Review: American Psycho

American Psycho
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am not happy. I just finished a book that was pretty gross, fairly disturbing, had smut woven all through it, had no story arch, and no ending. The only reason this book got 3 stars is because the characters were funny to read, and the book wasn’t working against me on completion-motivation.

There is just so much to complain about. I have a lot I want to say yet I’m feeling deflated, in a way.

Let me begin with things I didn’t dislike:
This book is filled with character interactions that amused me. Partick’s douchy bro-interactions and his dramatic girlfriends were almost satirical to read. It felt like they were making fun of 80s yuppies – and that was funny. I particularly enjoyed a chapter in which Patrick and two pals three-way call eachother and argue over which restaurant to go to – making, breaking reservations, and discussing the night away until all the places had closed. That stuff is easy to read and made picking up the book easy each time. Literally the only reason this book is 3 stars instead of 2 is that I didn’t have to force myself to finish it.

Now for the stuff that I didn’t like so much:
First of all, what the fuck happened to the plot? I am really irritated that the story had no arch and that the only sort of climax ended nowhere…
(view spoiler)

Most confusing? He finds out that either he never killed Paul Owen, or someone covered it up? This is the only interesting story branch, really. He kills Paul, “packs” clothing for him to make him appear to be traveling, then tells people he went to London. He then kills two chicks in Paul’s apartment, and leaves the bodies… only then, when he goes back to find rotting corpses he discovers that an open house of his clean, non-smelly, non-murder-sceney apartment is being shown by a Realtor who is creeped out by him and asks him to leave. [[Later he also finds out that people really do believe they have seen Paul in London… making you wonder if he ever died at all…]] BUT THEN NOTHING!!!?? Why does the Realtor seem to know he is a creeper? Why are the bodies gone? Is Paul really alive? If Patrick is wrong about this, then could he be making up all of his extra curricular activities in his head? Is he really just crazy and not a murderer? But if that is true, then why does the taxi driver recognize him as a killer at the end…? ugh… nothing explained! (hide spoiler)] WTF??????????????

I totally understand leaving some questions unanswered to allow the reader to be miffed and allow conversational debates; but this is not that. This feels undone. Was the author rushed to finish by a deadline and therefor the book was left incomplete? I had hoped that with all of the gruesome crap I drug myself through in order to finish the book that I would have some satisfaction by the ending, in any form.

The only satisfaction I have after completing this book?
Having completed a well known book. I can now say “I’ve read American Psycho”. I feel a quite underwhelmed *yippy*…

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