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Publisher's Summary

Patrick Bateman is 26 and works on Wall Street. He is handsome, sophisticated, charming, and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. And he is taking us to a head-on collision with America's greatest dream - and its worst nightmare...
©1991 Bret Easton Ellis (P)2009 Recorded Books LLC

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What listeners say about American Psycho

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Be prepared for this book

Undoubtedly this book is filled with violence and disturbing imagery. So if you are particularly sensitive to these things then perhaps be wary of listening to it. However, it provides a satirical account of our hyper-consumptive way of life; alienation and boredom. The protagonist is utterly deplorable - he is a psychopath after all - but seeing an extreme version of the wealthy late 80's/early 90's New York through his eyes is intriguing. In terms of the audio production the narration is excellent and I will look for other books read by Nick Landrum.

8 people found this helpful

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A good listen!

The narration was very good, both in terms of pronunciation and animation in the voice. The book was written in such a way, as to make a point, and in my opinion it is a social critique. There are a lot of details and they will sometimes be somewhat boring to a listener, but there are also scenes that are terribly violent and brutal, but both of these characteristics help to underline the author's point, so it works!

1 person found this helpful

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One of the best written books ever

The level of detailing in the story is mind blowing. Effortlessly it let's you drift into the head of Bateman, and describes things in ways so you feel you are there yourself.

However, utter elegantly, it also portrays the state of mind of the main character by switching effortlessly between first and third person - depending on his level of control (something I noticed only second or third time I read the book).

This book is a must for all who wants to experience just how captivating books can be!

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Fantastic narration, difficult book.

Incredibly heinous book, but could appeal to those with a dark sense of humour. Nick Landrum made it possible to listen to the whole thing, even it it is overly long and almost frantically scattered.

The message of the book is quite good and well carried over though. I'd recommend it if you can stomach it.

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Disturbing

If you think you know this story by the movie you saw, think again and buckle up

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Mix of gorry, fucked up and boring

this book is what I expected from the title. What I didnt expect is the countless dinners and boring conversations about how to dress.

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Did not expect to enjoy it as much as I did

Fantastic book! I would highly recommend it to anyone who's looking for something different to listen to. It might get bit boring from time to time but when it gets going it doesn't stop.

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interested and funny but long

had me laughing out loud at times and its extremely well written and interesting but can get repetitive at times if you're not in the right mood. possibly the most gruesome thing I've ever read, for me this is neither a good thing nor a bad thing.

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Believe me, u ain't ready for this...

Would you listen to American Psycho again? Why?

Absolutely. So addictive. Easton Ellis gave me something, and now it's over, and I'm sad.

What did you like best about this story?

Bateman's eye for detail.

Have you listened to any of Nick Landrum’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

Who was the most memorable character of American Psycho and why?

Bateman obviously. I think aspects of his character will resonate with most people.

Any additional comments?

Also, a very interesting insight into 80's yuppie America. So much of the social commentary holds true today.

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The worse book I have ever listen too

I gave up after listening to 75% of this book. Patrick is unlikable and is nothing more than evil. The details of his violence is horrific. The characters in the book both boring and rude. I don't care if this is some social commentary on the period, the book can not be classed as entertaining or informative. It is garbage and does not deserve its status. I will not listen to or read anything else Bret Easton Elllis has written as this book has turned me off both his style and thinking. Nick Landrum is fantastic in his narration. I wished I had read the other reviews before listening to this disgusting piece of literature. There are some things you don't need to know and wish you never experience, this book is one of them.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 04-13-13

a challanging but good listen

i really stuggled with reading the book with endless lists of who is wearing what and reviews of bands but the audio book makes this all so much easier to get through. the book is violent so if you are faint hearted dont bother. its well read by nick landrum who when needed matchs the bored tone of the character. book transition quickly from a story of a high living well dressed male to that of butchery. i love it you should give it a try.

31 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 07-10-14

First review ever.

What made the experience of listening to American Psycho the most enjoyable?

I am a massive fan of reading by word of mouth. By this I mean that if a book is recommended to me then I feel the book has done its job in entertain the reader. However, that being said American Psycho" was a book that when recommended to me I was dubious of.

When I started to read the book I was unable to really lose myself as is the case with most books that I choose to read. Thoroughly wanting to embrace this new genre of book I had been introduced to gave me a perfect reason to try Audible.

This being my first ever audio book I was not prepared for how much I would actually enjoy being read a story, as so many of us are read to when we were children. In summation I can say the thing that I have enjoyed the most about this listening experience is that I now feel that a whole plethora of genres and stories have been opened up to me.

What other book might you compare American Psycho to, and why?

This is the first book of this style of writing I have ever read or listened to and so unfortunately I am unable to compare it to anything. I am aware though that this was a popular style of writing within this era and will endeavor to try similar stories.

Did Nick Landrum do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

I did like Nick Landrum's differentiation between male and female characters but felt that the males characters seemed to be very similar. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the book though.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The strongest emotion I felt was that of complete disgust. The graphic nature of the book and the focus on the materialism, perfectionism and vanity of the main character made for some truly horrific scenes.

