back contents next November 21, 1999

American Psycho, Halfway

Eileene My father called me tonight. Great timing too -- just after dinner. I slept for most of the afternoon today. Zap. 4 hours gone. I wish I didn't do it because it makes my sleep schedule go way out of wack. Anyway, my father called me and asked me to help him learn how to use Photoshop to convert his .tif photographs into .jpg files. I helped him step by step by opening my own version of Photoshop and working it all out with him. My i-cam captured most of the conversation and the photographs make an interesting series.

"And I shall call it, 'On the phone with father'."

Iko and PhoneI didn't talk about how I was getting on with American Psycho yesterday, so I figured that I would fill you with an update. I'm about halfway into the book and I've gotten to like it. I like it quite a lot actually. I guess that's because I've learned what parts are best to skip reading. The heaviness of detail continues throughout the novel and although it adds that flair of detail that a madman's mind might go through, it is still tedious reading. So, I skip it.

Iko and PhoneI hope the Book Gods won't be angry at me for skipping.

Now that I've learned what parts to skip, I've gotten a greater appreciation of what's actually going on in the book. The dialogue is very funny at times, especially when he is with his friends and they are all yammering away at some famous restaurant or nightclub. They are all so wrapped up in their little worlds that they are oblivious to each other. I like how Patrick Bateman Iko and Phone (the narrator, main character, and serial killer) has a reputation for enjoying gruesome things amongst his friends and makes inappropriate comments which they either ignore, are oblivious to, or misinterpret as a joke.

I am enjoying "getting to know" his twisted nature. However, I keep it always at arms length, always at a distance. I recognize this kind of character, this personification as something that I don't want to start "identifying" with personally. He's an obviously vile creature, extreme and excessive and wanton and pure, unadulterated evil. I would never admire him, never look up to him, never find him attractive. However, there is a part of me that enjoys reading his thoughts and what goes through his mind.

Iko and PhoneIt's the same part of me that, like Pat Bateman, enjoys reading books involving serial killers, especially the ones that deal with the psychology of killing. The coldness in being a serial killer is so removed from what I consider a "human" existance that I can't grasp it at all. I can't understand it. So, I am fascinated by it. Perhaps, I shouldn't be so fascinated by it. I don't like the thought that I could be someone like him.

Iko and Phone There is one chapter devoted to the musical merits of Genesis. I don't understand it. I don't understand why it's there. It's very non sequitur. There is also another chapter where his friends take Pat, reluctantly, to a live U2 concert. He dislikes live music but finds Bono inspiring. He believes that Bono sends him the message "I am the devil and I am just like you". It's a funny scene, where his friends try to make out lyrics ("Where the Beat Sounds the Same") and the band members ("Which one's The Ledge?").

Iko and Phone Although there are hints that he's killed women in events that have been left undescribed (he brings bloodied sheets to the cleaners), so far there has only been one killing of a man and his dog and some hot and heavy sex with some torturing that remains undescribed in detail and I'm halfway through with the book. Then again, the reviews that I've read say that it picks up later and gets particularly gruesome.

I haven't decided whether or not I feel I will enjoy it when it does (did that make sense? What I mean is, I know that the book's pace will pick up. I'm not sure if I will enjoy it when it does). I did enjoy Hannibal when it picked up its pace a little. However, Bret Easton Ellis is definitely not Thomas Harris.

I never had to skip reading Harris. I wonder if Ellis' other novels are like this too. Urg.

A thank you goes out from me to Susan Rappoport, who chose an image set from Bonsai No Mori for her site. I am honored and thrilled that she used it.


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© Copyright 1999 Eileene Coscolluela