American Psycho  

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"ABANDON ALL HOPE YE WHO ENTER HERE is scrawled in blood red lettering on the side of the Chemical Bank near the corner of Eleventh and First [...]" --incipit American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

"I handed the Zagat to Jean and asked her to find the most expensive restaurant in Manhattan."--American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

"Bruce Boyer," I correct him. "He was the author of Elegance. A Guide to Quality in Menswear." Then as an aside, "And no, Craig, he wasn't a serial killer in his spare time."--American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

“There wasn’t a clear, identifiable emotion within me, except for greed and, possibly, total disgust.”--American Psycho (1991) by Bret Easton Ellis

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American Psycho (1991) is a novel by Bret Easton Ellis. It is a first-person narrative of the life of a wealthy young Manhattanite serial killer. The graphically violent and sexual content was widely commented upon at the novel's release. A film adaptation was released in 2000 to mostly positive reviews. Its literary antecedent are À rebours and Notes from the Underground.

It tells the story of a yuppie serial killer named Patrick Bateman, who is an aggressive, disaffected psychopath by his own admission: "I am without a single, identifiable human emotion, except for greed and disgust... I am simply not there."

Like "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" and A Clockwork Orange, American Psycho is a mordant social commentary written in the first-person, which adopts (albeit ironically) the skewed point-of-view and corrupt belief system of its anti-hero protagonist. As such, the reader is given a first-hand account of Bateman's psychopathology, which, by extension, becomes a murderous, hyperbolic parody of the corporate consumer (i.e., "yuppie") culture of urban America at the end of the twentieth century. Bateman's obsessive materialism is revealed as a compensation for his basic emotional emptiness and vapid social life. Although he initially derives a measure of satisfaction from his secret life as a brutal sadist and murderer, by the end of the novel not even sadistic sex and killing can arouse any kind of feeling in him.


"Both the author of these “Notes” and the notes themselves are, of course, fictitious. All the same, people like the author of these notes not only can, but indeed must, exist in our society, given the circumstances in which our society was formed. I wanted to present to the public, with rather more prominence than usual, a character of recent times – a representative of a generation which is still with us. In this first extract, entitled “Under the Floorboards”, this person describes himself and his views and wants, as it were, to explain the reasons why such an individual made an appearance – and had to make an appearance – in our midst. The second extract will contain actual “notes” about certain events in his life."--Notes from the Underground
“One of the major mistakes people make is that they think manners are only the expression of happy ideas. There’s a whole range of behavior that can be expressed in a mannerly way. That’s what civilization is all about — doing it in a mannerly and not an antagonistic way. One of the places we went wrong was the naturalistic, Rousseauean movement of the Sixties in which people said, ”Why can’t you just say what’s on your mind?” In civilization there have to be some restraints. If we followed every impulse, we’d be killing one another.”― Judith Martin
And as things fell apart.
Nobody paid much attention.
(Nothing But) Flowers (1988) Talking Heads

Brands mentioned

Brands often often mentioned are Armani (58x), Hermes, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Paul Stuart, Yves Saint Laurent, Rolex, Bill Blass, Brooks Brothers, Hugo Boss and Valentino.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American Psycho" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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