Book Reviews of American Psycho

American Psycho
American Psycho
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
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ISBN-13: 9780679735779
ISBN-10: 0679735771
Publication Date: 3/1/1991
Pages: 416
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.

3.4 stars, based on 296 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

40 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed American Psycho on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
First off, the movie did not even compare to this book. Forget the movie all together and start here. This book was one of those that you don't want to put down but is so very disturbing that you want to walk away from it. This was a rollercoaster of emotions and just shy of the moment when you put it down and go get sick! I found myself many times gasping with my hand over my mouth, telling my husband how horrible it is to read, and picking it back up again! A fast paced, detailed read that keeps you burning the lamp for HOURS! I do not regret reading it..but safe to say that I don't think that I will ever be able to read it again!
reviewed American Psycho on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
This is truly the sickest most twisted book I've ever read. It's like a 30 car pile up you can't walk away from. I have read it 3 times and must get rid of it before I commit it to memory. Should be tracked by the FBI for suspected serial killers. Much better than the movie. Definitly not for the faint of heart.
reviewed American Psycho on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This was a fabulous piece of writing, and I feel 100% positive that it will stay with me the rest of my days. But then again, I'm not so sure that's a good thing. This is the most macabre, gruesome story that I've ever laid eyes upon. Wonderfully glib and funny in places, with the overblown and exaggerated self-absorption of the 1980's, there is virtually no warning when Patrick decides to go on a murderous, torturous, explicit rampage. Not for the faint of heart.
reviewed American Psycho on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
What can I say about one of my favorite books of all time? That it's funny? Yes, you will literally laugh out loud. That it's boring? At times. Your eyes will glaze over at least once listening to Bateman drone on about who's wearing what designer. That it's horrific? Absolutely. You will be violated on this ride.

And what a fantastic ride it is.

The best part of the novel is the journey that Ellis takes his reader through to connect with Bateman's psychosis. Ellis follows a boring, detailed chapter on Phil Collin's music, for example, with an equally detailed chapter about a mutilation. He makes Patrick as involved with his morning routine as he is with his murderous episodes. Both share an equal importance in Bateman's world- a brilliant and accurate portrayal of the mind of a sociopath. They have the same emotional reaction to the mundane as they do to the gruesome- none.

Enjoying the book for the second time, the journey into Bateman's psychosis was more of a familiar descent rather than a disorienting plunge. However, after reading the book for long stretches, it still takes a moment to reconnect with the world. What an awesome author that can affect his reader in that way.

reviewed American Psycho on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
first off, this is one disturbing book and i completely understand why it's on the banned book list. the crass materialism of the main character and his acquaintances is just as disturbing as the vicious murders he commits (or fantasizes about committing). that said, it's actually a brilliantly written book. it develops the right characters and leaves the right characters mysteriously in the shadows. the pace doesn't run along too fast, but just fast enough for some of the stuff patrick bateman does to take you by surprise. it sucks you in nicely.

