American Psycho Earned a New Spot in my Heart

Ellis’s American Psycho is not a bed-time story.

Ellis’s American Psycho is not a bed-time story.

Erin Dickman, Staff Writer

I never knew how it would feel to be an emotionless, psychopathic murderer until I read Ralph Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.  The main character, Patrick Bateman, haunts the reader’s mind as he blends into the typical, superficial life on Wall Street, yet he needs something more; he craves a new sensation that cannot be achieved through the lines of cocaine or Zagat-rated restaurants. Ellis perfectly creates his comment on the empty life of an American through Bateman’s inspection of outfits, conversations, and longing for bloodlust.

American Psycho is not for the average reader. It is more suited for those who thoroughly enjoy gruesome, blood, and gore scenes – oh, and fashion.  Bateman is constantly inspecting other character’s outfits, noting the brand, quality, and fashion etiquette to emphasize how even the Harvard graduate is obsessed with materialistic items because they show an air of prestige in this world revolved around reputations. Oddly enough, I learned way more than I expected about fashion. Seriously, there was a lot of good advice. When the world revolves around fashion and types of bottled water, life gets boring, so Bateman turns to rape and murder to get his adrenaline rush. Bateman even admits to the murders, but no one listens. No one cares.

Ellis’s writing places the audience in the mind of a man with no empathy or deep emotion, and his intense imagery forces the reader into the madness of each murder and each disgusting thought.  I found the book compelling despite the constant repetition of each day; perhaps I kept reading to see if justice existed in the Wall Street world. As the story progresses, Bateman falls deeper and deeper into his own world which simultaneously puts him deeper in and further away from the society around him.

I ended up creating a new spot in my heart for the sickening American Psycho. Despite my nightmares after reading certain sections for this book, I do not regret reading it. It opened my eyes to an (exaggerated) version of a world I had never experienced before.