Friday, 16 November 2012

fifty-two.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (1991)

 "ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First and is in print large enough to be seen from the backseat of the cab as it lurches forward in the traffic leaving Wall Street and just as Timothy Price notices the words a bus pulls up, the advertisement for Les Miserables on its side blocking his view, but Price who is with Pierce & Pierce and twenty-six doesn't seem to care because he tells the driver he will give him five dollars to turn up the radio, Be My Baby on WYNN, and the driver, black, not American, does so."

Patrick Bateman, 26, strives to be perfect on the outside. He wears the right clothes, goes to the right places, dates the right girls and spends money on art and his body.  But all he can think about is the smell of blood and how to torture his next victim.

First part of the book shows off Patrick's perfect shell, where you only sense something is wrong when a murder is mentioned, as in a parenthesis. But then he starts to lose control and his dark side starts to show. He gets more and more grotesque and confused.

Some of the scenes described are really disturbing and reminded me a lot of Marquis de Sade in the style and plot. And I skimmed a lot of them and especially the cannibalistic parts. Yet I had to keep reading, just to find out how it would end. Bret Easton Ellis has done a great job writing the portrait of Patrick and I could easily picture him and the 80s on Manhattan among the rich and famous. Still I won't recommend it to anyone as it is grotesque and what sort of persons recommend those kind of books (yet I would tell you to read Crash by J.G. Ballard in a heartbeat)?

“...there is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.”

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