American Psycho

by Bret Easton Ellis | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780330448017 Global Overview for this book
Registered by mrbaggins1 of Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on 11/14/2008
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by mrbaggins1 from Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Friday, November 14, 2008
I shied away from this one for years and after picking up and reading “Lunar Park” Ellis’s latest book, and the first one of this writer I’ve read, I thought I’ll try “American Psycho” despite all the negative stuff I’ve read about it. It is a disturbing book and I wonder if the main character, Patrick Bateman, is a true psychopath and mass-murderer or whether a lot of the gruesome and graphic killings in the novel only happens in his drug induced hallucinations.

Again, a disturbing book, but well written and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Below part of a review from Amazon.uk;

Brett Easton Ellis established a reputation as the enfant terrible of American fiction in the 1980s with his controversial novel Less than Zero, but with the publication of American Psycho he became established as one of the most notorious and reviled novelists currently writing. American Psycho deserves its controversy. The novel opens with a sign scrawled above a New York subway station: "Abandon hope all ye who enter". So begins a hellish descent into the world of Patrick Bateman, the novel's protagonist. Bateman is a handsome 26-year-old Wall Street yuppie, who spends his days listening to Whitney Houston and working out which exclusive restaurant to eat in and what clothes to wear in a dizzying parody of 1980s consumerism run mad.
However, Bateman also has a darker side; he is a psychopathic serial killer, with a penchant for torturing and sexually abusing young women before killing them in the most gruesome and explicit fashion. The novel contains little actual plot, and consists of extended descriptions of exclusive restaurants, designer clothes, TV shows and the minutiae of Bateman's vacuous world, relieved only by clinically described scenes of torture and mutilation which are not for the faint-hearted. Bateman makes little attempt to justify his actions, merely claiming that "this is the way the world--my world--moves". As a satire on the bankrupt, money-driven world of the 1980s, American Psycho is a successful, if rather heavy-handed piece of fiction, whose controversy seems only set to increase. --Jerry Brotton
I am releasing this as my first international book-ray. Will only release it with a minimum of five people interested and a maximum of ten.

AND I STILL REFUSE TO SEE THE MOVIE!

Bookray List

Tinina67 (Aus)
Jellyfish (UK)
Fifna (Neth)
Jlautner (US)
Jenkazoo (US)<-----Book here
raerae78 (US) added 23/8

Journal Entry 2 by mrbaggins1 at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (11/25/2008 UTC) at Johannesburg, Gauteng South Africa

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Posted today (25/11/2008) as my first bookray to Tanina67 in Australia

Travel well and please log on receipt

Journal Entry 3 by Tinina67 from Seissan, Midi-Pyrénées France on Thursday, December 11, 2008
Arrived today. Will read it as soon as possible.
And thanks for the tea and the children books. The tea is for me :-) and I find somebody for the books.

Journal Entry 4 by Tinina67 from Seissan, Midi-Pyrénées France on Monday, December 15, 2008
I don't know how to rate this book. It is well written, but I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. It is disturbing, partly disgusting, sometimes boring and I feel sorry for Pat Bateman. (Page 228/7 "I...want...to...fit...in.", people forget his name etc.)
So if this a mirror for the american culture...


Journal Entry 5 by Tinina67 at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Released 11 yrs ago (12/16/2008 UTC) at by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

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It is on its way to the next on the list: jellyfish67, UK.

Journal Entry 6 by jellyfish67 from Burnley, Lancashire United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Arrived safely yesterday.

Journal Entry 7 by jellyfish67 at By mail, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (5/27/2009 UTC) at By mail, A Bookcrossing member -- Controlled Releases

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Sorry for the delay, now on it's way to fifna. Enjoy.

Journal Entry 8 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Arrived safely, thanks jellyfish67! I have one book to read before this one, so should be able to get started on it soon.

Journal Entry 9 by wingFifnawing from Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Thursday, July 16, 2009
I finished this a couple of days ago and I'm having a hard time thinking what to say about it. Enjoy is not the right word. And the book is definitely not for the fainthearted. And yet, because I started to get fed up with all the brand names and the descriptions of what people were eating, the entire oeuvres of various artists etc., it's as if my mind started to go numb after a while, and therefore the gruesome bits, which were really pretty disgusting, seemed to start to make less of an impression as the book progressed. But then maybe I got to the stage where I was skimming rather than reading because it was a choice between tedious descriptions and blood and gore. And yet I did finish it. And the complete hopelessness and emptiness of Bateman's world is set out very well.
All in all, I'm glad I read it though, thank you for sharing. mrbaggins1!
I have jlautner's address and will get this in the mail as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 10 by wingFifnawing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (7/20/2009 UTC) at San Luis Obispo, California USA

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Sent on its way to jlautner!

Journal Entry 11 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Wooo! I'd forgotten about this! Yay! Received today.

