50 books to read before you die discussion

American Psycho
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message 1: by Buck (last edited Jun 01, 2017 02:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) Our group read for June 2017 from our list of 100 is American Psycho by Bret Easton ellis


message 2: by Christine (last edited Jun 02, 2017 01:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine I have already read this and although it's gruesome I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who going to read it this month, I have one question I want you all to answer in this thread.

Did he really do all those things or was it all in his mind?


Buck (spectru) I've started American Psycho. Have no idea what to expect. I have absolutely nothing in common with these men. I just don't care 'who' someone is wearing. I'm hoping it'll move beyond this shallow phase.


Buck (spectru) Plodding along, slow going, molasses, thinking of abandoning it - suddenly it turns macabre. I expect my pace will increase.


message 5: by Charlie (new) - added it

Charlie Deacon | 2 comments Having seen the movie; I am already very aware that it's not for the faint of heart. And as it goes with most movie adaptions, the level of grotesque is fairly higher in the book. I don't think I was fully prepared for the increase in violence :/


message 6: by Buck (last edited Jun 16, 2017 01:43PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) I finally finished this book yesterday. I don't know what to think of it, what to say about it. It certainly wasn't the sort of book I normally choose to read. I almost abandoned it, until I reached about a quarter or a third of the way along. And then it changed.

Patrick Bateman, the narrator, isn't a likeable character, even before we learn how horrible he is. I'd heard the term 'metrosexual' before, and never really new exactly what it meant. Well, I think Patrick is a metrosexual, and so are all of his friends. He is completely obsessed with fashion, with haute-coutoure. If Bret Easton Ellis had omitted the descriptions of designer clothing, the book would have been half its length.

Fairly early on we learn that Bateman is interested in serial killers - Ted Bundy, Jeffery Dahmer, and the like. When the book is well underway, we learn that he is one. He enjoys torturing and murdering people. It's recreation for him. His descriptions of his murders are abhorrent, appalling, atrocious, dreadful, ghastly, gruesome, hideous, horrendous, horrid, horrific.

An amusing moment: His date asks him what he does. He says he's into murders and executions. She thinks he says mergers and acquisitions.

In addition to male fashion, Bateman is obsessed with exclusive restaurants with exotic cuisine, Donald Trump, returning his video tapes, cordless phones, beggars, The Patty Winters Show, Les Miserables, and half a dozen other recurring mentions that I can't think of.

American Psycho is skillfully and cleverly written. It is too long. It might have made a great novella. It has absolutely no plot and no climax. It's like being unable to look away from some awful traffic accident. It has the most explicit sex scenes I've ever read. It has three chapters that are Bateman's in-depth discussions of the music of Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis. These may have been musical interludes, to give us a break from the blood and gore, and metrosexualism, but they added nothing to the progress of the novel. Maybe Ellis was being paid by the word.


Buck (spectru) Christine wrote: "I have already read this and although it's gruesome I thoroughly enjoyed it. For those of you who going to read it this month, I have one question I want you all to answer in this thread.

Did he really do all those things or was it all in his mind?."


I dunno, Christine. If he had really done all those horrible murders surely he would have been caught. But the novel gives no indication that all those horrible things didn't really happen. But then again, it is fiction. Isn't it?


message 8: by Siarhei (new)

Siarhei Siniak (siarheisiniak) Buck, thanks for the interesting review.


Christine I started off thinking it was real until a few things happened. The maid cleaning Bateman's flat while he sat there covered in blood is one. Also he knows he killed Paul Owen but then talks to someone who dined with Paul twice in London after Bateman 'killed' him.


message 10: by Suki (last edited Jul 05, 2017 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 25 comments I've fallen behind in my reading, and just finished this book. Parts of it were really funny, and parts of it were so explicitly gruesome that they were hard to read (especially the animals).

The funniest thing (to me) was that all these people were obsessed with designer clothes, and could always identify which labels the other person was wearing, yet they were such a homogenous group that they had trouble recognizing one another, constantly existing in a case of mistaken identity. I also found that the constant blather about designer labels had a very numbing, distancing effect.

It was hard to judge whether some of The Patty Winters Show topics were legitimate or parodied-- some real-life talk shows cover such ridiculous topics, it was really hard to tell. (I loved the interview with the Cheerio in his tiny chair.)

As to whether or not Patrick actually committed all those murders: I think that at least most of them were in his head, especially when he was hunting within his own group. He talks about leaving human remains strewn around his apartment, yet he has a cleaning lady. Also, if his apartment stunk as badly as he claimed at one point, surely the neighbors would have complained. The "murders" he committed out in the open when people were all around seem extremely doubtful, like the child at the zoo or the gay man with the little dog. If he had killed the girls and left them strewn all over Paul Owens' apartment, surely there would have been extensive police investigations of all his acquaintances. The horrific crime scenes would have been so much in the news that even his extremely self-centered friends would have been talking about it. I'm not so sure about the homeless people and animals, though. He seems like the type who would prey on the helpless and marginalized. He was extremely mentally disturbed; there seem to be hints of a multiple personality towards the end.

So many horrible people, all in one place. It was impossible to find anything likeable about Patrick or any of his crowd.

It was creepy that he was obsessed with serial killers and Donald Trump.

And finally, I found the musical interludes (Genesis, Whitney Houston, and Huey Lewis) to be extremely tedious. I couldn't stand that music in the 80s, and being the soundtrack for this messed-up story doesn't make it any more appealing. It is ironic that someone with such vivid, gruesome, and violent sexual and murder fantasies has such boring, bland taste in music.


message 11: by Suki (new) - rated it 3 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 25 comments Buck wrote: "I finally finished this book yesterday. I don't know what to think of it, what to say about it. It certainly wasn't the sort of book I normally choose to read. I almost abandoned it, until I reache..."

Buck, I like everything you said about the book.


message 12: by Buck (new) - rated it 4 stars

Buck (spectru) Suki wrote: "there seem to be hints of a multiple personality towards the end.."

There was one place near the end where the narrative shifts from first person to third person, as if what Patrick was doing and describing was so awful that even he couldn't admit that he was doing it.


message 13: by Suki (new) - rated it 3 stars

Suki St Charles (goodreadscomsuki_stcharles) | 25 comments Buck wrote: "Suki wrote: "there seem to be hints of a multiple personality towards the end.."

There was one place near the end where the narrative shifts from first person to third person, as if what Patrick w..."


Yes!!


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