These are reviews originally posted to Amazon as customer reviews. They're intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. (Apologies for any typos, bad grammar, or offensive language.) This isn't sponsored by Amazon or represent them in any way, although they do have a very nice site and I recommend checking it out for your next book purchase. Feel free to comment on the books if you've read them or tell me how much my reviews suck or whatever.
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Monday, December 18, 2006

American Psycho

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful:

August 21, 2005

This is a book most people should not read. People with weak stomachs or who have to close their eyes during the gross parts of horror movies should not read this. Young people who are frequent targets of bullying should not read this book, lest they get ideas. Right wing conservatives definitely should not read this. Bible-thumpers, don't even consider reading this book.

So who should read this book? Only people who are adult and mature enough to look past the gore, murder, and complete dearth of morality to understand there is a method to the madness. Like Ellis's previous "Less Than Zero", this is a book about what happens when someone born into wealth and privledge loses touch with reality and humanity. While Clay in "Less Than Zero" was content to mope around and snort lines of coke, Pat Bateman is the more extreme example of someone so frustrated by the emptiness of his life that he murders and tortures prostitutes, a business associate, an ex-girlfriend, and numerous random people.

For a while I enjoyed the absurdity of it all. In this CSI world of ours, it's hard to imagine a Pat Bateman could kill as many people as he does without anyone catching on. Even by the end, only a cabbie seems to actually figure it out. After a while, though, the gore and madness became too much even for me. In the end, I felt sad not so much for the generic victims, but for the killer who never could seem to find the help he needed.

It's impossible to say I "liked" the book. Let's settle for saying I appreciated the book's message. It is a fascinating, complex read, even if none of the characters except Bateman have much detail at all. I'd worry about anyone who really "likes" this book in any way other than literary appreciation.

As I said before, a lot of people should not read this book. About 99.5% of the world probably isn't equipped for one reason or another to handle this disturbing book. Parents, definitely don't allow your kids--especially teens with possible access to weapons--to read this. That is all.

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