New Book Review Page and American Psycho

So, seen as I am documenting my yearly adventure with mental health and would like to share as much useful information as possible (to the poor deluded folk who think following my blog is an awesome idea) I have decided to put a new section on which to document reading, film, music and art reviews. Obviously all linked to mental health and/or creativity (or how modern society is destroying us).

I’m going to start with fictional reading. I’ve uploaded a couple of book reviews you can check out and will be adding more of my past readings in the near future, plus all the (very very many) books I have set myself the task to read in this year.

To start off, here’s of a review of a cute little light-hearted novel about a yuppie serial killer. Check the others out on my Mental Health Reads page!

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

Link with mental health: sociopathy.

American Psycho is a entertaining yet terrifying satire on the apathy of modern society, depicting the dysfunctions hidden behind the superficiality of the American yuppie world. It is recounted through the eyes of Patrick Bateman, a mass-murdering Wall Street broker. He is a typical, upper-class boy-next-door, who’s flow of consciousness (extremely accelerated due to the use of steroids and other drugs) manifests a refined, and almost obsessive taste for good clothes, good food, good music, good clubs, good prostitutes and preserving a good physical image. Not too strange huh? He also has a rather tasteful dislike for women and the homeless which he sees as society leeches who are not prepared to work for a living. Still, not that far fetched.

The really freaky thing is that good old Pat’s nightlife is tainted by an unrelenting blood lust, triggered on by repressed sentiments of disgust and hatred.

Why it’s good: Ellis’s narrative style brilliantly depicts the banality of violence in our modern culture, and how easy it is to detach oneself from emotivity. The superficiality with which everyone in Bateman’s life, including his lawyer, repeatedly ignore his crime confessions, is rather disturbing.

Patrick’s stream of consciousness very casually flutters between describing entrees of expensive meals and brand names of his colleagues attires, to the logistics of eviscerating homeless people and their dogs, nailing his ex girlfriend to the floor of his apartment and walking around the house with the severed head of a prostitute on his dick. At a certain point Bateman’s character is so alienated from himself that the narrative even switches to third person.

The gruesomeness of the acts, coupled with the casual tone in which they are recounted, render it almost humorous and indeed, extremely disturbing.