Murder Is Our Peculiar Pastime: Fifty Notable American Crime Novels: 17-18


This one is timely in a very macabre way:

American Psycho, The Musical

Ellis, Bret Easton.  American Psycho.  New York: Knopf, 1991.

Brett Easton Ellis became an almost instant literary celebrity when his first novel, Less than Zero (1985), sold millions of copies and was adapted to a film released by Twentieth-Century Fox.  Grouped with novelists such as Jay McInerney, Douglas Coupland, and Tama Janowitz, Ellis was immediately burdened with the label of being one of the “voices” of the post-baby-boom generation, the so-called Generation X.  Unlike those other novelists, Ellis has charted a perversely eccentric course in the novels he has published since the 1980s.

A deadpan narrative of the atrocities committed by a yuppie serial killer named Patrick Bateman, American Psycho provoked tremendous controversy even before it was published.  Having advanced Ellis $300,000 on his next novel, Simon and Schuster refused to publish American Psycho, preferring to write off…

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