American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis (unabridged audiobook read by Pablo Schreiber; 16.5 hrs on 14 discs): Patrick Bateman is a Wall Street yuppie in the late 1980s. He is also a brutal serial killer. There are several recurring themes here (and when I say recurring, I mean it is mentioned at least thirty times): returning video tapes, the Patty Winters Show, deciding where to have dinner, cocaine, all yuppie men are interchangeable and everyone is constantly mistaken for everybody else, women are clueless and needy, tanning, going to the gym, alcohol, decaffeinated espresso (I know – what?), excessive luxury, and brand names, brand names, brand names. I cannot stress that last one enough: Bateman describes every single person’s outfit by brand name and sometimes even the department store where it was purchased. There are scenes of extremely graphic sex, usually followed by scenes of extremely graphic violence. I’m not a very sensitive person, but there were a few times when I was seriously worried about losing my lunch. Now, there are some amusing bits. I kind of liked the overly dramatic business card comparison. The random chapters of musical critique (Whitney Houston, Huey Lewis & the News, and Genesis) were interesting but I haven’t a clue why they were included (though in the movie they are used as lectures while killing people, which is actually kind of funny). My main issue with this book is that absolutely nothing happens. Seriously: the same thing happens chapter after chapter after chapter and there is no progression of plot, no change in any of the characters. This could have been a short story and still gotten its point across. A waste of time.
A note on the audio: Schreiber was excellent. The book, not so much. I’ve never wished I could skim an audiobook more than this one.
Also posted on BookCrossing.