Book Club: American Psycho

Good Morning Brainiacs,

It's been a while since I've done a good book club post, but I reserve them for books that really speak to me.  Unfortunately, it's kind of rare to come across a really excellent read.  However, Bret Easton Ellis never fails to live up to my expectations.  Actually, who am I kidding--to surpass those expectations, each and every time.

No, this book isn't new.  In fact, you've probably all seen the movie at least once or twice.  However, I think it's necessary to talk about what a genius Ellis is and what a piece of art he has left us with.

This book makes you wonder: What kind of man is Bret Easton Ellis?  What kind of a person can so fluidly, convincingly, write from the first-person perspective of a psychotic, egotistical, megalomaniacal, unhinged serial killer?  Interestingly enough, Ellis did get a lot of shit when this book came out.  People were questioning his morals, his character, perhaps even the danger of being in the same room as him.  However, if you're a writer or even just an avid reader, it's easy to pick up on the absolute brilliance it took on his part to be able to pull this off.

American Psycho is written from the perspective of Patrick Bateman, a yuppie from Wall Street.  You know the type: Harvard Business School alum, Armani suit, dating the perfect blonde, blah blah blah.  The reader is lead to believe this is all there is to the character: a douchey group of friends who smoke cigars together, cheating on his girlfriend, expensive lunch meetings with executives.  A stereotypical white-collar elite from Manhattan.

Partway through the novel, we're exposed to a different, darker, much more hilarious side of Patrick.  I don't want to spoil anything (although I'm sure by 2016 this isn't really a mystery), so I won't go into too much detail, but the way this story is written is comparative to how Eminem raps about murder and rape: it's completely satirical, creative, and not to be taken seriously.  It's a piece of art.  The story jumps wildly around in Patrick's brain, taking us for a convincing ride in his psychosis.  Never really pitying him, yet never really loathing him.  Just kind of...along for it all.

Have you read this? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment!!




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