Tuesday, 27 September 2011

"Hi, the name's Pat Bateman."

This is probably not the kind of image you want to think about before you snuggle down to sleep at night, but for the past week or so Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho has been my bed time read. Many a time i have seen this photo of Christian Bale portraying the novel's protagonist Patrick Bateman, yet i have not seen the film (which was released in 2000)-i always like to read the book first.

The book is terrifying, unsettling, disturbing and depressing for a number of reasons alongside the fact it features a serial killer who goes around murdering innocent people. Set in Manhattan in the late 1980s, the city is host to some of the richest of the rich, the Wall Street bankers and financial executives who are all sickeningly obsessed with designer labels and see themselves as almost invincible. Many are completely oblivious or uncaring towards the dark, upsetting elements of the city and even their own lives; everyone is drifting hazily through the fog of consumerism and the constant need to be better so that even the most obvious problems are swallowed up.

Ellis cleverly blurs the lines between violence and sex, but is also great at creating a mood and atmosphere...some pages are filled with adrenaline yet others almost have a dreamy surrealism. I felt the same way whilst reading one of the authors other works, Less Than Zero, a novel which gives a rather bleak portrayal of the "MTV generation", a wasted youth.

If all these deep literary techniques and themes fail to appeal to you, then if anything else Pat Bateman's character has some funny moments that have made me laugh out loud-but maybe i have a wierd sense of humour...

Anyway, i'm going to end this post because staring at Bale's blood spattered face of manic laughter/screaming is really creeping me out. See ya!

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