the most disturbing thing about this book is that i'm pretty sure i went to high school with a few patrick bateman's and a couple of his friends.
reviewed American Psycho on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Very creepy and strange, full of detailed references to 80s era clothing and music. Fast-paced and engrossing.
reviewed American Psycho on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
The novel that inspired the 2000 movie with Christian Bale, this is about a young Wall Street broker, handsome and wealthy, who is also a brutal and sadistic killer. It is a really fascinating study in a culture and milieu so shallow and obsessed with appearance that literally nothing else matters, even human life.
reviewed American Psycho on
Helpful Score: 4
Wow. Just... wow. This book is NOT for the faint of heart. Highly disturbing, intensely graphic. You'll actually wince as you walk through the twisted mind - and acts - of a psychopath. The literary style is a bit disjointed and the style wasn't my favorite. Regardless, the imagery from this book lingers in your mind after you read it. I don't recommend reading this book but I don't NOT recommend it either. It all depends on your tolerance for violence I suppose.
reviewed American Psycho on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Very intense and explicit. Bret Ellis has a new way of writing that is both entrancing and easy to read....much like a conversation. It's disturbing at best but a great read...
reviewed American Psycho on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I have always been interested in books, both fiction and nonfiction, about serial killers. I awaited the delivery of this book with high expectations and was not disappointed. In fact, I got a little bit more than I bargain for... Written from the perspective of Patrick Bateman, the killer, we are first drawn into his world of designer clothes, exclusive restaurants with exotic menus, readily available cocaine and prescription drugs, casual sex and infidelity, pointless extravagance, and shallow friendships. Slowly, we learn about Patrick's private obsession: torture and murder. Murder that is preceded by such cold, twisted, depraved violence that I, quite frankly, could not read it while eating and actually gasped out loud in more than one spot. This book is definitely NOT FOR THE WEAK OF STOMACH. I finally put it down about three chapters before the end and could not bring myself to finish it.
reviewed American Psycho on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you've seen the movie, it's very true to the plot and the dialogue. However, it does not even come close to capturing how disturbing and gruesome the book is. The book is narrated in first person at a frenetic pace, which is difficult to read at times (it's anxiety inducing!). The sex scenes are extremely explicit and segue into even more descriptive torture and murder scenes. For what it is, it is very well written, but hide this book from your precocious children. It's horribly disturbing.
reviewed American Psycho on + 48 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The other reviews aren't lying -- some parts of this book are absolutely revolting. What's worse though, is that someone had to actually think these thoughts and put them on paper! However, the most gruesome scenes are really few and far in between and what lies at the core of the book is an absurdly sarcastic, hilarious and ironic look at the
"yuppie" Wall Street culture of the late 1980's, with themes of materialism, greed, extreme narcissism and, ultimately, mental and emotional isolation from society.
reviewed American Psycho on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book because I was curious about it after seeing so many people say it was "the most disturbing book" they've read. I saw some of the movie back in the 90's staring Christian Bale. This book is quite possible the most gruesome look at a narcissistic, self absorbed and disturbed serial killer. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that is easlily faint-of-heart. It is BRUTALLY graphic (i am not put off very easily, and it left me cringing). It does dwell on the lifestyle of the young and rich and importance of wealth, fashion and status, but i believe it is to get you into the thoughts and obsessions of Patrick Bateman. Overall, i think it takes a vivid imagination to even WRITE this book, making me think twice about the author. The ending left me kind of hanging, and i will now see the movie again to compare. If you are intrigued by gore, murder, obsession, and extremes, read this book BUT PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
reviewed American Psycho on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I've read my fair share of horror novels, but nothing ever as gruesome as this novel. It's twisted in a way that really doesn't mean anything as far as I could tell. This was no grand commentary on society, this was just GROSS.
reviewed American Psycho on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wanted to like this because my wife recommended it to me. Personally I did not find it entertaining. There were some redeeming factors with the kill scenes but the fashion discussions and observations, the music reviews and equipment reviews added nothing to the story and only served to drag it down. There was no climactic point in the book and the ending was a letdown.
reviewed American Psycho on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Hilarious, freaky, graphic, psycho, and highly enjoyable.
reviewed American Psycho on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Truly, one of my very favorite books. I read it in high school, and the character of Patrick Bateman was so burned into my mind, I couldn't shake him free for like, six months. Absolutely the most horrificly graphic and gruesome book I've ever read. When I first bought it, I flipped into the middle and read a paragraph or two of one of the torture scenes and immediately threw the book into a trashcan. Weeks later, nothing to read... I dug it up, and dug in. Absolutely chilling, occasionally laugh-out loud absurd and overall, one of the most amazing and influential works of literature. Breat Easton Ellis is one sick puppy.
reviewed American Psycho on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is a fascinating glimpse into the reality that we really don't know who is around us. I really enjoyed how Bateman was able to commit all of these heinous acts solely because no one really knew, or really cared, who he or anyone else was. This was self-absorption at its finest. I need to go back and watch the movie, though I'm sure it won't even compare to the book.

