“I just hate that whole self-involved thing that modern male American writers do” said my friend, a well-read literature student, as we were discussing Bret Easton Ellis over beer one day. There was a mixture in our group of those that had read Ellis’ work and liked it, those that had read it and hated it and those that hadn’t heard of him.
But trying to argue that Ellis is the natural evolutionary outcome of the Jack Kerouac’s and Dr Gonzo’s of this world seemed sort of void to me. It’s not that Ellis himself comes across as narcissistic; rather he has an uncanny ability to penetrate the thoughts and feelings of those that are. Either that, or we may want to start getting quite worried about Mr Ellis.
‘American Psycho’ tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a young investment banker who works on Wall Street during the late 1980’s and early 90’s. A yuppie living in a narcissistic consumerist void. Shallow, charming, attractive, sauve, egotistical, hedonistic, privileged. Oh yes and also possibly a delusional maniac who tortures animals and people to death for kicks.