Sunday, 4 May 2008

American Psych-o-o-OH!!!

I've not read anything by Bret Easton Ellis before, but I have seen the film of American Psycho, and that might be a good thing; I quite like the film (particularly Christian Bale's performance), and I'm not sure that I would have watched the film had I read the book first.

This isn't because the book is bad, because in terms of the way that the protagonist describes the people around him, and his passions for clothes and eating out, he makes for an interesting character; what starts as just obsessive behaviour turns increasingly dark, and that's where my enjoyment started to level off. I read The Silence Of The Lambs in my early teenage years, but that was nothing to the depraved actions of Patrick Bateman in American Psycho. In places, the descriptions of dismemberment and cruelty where so gory that my stomach was flipping all over the place. On more than one occasion I had to close the book and take a breath before carrying on.

The violence in the film is nothing compared to the picture of depravity given in the book, and while I enjoyed the themes and reading about the obsessions that Bateman shares with his colleagues over clothes, business cards and the best places to eat, the sheer intensity of his murderous tastes and how they were described took away from my enjoyment.

The next book for me will be 'Matter', the new Culture novel by Iain M. Banks. In fact, I'm going to start it now.

More soon.

4 comments:

mattiecore said...

Now, think about the fact that I read that book 6 years ago (I was about 16).

kimz said...

Are you torturing yourself with these reads for a book club?

kimz said...

I was checking out your books on your profile page... you liked "I am Legend" huh? I'm going to have to add "Time Traveler's Wife" to my to-read list on GoodReads so many people like it and re-read it. If you wanna join me on there it's... http://www.goodreads.com/friend/i?i=LTM2MDY5NTU5ODk6MzEy%0A

zero_zero_one said...

Matt - I don't think I want to dwell on that all too much...

kimz - I just spotted American Psycho in a charity shop two Saturdays ago, and since I liked the film I thought I would give it a go. "I Am Legend" is one of my absolute favourite novels... It is the book I would want to have with me if I were stranded on a desert island. "The Time Traveler's Wife" is also quite good.