Twenty-five years ago, on March 6, 1991, Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho was published. In the years since, especially after the Christian Bale-starring film in 2000, American Psycho and its moisturized, tanned, serial killing star Patrick Bateman have become pop culture mainstays (heck, the story is even coming to Broadway) — so it’s fascinating to remember that the book almost wasn’t published.
Who says American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis doesn’t have a sense of humor? In a few dozen pages of his infamous new novel, Ellis clones passages from his first effort, 1985’s Less Than Zero. Some critics consider the lifts part of Ellis’ satirical intent. Uh-huh. Or maybe he’s refining his art. In the following two sets of excerpts from longer passages, you be the judge.
While ordinary book lovers might recognize the brand names Ralph Lauren and Hermès, author Bret Easton Ellis has sewn many more obscure, hoity-toity labels and exclusive designer tags into his controversial new novel, American Psycho. In fact, the slasher book, controversial for its violence against women, reads like the ultimate yuppie shopping list. ”It shows consumerism,” says an editor at Random House, the novel’s publisher. Among the names dropped in just the first 50 pages:
On a recent snowy New York morning, American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis, 27, gave ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY a rare interview by phone from his East Village apartment.
Not since the Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced author Salman Rushdie to death for The Satanic Verses has a work of fiction excited as much controversy as Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho. Described variously as ”the most loathsome offering of the season” (Roger Rosenblatt in The New York Times) and ”a how-to manual on the torture and dismemberment of women” (Tammy Bruce of NOW), Ellis’ novel has made even some die-hard advocates of free speech wish the book off the face of the earth.
The key to American Psycho, a novel advertised as containing terrifying insights into the materialistic culture of the ’80s, may be found in the publisher’s disclaimer. Not only, we are assured, does author Bret Easton Ellis intend no reference to living persons, neither does he intend ”to disparage any company’s products or services.” Any more, that is, than he means to recommend that Manhattan yuppies torture, dismember, and devour their lovers in the manner of his hero, Wall Street banker Patrick Bateman.
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis’ controversial new novel about a yuppie serial murderer, refuses to die. Earlier this month, Simon & Schuster CEO Dick Snyder pulled the plug on the book, citing aesthetic differences over what critics had termed its violent and women-hating content. But two days later, Vintage Books resurrected the novel and now plans to distribute it as a paperback. Said Vintage president Sonny Mehta, ”It seems to me appropriate, given the immense coverage and curiosity about Mr.
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