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First published April 10, 1959
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.
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 41It 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.