American Psycho Rereading

by Rachel Baker on January 16, 2015

Articles like this make me happy. These types of articles make me happy because they give a review of a book, as well as the impact of said book (and often then movie) on society. It almost feels like there is an anthropological aspect to this article by Irvine Welsh at the Guardian.

Read more: Irvine Welsh – American Psycho is a modern classic

American Psycho is one of the greatest novels of our time. Since its publication, its petulant, unerring and uncompromising face-off with this age has the effect of making most serious literary works seem obscured by an unedifying veil of sophistry. It is one of the two zeitgeist pieces of fiction that defined America at the end of the last century and the start of this one, the other being Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. The latter novel looks at disaffection from the perspective of an excluded new underclass of youth, debt-shackled and devoid of opportunity. American Psycho, on the other hand, focuses on the ennui of morally bankrupt extreme privilege.

The seismic effect of both books was genuinely felt, yet in the case of American Psycho, there also followed a highly disingenuous outrage. Those reactions were mainly directed towards the passages of extreme violence contained in the book, the objectification of women, the use of pornography and the supposed “manipulation” of the reader. Yet, they were often acts of bad faith and were based on fatuous notions.

This article was written by: Rachel Baker – Click to Become a Patron or to follow on Twitter.

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