Abandon all hope ye who enter here…
One of the most controversial novels to ever come out of the 1990’s is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. It was published in 1991 and has been misread and misunderstood, hated and remembered ever since, mostly for its violent and misogynistic content.However, most of American Psycho is not violent or pornographic, but rather a description of attitudes and ideas in our rich western society.
The main character, Patrick Bateman, is 26 years old and works on Wall Street. He knows everything about trends and fashion and nothing about being emotionally connected to himself or others. A usual day consists of careful grooming, work-outs, drinking and dining and snorting cocaine. Perhaps not surprising, this limited and shallow lifestyle has some negative effects on his mental health and throughout the novel we follow his slow descent into madness.
American Psycho was made into a film in 2000, with Christian Bale playing Patrick Bateman. A fun fact regarding this is that one of the people who worked hardest to get the novel banned was Bale’s stepmother.
American Psycho is at times very unpleasant reading, but it is still one of the important satirical works of our time, and I highly recommend it to anyone with a strong stomach and an appreciation for dark humor.