A Classic Horror Novel

By Averi Cervantez, Design Editor

If you enjoy explicit scenes of sex, gore, murder, and rape, or believe you’ve seen it all and nothing bothers you because you have a stomach of steel, or if you’re just a bit sick in the head and love to read about society through a psychopaths eyes, then boy, do I have the perfect book for you. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis is not your everyday novel.

After reading it, it is extremely understandable as to why there was so much controversy when the book was released in 1991 and movie was made in 2000. There are certain things that I thoroughly enjoyed within the novel but then there were certain things, images to be exact, that left an unsettling and disgusted feeling in my stomach, and quite frankly, my soul.

it is a mysterious and brilliant novel that everyone should read once they are mature enough”

— Averi Cervantez

Nobody enjoys a straightforward novel that tells you everything that is happening and it is not as enjoyable as a book that leaves an abundance of room for imagination. Ellis was able to write a novel that left everybody asking the same questions, causing them to re-read as they are constantly asking themselves “wait, what?”. The author was able to put subtle details that may not seem important at the time but have a huge impact on the story as a whole. Also, the constant ways the novel could be interpreted cause it to be immensely more interesting to read and research about.

It is interesting to see other’s views and unique interpretations because everybody who has read it has their own interpretation. It leaves the reader wanting to host a serious and extremely nerdy book club to hear everybody’s opinions on what they believed really happened. The reader never really knows what is happening in the novel as we have an unreliable narrator and that is what makes the novel so beautifully written.  There are a variety of questions that were indirect: were the murders actually real? Is Tim gay? What really happened to Paul Owens? What does The Patty Winters Show really symbolize? Other than those questions and more, Ellis left nothing to the imagination regarding the sex and murder scenes.

This is definitely a horror novel because after reading it, you will be horrified. Not only was Patrick a pompous jerk, he was also a racist and sexist Wall Street entitled business man. The reader forms a strange relationship with Patrick Bateman as he is an anti-hero. The reader will be left utterly disgusted with Patrick, but they will never want the book to end because they become so infatuated with his life.

Satire is also a reason to love the novel. Ellis satirizes the superficial and materialistic society we live in, which, in some parts of the novel, is quite comical. The whole reason that Ellis wrote this novel was to satirize corporate America and its greed.

Overall, this was a great novel that I was honestly not prepared to read. The scenes were a big shock as the amount details the author provides are disturbing. American Psycho was a difficult book to read for the sheer fact that the explicit sexual scenes and gruesome murder scenes caused me to close the novel often. If someone is prepared for this novel, then it is a mysterious and brilliant novel that everyone should read once they are mature enough. Overall, the novel is very psychotic and I give it 4 ½ stars out of 5.