Explodey Jo wrote:
I thought the film of American Psycho was ok... but I didn't like the book at all. It took so long for any violence to take place (as it were) but when it did, it was so over the top to the point of boredom. Isn't there a line where he says something about his gym locker containing seven vaginas? I feel like maybe I missed the point.
Far be it from me to question what anyone thinks about any film or novel or record.
In this case though maybe it's not missing the point of American Psycho but perhaps asking the wrong question. Most people don't feel like Catcher in the Rye takes forever to get started.
American Psycho is set up as a massive fuck-off to and commentary on the '80s. Kind of like a mixture of Michael J. Foxes Facts of Life Character blended with The Great Gatsby. The superficiality, The obsession with mundane music, designer labels.
What Ellis does is set up a story in a methodical and even boring fashion.
The question isn't why isn't there more violence sooner. You get that soon enough. TRIES TO COOK AND EAT GIRL is perhaps the most appalling chapter in modern literary history.
The question for American Psycho is what is more disturbing: a chapter on killing a child at a zoo or a chapter on why Huey Lewis and the News represent the apex and sum total of musical evolution and artistic endeavor. American Psycho by Ellis and Diceman by Luke Reinhardt capture the disaster that was New York in the Eighties.
I moved to NYC during the tail's end of this time period and managed to go to some of the clubs that get a lot of pub in the book...This was a time of complete conspicuous consumption. Patrick Bateman is America in the Eighties. A man so full of himself and strung out on himself that while he bores himself to death in his office he daydreams about the most gruesome and banal things imaginable..
So yes. I see Ellis' work as an eighties' version of F.Scott Fitzgerald writing about the depravity and shallowness of the ruling class.