This was perfectly shown in the chapter where Patrick disembowels a shar-pei dog and murders the owner to try ans satiate his need for violence. It was during this scene that i had to stop and allow my stomach to settle before carrying on my walk home from work.

Any additional comments?

Whilst this book was not a book that I would normally choose i did enjoy it. I am a complete convert for audio books and i am avidly awaiting my next credit so that I may get my teeth into another great read.

17 people found this helpful

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  • Neil
  • 04-14-18

Superb

A brutal, brooding and laugh out loud funny book that is a worryingly accurate snapshot of 80's New York excess.
Brilliantly written, brilliantly read.

4 people found this helpful

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  • shaun lucey
  • 08-30-17

I need to return some video tapes!

As a fan of the movie I've been wanting to check this out for a long time. I really enjoyed it, the murder scenes make the movie equivalent seem very tame in comparison. Patrick Bateman's descent into madness was a joy to listen to. My only complaint was that Patrick's inner monologue although enjoyable at first often spent far too long talking about the same subject i.e genesis albums and so on. The book as a whole was very well written!

4 people found this helpful

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  • William
  • 03-27-16

Hard Listen

I was equally disappointed and relived when the book finished. I don't know if it's due to me listening as I was working, but I found it hard to get an idea of any arch of storytelling. No character development. I guess that is part of authors plan to emphasise psychosis?

The murder scenes are hard listening. And SPOILERS the story just abruptly ends. No comeuppance, no consequences just 17 hours of in depth fashion discussions, album reviews, arguments over dinner reservations in between tonnes of vile gore.

26 people found this helpful

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  • S
  • 12-01-13

A most uncomfortable and gripping listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. This book constantly caught me by surprise, and in the process shredded my nerves to breaking point. This book is intelligently written and not a comfortable listen, but is incredibly compelling.

What was one of the most memorable moments of American Psycho?

Ellis throws very disturbing comments into the mundane descriptions of the lead characters behaviour. In one scene he talks about Bateman arriving at his flat, performing some everyday tasks and then torturing a small dog to death, completely catching the reader by surprise.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The second sex scene with the prostitute and another female character. Far from being an erotic encounter, I found myself apprehensively awaiting the scene to descend to the brutality we have come to expect from Bateman, shredding my nerves in the process.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Ellis' reflection of every other character around Bateman not recognising each other, calling each other by incorrect names and generally being so self absorbed and in their own worlds that no one is missed when they disappear. This includes Bateman himself, greeting people who he thinks are others throughout the novel. In this instance the most real characters are the ones on the periphery, making it much easier to relate to them and caring more about their fates.

Any additional comments?

Buy this book. It is highly intelligent and is guaranteed to catch you out, shred your nerves and make you dread what is about to happen.

10 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeweller boy
  • 04-13-13

The years have not been kind

Having read this myself many moons ago as a teenager and believing myself to be sophisticated and urbane at the time. I thought I would use my monthly credit to re visit it.

I really wish I hadn't, what took for irony and a polemic against the yuppie generation turned out to be with the benefit of age just misogyny and verbal pornography.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun Maclaren
  • 07-08-20

Nick Landrum's Great Yuppy Voice

Really good film but the book for me blows it out the water especially when narrated by someone who does such a good job at pulling off the monotone yet still capable of amazing emotion voice of Bateman.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ann Cunningham
  • 01-09-13

Difficult

Another reviewer has described this book as both boring and gruesome. It is both. The story is composed largely of lists of who's wearing what by which designer, punctuated by scenes of extreme violence both physical and/or sexual. It is not for the faint-hearted.



The protagonist – Patrick Bateman – is a thoroughly dislikeable character, completely without redeeming features. Leaving aside the psychosis, some psychotics can be utterly charming, he treats everyone mercilessly and his actions are without repercussion. He is utterly self-absorbed, sexist, homophobic and racist. I read a review of this book elsewhere that suggested that the violence does not actually happen and I feel that it is completely plausible that these scenes are cocaine-fuelled fantasies.



There are recurrent themes throughout the book, the subject of the "Patti Winters Show" televised each morning; getting a reservation in an exclusive restaurant; monologues on the merits of the band Genesis and singer Whitney Houston. The characters’ conversations are beyond banal, a discussion on brands of bottled waters, for instance.



Had I set out to read the physical book, I wouldn't have got past page 20 it is so mind-numbing, however, the narration is good and this is a help towards the finish, which I will do, if only to see how depraved or conversely, boring, it can get. It goes without saying that the book in itself is very well written, descriptive passages leave nothing to the imagination.

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott Martin
  • 07-06-14

Not for everyone.

If you could sum up American Psycho in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, Pychocotic, Gory

Who was your favorite character and why?

Patrick Bateman just trying to work out how this guy ticks was interesting to me, people who are studying pychology have done whole case studys on him he has many issues.

What about Nick Landrum’s performance did you like?

His voice fits Patrick perfectly and kind of reminded me of Christian Bales voice.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The murders why? you think the film is messed up well the book describes these scenes in a much more graphic manner and there are much worse murders than are shown in the film.

