09Jan00, 6 p.m., Bowling Alley
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
So I am sitting here reading this book. I think Mom & Dad got it for me as a Christmas gift. I asked for the book based on a newsgroup reccomendation [sic]. So far it’s totally – eh. This guy — Ellis, wastes SO much time describing what everyone is wearing and how much it costs. Blech, like I care. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to demonstrate how utterly shallow Bateman (the main character) is or not. And if that’s the goal, to show his obsession with something so material as clothes — there is a point where enough is enough. I mean, Ellis goes on for 2 1/2 pages describing in detail Bateman’s morning routine. We get the brand names of the 52 jars of junk he puts on his face. It all just seems very uneccessary [sic] and totally weighs the story down. It’s worse than reading a fashion spread in Cosmo. And it’s not just Bateman’s attire that gets described in such exacting detail, it’s every character that comes along — a good paragraph or two about what everyone is wearing. I am just not understanding how this is part of the story. Thus far it has done nothing but bog down the narrative. I am desperately hoping that this “character” trait comes to bear later. But, it’s not just clothes — it’s the food, the decor, BELCH! Somehow I totally get the feeling Ellis is trying to impress the reader with all this unnecessary bullshit.
I was amused by the record reviews and now they are the only thing I remember.
The very next entry in the journal is (29Jan00) about how I’m still reading the awful book and how it has ridiculous record reviews in the middle that make it suck even harder than I originally thought.
Looking back would you still hate the book for all those traits?
Bill, I’d hate any book with all those traits. In fact, I just mentioned last night in my writing class how I hate Ellis because he feels the need to beat you over the head with his point.
The book got a lot of bad reviews and on David Letterman Ellis promised that his next book would be “a great big hug of a book,” about a homeless man and his dog who discover the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Paul Auster wrote that exact book; I haven’t had a chance to ask him if he got the idea from BEE.
I am surprised it got bad reviews, so many people seem to hold it up as some kind of awesomeness. I am glad it got bad reviews, that makes me feel better.
You guys should totally see my new business card. The stock, the ink. The font. My god.
If I hadn’t purged that book from my home, I’d go look what kind of paper that dude got for his card that made Bateman furious.