin Wallace
Sep 10, 2014 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
...more
K.D. Absolutely
Jun 09, 2011 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 dire
...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 turning as
...more
Tina
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-reading, o
Dear Alfred Hitchcock, I understand you now! I understand, why you shot a movie based on this thriller! I can understand, how impressive, breathtaking and shocking this book had to be in 1959, when it was first published. Even now, even today - in 2018 this story keeps you tensed, fascinated and scared.
What I liked about it? EVERYTHING - The characters, the plot and the twists.
The horror movie "Psycho" is rightfully to be ranked as one of the greatest films of all times!
Cameron Chaney
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 in a way that is compulsively readabl
...more
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Around the Year i...: Psycho, by Robert Bloch 4 53 Jan 27, 2018 05:46PM  
Bookwarts Club of...: Psycho - Spoilers 6 16 Jan 10, 2018 07:00PM  
The Perks Of Bein...: Psycho - October 2017 6 81 Oct 14, 2017 04:42PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book Title 3 10 Apr 23, 2017 07:45PM  
Horror Aficionados : January 2017 Group Listen: Psycho 42 63 Jan 28, 2017 05:15PM  

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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,
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Other books in the series

Psycho (3 books)
  • Psycho II (Psycho #2)
  • Psycho House (Psycho #3)
“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.” 225 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.” 191 likes
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