This is definitely not for the faint of heart, though. I am a CJ major and I've spent a lot of time studying really disturbing (and true) stories of crime, and there were times I needed to walk away from American Psycho to get a break. I've also known several other people in the field who have the same opinion. And these are people who study rapes and murders. So, there's your warning. It's very detailed, and very twisted in parts.
reviewed American Psycho on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am a huge fan of Bret Easton Ellis and his sharp tongue. I love his take on modern society and especially his view of models, socialites and the social climber. This is a very gruesome but wonderful read. Z
reviewed American Psycho on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is utterly disturbing on every level. It alternates between describing the outrageous decadence of the wealthy and the literally nauseating images of gore. Somehow, even as I was utterly repelled by every facet of the narrator, I could not put it down. I was fascinated, compelled to finish the tale in search of some reason, some reasonable explanation of what is wrong with Patrick Bateman. Not a book for the reader with a faint heart or a weak stomach.
reviewed American Psycho on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am not faint of heart when it comes to reading material, but this book crossed the line for me. I am a bit concerned that an author could so realistically write such stuff without having experienced some if it himself. Ellis does do a fantastic job of character development in this book, and that is probably why I got to about page 200 before I had to put it down. I actually had bad dreams the whole time I was reading this. That is why I had to stop. I couldn't deal with the graphic murder explinations as well as the several over the top sex scenes that crossed the line into pornographic.
If you have a tough skin, you may want to read this book, but be warned that it is probably the most graphic, disturbing book I have ever read.
reviewed American Psycho on + 15 more book reviews
Each page of this book presents an even more horrifying scenario then the previous page. Somehow, by the end you are so desensitized to the violence that it almost becomes commonplace. I wonder if that was the intention of the author? I am glad I read it but once was enough.
reviewed American Psycho on
Great book, the movie does not do it justice at all. Very graphic not for the faint of heart.
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This book that tells the tale of Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street yuppie who suffers from Antisocial Personality Disorder, is distinctly uncomfortable to read. It forces the reader to alternate between identifying with Patrick and being horrified by him. That does not make it a bad book, however. It takes the reader outside of her comfort zone and forces her to confront everything society has mandated to her.

Check out my full review.
reviewed American Psycho on + 12 more book reviews
I found this book very disturbing. Very few books, if any, have I ever had to put down. This made the list. If you can stomach sadism, it's a great read. If not, steer clear. What Ellis has to say about the life of the privileged in Manhattan is very brutally, but masterfully conveyed.
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This book will keep you on the edge of your seat. It's bothy creepy AND funny. Not for the faint of heart!
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I LOVE the movie, but couldn't really get into the book. It's one thing to listen to and see people ranting about clothing/brands, but it's a totally different thing to try to read it.
reviewed American Psycho on + 228 more book reviews
Ok I absolutely loved this book. It is one of the scariest books Ive ever read because this guy has all the tools to keep killing forever!! It will disgust you and make you laugh too at the shallowness which allows this killer to keep on killing! Really an indictment of American wall street society only I dont think it was just during the 80s he could get away with this, might still be one out there right now!! Disturbing read. Not for those who shy away from outright bloodbaths or explicit sexual scenes.How do some people think a monster would act anyway??
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I have read this novel years ago, then watched the movie then read the novel again. Now i dont like to make reviews about movies vs books, unless in cases of these where the book lacks to comprehend all Ellis' intentions are for bateman. The book is shocking and horrific, just like the movie, but you see more into the character, you get more of a feel for just how psycho or maybe even normal he is??

Great book i highly recommend, not for the squimish of heart or someone who cant handle sex/violence

I give it a 4 out of 5 stars!
reviewed American Psycho on
This is the most disturbing book I have ever read. I am not easily disturbed.
reviewed American Psycho on + 5602 more book reviews
Shows where an obsession with Donald Trump will lead you.
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One of Bret's best!
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This book is so crazy. GOOD READING.
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Exciting thriller - a real page turner!
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One of the most disturbing books and a great send-up of the 80's
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Not as bad as I thought it would be.
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Much better than the movie
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"Patrick Bateman is handsome, well-educated, intelligent. He works by day on Wall Street, earning a fortune to complement the one he was born with. His nights he spends in ways we can't even imagine. He is twenty-six years old and living his own American Dream."

"This is a well-written beautifully controlled, careful, important novel. A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austin at her vitriolic best. An important book." ---Katherine Dunn

"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

"In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront."
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Like B.E.E., then read this.

Interesting take on consumerism in America.
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A classic! much better than the movie (but most books are)!