I read this book before I read any reviews. I saw it on the shelf in Waterstones, opened it up and began reading from the restaurant scene, where our hero is drawing someone's intestines and says to his girlfriend that it's a 'watermelon'. So I bought it. It was incredibly long, tedious at times and was a real grind to read - but I suspected it would get better and it did. That is, if gory description is your thing. It is mine, only because I've never come across an author who has written it so beautifully. There was none of the 'PC' subtlety that exists in so many books, and I think that worked well for this novel. When I talked about aspects of it with a friend she said that the reason there are so many dull and repetitive scenes is because Ellis is trying to wear us down; my mind literally began to throb about half way through the book, and I think that is how the main character is feeling too - Numb, bored, out of touch, frustrated. If you consider the descriptions in the book and how you are feeling while reading it, you get a pretty accurate idea of what Ellis is trying to convey. I think a lot of people have missed this because they expect a book to be exciting, to have their hearts racing all the time -- which is a fair expectation. But that's why American Psycho is so clever; It's heavy handed, and so is the world. It's raw and obscene, and so is the world. But most people say 'That's life' to the world and rant and rave about a book.
I don't agree with those who say it is childish or adolescent. Far from it. I think there is a psuedo etiquette flying around, which says anything that describes gore is automatically tasteless, when that isn't the case. If the context is considered as well as the very much apparent point of the novel, then the gore fits very neatly in to place. I was totally repulsed by it, and I'm glad - because it means I'm reading a book powerful enough to have a physical effect. Not a lot of writers can do that.