Brett Easton Ellis established a reputation as the enfant terrible
of American fiction in the 1980s with his controversial novel Less than Zero
, but with the publication of American Psycho
he became established as one of the most notorious and reviled novelists currently writing. American Psycho
deserves its controversy. The novel opens with a sign scrawled above a New York subway station: "Abandon hope all ye who enter". So begins a hellish descent into the world of Patrick Bateman, the novel's protagonist. Bateman is a handsome 26-year-old Wall Street yuppie, who spends his days listening to Whitney Houston and working out which exclusive restaurant to eat in and what clothes to wear in a dizzying parody of 1980s consumerism run mad.
However, Bateman also has a darker side; he is a psychopathic serial killer, with a penchant for torturing and sexually abusing young women before killing them in the most gruesome and explicit fashion. The novel contains little actual plot, and consists of extended descriptions of exclusive restaurants, designer clothes, TV shows and the minutiae of Bateman's vacuous world, relieved only by clinically described scenes of torture and mutilation which are not for the faint-hearted. Bateman makes little attempt to justify his actions, merely claiming that "this is the way the world--my world--moves". As a satire on the bankrupt, money-driven world of the 1980s, American Psycho is a successful, if rather heavy-handed piece of fiction, whose controversy seems only set to increase. --Jerry Brotton
--This text refers to an alternate
A seminal book. --Fay Weldon
Serious, clever and shatteringly effective. --The Sunday Times
--This text refers to the
Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and works on Wall Street; he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to a head-on collision with Americas greatest dream and its worst nightmare American Psycho is a bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to confront. American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel . . . The novelists function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and hes done it brilliantly . . . A seminal book Fay Weldon, Washington Post The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes . . . Ellis is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock Norman Mailer, Vanity Fair Serious, clever and shatteringly effective . . . For its savagely coherent picture of a society lethally addicted to blandness, it should be judged by the highest standards Sunday Times
About the Author
Bret Easton Ellis is the author of five novels and a collection of stories, which have been translated into twenty-seven languages. He divides his time between Los Angeles and New York.