Any additional comments?

If you really enjoyed the film and want to learn more about Patrick you will enjoy this book but a thing to keep in mind is this is like a diary of a psychopath and Patrick is very vein and so talks about fashion and what people are wearing a lot, so there are many times in the book where there are whole paragraphs dedicated to him simply describing what people are wearing, myself I did not mind this as I found it really got me in his mind set but others may find this boring.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-25-21

Cultural reset!

I wanted to address all who gave this book bad reviews based on a) its gruesomeness and b) lack of plotline and repetitiveness.

Firstly, for those of you complaining about how graphic and confronting the book is what exactly were you expecting from a book called 'American Psycho'? Perhaps your complete and utter SHOCK that a book with THAT title would have extreme violence is proof that sometimes you SHOULD judge a book by its cover...

Secondly, this is not a narrative where the actual storyline is important, however what is important is the bigger message that's being told -which you completely seemed to have missed. This book reminds of Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky among his other work too. With Dostoyevsky the story being told is not important nor the focus - instead its the bigger message that he is trying to convey. In Crime and Punishment there is no mystery around the crime; the reader is told almost instantly who the murderer is and why. The strength of the novel is the protagonist's (or perhaps antagonist) inner turmoil and struggle. That is what the reader is supposed to connect with, similarly in American Psycho the reader is supposed to connect to Batemans inner struggle to stand out while also fit into his greedy, shallow, overly-materialistic world. I think the way the author highlighted the lack of individualism in the book by having people constantly mistaken for one another is relevant in todays society more than ever. To me this book stands the test of time, despite the clear 80s setting, because the protagonists struggle is universal albeit manifested in a hyper-masculine and violent way. There is no character development because that is the sad reality of life, the more the world changes the more it stays the same. There is no progress. The Yuppy culture described in the book is the equivalent to todays Influencer culture and the associated greed, isolation, lack of individualism etc.

Lastly, the repetitiveness of Bateman narrating each characters outfit is a commentary on this world. He describes each characters outfit from top to bottom making sure to include the brand name. We know nothing of the characters personalities, lives etc. none of that is really described all we know is the brands they wear. Interestingly however, despite only describing the characters outfits it still gives you a clear picture in your head of what these people look like. What the author is demonstrating here is the lack of individualism because everyone is trying to fit in. As well as how superficial Bateman and everyone in his world is. It's a constant reminder to the reader that brand names and appearances is all that is important.

This book is well written, addressing very important and relevant themes. The performance of the reader was well done. I hope those who did not understand this book upon first read give it a second chance.

Also - Audible I will give up my first born child for you to introduce a comment section so people can discuss their thoughts on books!!

*** if you're mad about any spoilers within this review reread my second point about the storyline being second to the key themes of the book. If you read books just for an interesting story with a happy ending then go back to the young adult fiction section***

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-18

Great book if your into 1980s aesthetic. Intense!

Great book if your into 1980s aesthetic. Intense violence and gore beware. Hip to be square!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kellie
  • 02-10-18

I couldn't put it down

A very full on book, very graphic. Not for the squeamish. The ending was so so.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Chelsea
  • 11-18-19

Revolting

I found it very hard to listen to particularly gruesome/ sexual scenes, it literally made me stomach turn. Not for those who are sensitive, more of a book for those who have a sick sense of humour or have a dark side to their personality. The narrator did a incredible job and sounds a lot like Christian Bale!!! Some annoying parts include describing clothes, food and musicians.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kai
  • 03-14-22

Brilliant, but hard to recommend

As the title says, I really love this book. It’s wonderfully written, a fantastically scathing satire of yuppie culture in New York. Problem is, I wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone. There are numerous scenes that made me uncomfortable and feel downright ill, and this is coming from someone who considers themselves quite desensitised to violence and gore.

The other point I’ll make is that it’s quite repetitive and drawn out for the most part. While this is part of its literary calibre and aids the book in its message and quality, I can’t help but say it will put many off the book.

So, it’s good, but I wouldn’t pick it up unless you are incredibly interested and prepared to be thoroughly invested in it for 17 hours.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-16-22

Fantastic

A wild ride of brand promotion, grisly murders, stylish suits and the duality of a man.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-21

Worth the hype!

I love American Psycho the film, but the book was even better. Best narration, hilarious, disgusting, thought provoking, confronting content. American Psycho is well worth all of the hype it continues to receive. Couldn't recommend more highly!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-04-21

Don't listen to this book out loud.

Extremely brutal and violent, narrator gave a big Christan bale vibe which is good. Do not listen if you are sensitive.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Henry Edwards
  • 10-08-21

Iconic

This was a tough listen. It's iconic and often humorous, but the in depth descriptions of rape and mutilation are off-putting. This wasn't a traditionally structured story; it was essentially a year in the life of a self-absorbed psychopath, while constantly reinforcing the theme of 'texture = identity'. I may revisit this audiobook again, once I've successfully removed that godforsaken rat scene from my memory.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-16-21

Brilliant

The narration is perfect. The story is perfect. Fantastic work. Definitely recommend anyone to read this book.