11 October 2012
DNF Review: American Psycho (Dueling Monsters)
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Source/Format: Bought / nook
Date Finished: DNF 7 October 2012
Buy | Borrow | Accept | Avoid
The Short and Sweet of It
As far as I can tell, this is the story of a man obsessed with clothing, sex, food, and connections who may or may not be viciously, sadistically, and happily killing people.
A Bit of a Ramble
I cannot fully express how much I hated this book. So. Very. Much. Hated, hated, hated. At least, I hated the first 147 pages of it. Getting through those pages was torture, and when I realized the book was 441 pages long, I caved in to my burning desire to just freaking stop reading.
What did I hate you might ask? Everything. If Ellis used the term "hardbody" one more time, I was going to scream. If I had to hear about what some character was wearing one more time, I was going to stab out my eyes with kitchen shears. Honestly, the writing frustrated me to the point that I started skimming - something I never do - and then even skimming became painful.
And I get it. I really do. The book is clearly an indictment of materialism and loss of identity to the mass conscious. The protagonist, Bateman, focuses on hardbodies and clothing because he is obsessed with beauty, money, and power. I appreciate the sentiment. And I really enjoyed the not-quite-subtle suggestion that societal obsessions lead to a sheepy conformity: all of the characters in the book look alike; they are constantly mistaken for each other. Their need to fit in and be seen as cool means they dress the same, talk the same, go the same places, have the same opinions, etc. They are interchangeable. I get it. But....
Nothing happens (in the first 147 pages). There are all these words and words and words, but all they do is detail and describe a shallow life. An entire chapter is dedicated to his morning routine. Kill me now.
Readers are treated to a few nasty, murderous fantasies - and a possible murder - during this first portion of the book, but honestly I didn't care. At all. Usually hearing about a guy raping some girl with a can of hairspray would evoke some sort of emotion in me. In this case, not so much. I just didn't care at all.
Some may say I didn't give the book a fair shake; after all, there are 294 pages to go. But if I try to force myself to read those pages, I may go insane.
NOTES: This book was part of the Dueling Monsters readalong sponsored by The Estella Society, Fizzy Thoughts, and Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity.