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Banned Book Review: American Psycho

June 8, 2006

60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Reason: descriptions of violence against women.

Some of the books on this list will touch you.  Some of them will make you cry.  Some of them will seriously mess with your head.  This book will take your head home for dinner and eat your brains on crackers with a little Grey Poupon.

Patrick Bateman is just your average trust fund baby growing up in the materialistic world of the 80s corporate culture.  He is handsome, intelligent, rich, stuck up, and fucking insane.  By day he is a bored business man, and by night he is a psychotic killer running rampant in a social circle who neither seems to notice his murderous tendencies, nor care.  The book is rife with drug use, shallow relationships, and designer labels listed off like degrees of merit.  Every day interactions are described with almost mechanical precision, while the slaughter of prostitutes, the homeless, and ex girlfriends are described in loving detail.  Thrown in for good measure are opinions on the music and technology of the day, and several sex scenes that would do any pornographer proud.  The writing is compelling, and I understand that this book is supposedly Important for it’s portrayal of the shallowness of the 80s.  But it’s very disturbing.

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