Journal Entry 12 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Monday, August 17, 2009
Psycho

I have not read anything like this before. As I am a mystery junkie, I run across fictional psychopaths all the time, but none as interesting or as deadly, in his way, as Patrick Bateman. Weirdly, I am proud of myself for reading this. I had heard of it over the years and frankly, it scared me. I didn’t want to find it, to read it. Yet when I read that there was a book ray for it I also could not say no. It was time.

Psychopaths care only about themselves. Thus it is not surprising to read what interests Patrick. He has a sartorial obsession, always noticing what others are wearing, down to the socks and almost always knowing the brand names as well. He clearly spells out how a tie tack is attached - yet frequently he mixes up the men in the suits or the women in the dresses. Interestingly, his friends - if they can be called friends - also mix each other up. They are interchangeable, perhaps in large part because they are all obsessed with wearing the very best, with being GQ personified.

He also notices the food. He eats in fine restaurants invariably, the latest trendy ones in fact, and worries if he isn’t on top of his food game. When he has a conversation with a co-worker about where the co-worker ate the night before, he is confused when the other man says he had “roast chicken”. “What shape was it?” he asks. “Oh..just...chicken,” the man answers. “What’s ‘broiled’?” he asks. “Something they do in an oven,” the other guy says. He has lived the gourmet world so long he doesn’t recognize any other type food. Thus we are treated to the name of every dish anyone ever orders. Monkfish and squid ceviche with golden caviar as an appetizer and gravlax potpie with green tomatillo sauce as a main course. Peanut butter soup with smoked duck and mashed squash as an appetizer and red snapper with violets and pine nuts. And so on. I actually laughed at these details. I actually thought this send-up of Wall Street climbers was pretty damned dead-on.

I don’t think Patrick would fit the typical profile of a serial killer, psychopath or no. And clearly he is a psychopath. He does follow some typical paths, as best as I could make out: escalation, loss of control. He is a loner - yet not, not really. Patrick is forever telling his friends how much he enjoys torture. They don’t take him seriously but a typical serial killer wouldn’t be sharing these details. Real friends might actually listen, though. Patrick leaves tracks to himself again and again, probably because he feels invincible. They’ll never find him. He doesn’t even consider the possibility. Of course, I don’t think Ellis had any thought about being true to a serial killer profile. This novel isn’t really about that.

Patrick doesn’t care about his victims, or anyone, really, except himself, which is also of course typical of a psychopathic serial killer. It is this lack of connection, or any real emotion, that makes this novel bearable, really. I don’t care about any of the characters, even the victims. I become, in a way, one of them, one of the food-obsessed, television-obsessed, money-obsessed, flat, out of touch.

What does that say about me? I wonder. I had to wonder as I continued reading and actually laughed at the details. Was I being seduced by the separation, the distancing, between the characters? I admit I welcomed the lack of connection. Otherwise how would I handle these horrifying, torturous deaths?

At times I wondered if it were all in Patrick’s head, if he in fact didn’t do any of these things. But I had to believe it in the end. If Patrick takes out a person or two there are always many others who can replace them.


Journal Entry 13 by wingjlautnerwing from Henderson, Nevada USA on Monday, August 17, 2009
I have requested jenkazoo's address.

*edit* Aug 18 - I requested jenkazoo's address Aug 16 and have received no reply. I will request her address again, in case she has moved. If she does not reply within a couple of days she may not be getting bookcrossing messages, and in that case I will send to the address on file at rabck.com.

Journal Entry 14 by wingjlautnerwing at San Luis Obispo, California USA on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (8/19/2009 UTC) at San Luis Obispo, California USA

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Off to Ms. JenKazoo, who responded to my messages.

Delivery confirmation no: 9102 1501 3471 1796 0213 67

Post office says it was delivered August 21.

Journal Entry 15 by JenKazoo from Shreveport, Louisiana USA on Friday, October 16, 2009
I am finally journalling this book after it has *ashamed* sat on my kitchen table for months. Yikes!! I am sorry for the delay, but the book made it here safely. I am actually uncharacteristically behind on bookcrossing and playing catch up today. I will try and read it soon but I am pregnant and have not been able to focus on any books lately. It took me 2 months to finish the 2nd Harry Potter book! Hopefully I'll get back on a reading kick soon if I can focus one one thing for more than 10 minutes.

Thanks for sending it my way!

EDIT:

Ok, so I just noticed someone else was added after me so I will just send it on. I thought I was last and had more time to read it. I am pretty sure it will not get read in the next few weeks so I'd rather move it along than keep it any longer. I'll PM next in line and try and get it out next time I get to PO. I am actually about to visit PO in a few minutes but doubt I'll get a response before I leave. I'll check RABCK.com before I go.

Journal Entry 16 by raerae78 from Watervliet, New York USA on Monday, December 07, 2009
I've had this book for awhile, and I'm sorry I didnt post when I received it. Thank you for passing it on to me. It was a bit hard getting into the book at first (how many times can you really describe what someone is wearing??), but it did pick up. The book was crazy and grizzly. Thanks again for sharing this book with me!

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