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American Psycho

Written by: Bret Easton Ellis
Narrated by: Pablo Schreiber
Length: 16 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

As an added bonus, when you purchase our Audible Modern Vanguard production of Bret Easton Ellis' book, you'll also get an exclusive Jim Atlas interview that begins when the audiobook ends.

©1991 Bret Easton Ellis (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the critics say

"A masterful satire and a ferocious, hilarious, ambitious, inspiring piece of writing, which has large elements of Jane Austen at her vitriolic best. An important book." (Katherine Dunn)
"Bret Easton Ellis is a very, very good writer [and] American Psycho is a beautifully controlled, careful, important novel....The novelist's function is to keep a running tag on the progress of the culture; and he's done it brilliantly....A seminal book." ( The Washington Post)
"The first novel to come along in years that takes on deep and Dostoyevskian themes....[Ellis] is showing older authors where the hands have come to on the clock....He has forced us to look at intolerable material, and so few novelists try for that anymore." ( Vanity Fair)

What listeners say about American Psycho

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Did not like the book at first. Now I can’t stop thinking about it.

This book was a roller coaster. When I first started reading (ahem, listening) to the book, I disliked it greatly. I felt it was so negative, with such unlikable characters that I thought to just turn off the book completely. Yet, I decided I would listen more. And for some reason I kept listening. It seemed that the more the book went on, the better it got. Patrick Bateman grew on me more and more, to the point where In the end... I sympathized with the charismatic near charming American Psycho. Delving way into the brain of Patrick Bateman was super interesting. Learning how the main character saw the world. How he felt, and why was great. Personally some of the best parts were the chapters where they just casually mention some of the craziest stuff ever. To the point where Patrick’s insanity becomes near comedic. It has a clear message which I wouldn’t want to spoil/ don’t know how to explain. Some of the writing flaws can be seen as a contributor to the message however, even if some are blatantly obvious. Such as pace,
over-description of certain aspects, sometimes providing vague detail to the setting. Yet you can see why they were made this way to enter the perspective of the main character. There isn’t exactly a linear plot to the story. It’s more so about Patrick Bateman screwing around in his day to day life, with more of a recurring plot line that shows up every once in a while that I didn’t feel too much importance to. I thought this would turn me off, but didn’t let it be a deal breaker. So the more I listened, the more I got used to the various locations and entertaining conversations/ observations. I thought it was just useless banter at first, and it even might have been, but the voice actor was AMAZING. It might sound the least important since I am putting it last, but if it weren’t for the phenomenal voice actor of the story, I don’t think I would have wanted to finish the book. He was so great, I think he has ruined all other voice actors for other audiobooks. He does the voices so well, even though they are all done by him, they all feel like different and unique characters that totally fit their personality style. I could clearly imagine a person completely based off of their voice, and recognized their different forms of speech and pronunciation as they spoke. Of course I still imagined Patrick Bateman looking like Christian bale from the movie version (which I specifically didn’t watch beforehand just to enjoy the book more). Bravo Pablo schreiber (voice actor), couldn’t have finished this book without you. Truly made it 110% better than it could have been. Can’t even listen to another audiobook without thinking about this one. In total, good entertainment, great voice actor, great message, thought provoking, with a so-so story that isn’t really the focus of the book anyways. In total a 4/5

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Book

Amazing novel and perhaps even better performance by the narrator. Disturbing material to be sure.

2 people found this helpful

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just a big nope for me. SO SLOW

this book was so slow all it did was overly describe everything the main character is doing. it doesn't do this in a positive way. just goes on and on endlessly about brands. the guys bathroom routine went on and on for Pages Beyond annoying couldn't get through it...

1 person found this helpful

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thrilling

what a great book, so violent and visceral I don't know what really what to say about it. there were times when I really don't know what to say. I would say listen to this book but understand that it's going to touch a lot of points in your mind that you've never never wanted to be touch before. I hope you enjoy it.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An excellent reading of a misunderstood book.

An excellent reading of a great, if misunderstood, book. What really happened? Think about it...

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the weirdest...

This was one of the weirdest books I’ve read, at the beginning. When the author starts into a description of every piece of clothing and every accessory the characters are wearing, it’s off-putting. But keep reading. There’s a method behind this madness, and the literary payoff is worth the strangeness. In fact, the weirdness starts to be its own thing after a while. Hard to describe, obviously, but persevere.

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loved the movie book meh

I loved the movie, and wanted to listen to the book. I did not really enjoy this.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Masterpiece! Both the movie and this book

It's dark, graphic, disturbing and somewhat comedic.

After watching the film a number of times I owed it to myself to check out the source material.

Dear god it is even crazier than I expected. Still it is a fantastic adaptation and the stuff that was cut for the movie is understandable.

The narrator is perfect and really helps capture the mind of Patrick Bateman.

As a bonus, with help answering some questions you might have, the last chapter is a short phone interview with the author which I strongly recommend listening to.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Be prepared

Very intense. Gory and sexually explicit. Have to be in the right mindset. Decent story but very detailed; I had to fast forward some of the gory parts.

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Still a good fit in 2019

Impressive... Very nice. Now let's see Paul Owen's autobiographical account.

I got this book after loving the film starring Christian Bale, and it did not disappoint. Not for the faint of heart.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher
  • 2015-11-07

OMG, Did I just go there? Wow

I read the reviews but I didn't think it would be like this... That was some... uh... really twisted stuff. But like others have said, I couldn't stop listening. Very satirical to the point I was laughing out loud. And then I cringed. So graphic. So if you have a weak stomach, don't go for this book. But if you want to listen to a phenomenal performance, and really well written prose then, you need to listen to this.

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • So Fain
  • 2011-03-27

Fanntastic book but maybe not for everyone....

I had previously seen the movie and so this audiobook made it on to my read list when a friend suggested that the book was better and one of his favorites. I must say that I did enjoy the audio version a lot. I found the main character to be fascinating and a great study in an extreme sociopath stuck in the shallow upperclass yuppie social scene of the 1980s. I have read other people who say that his constant references to designer clothes and the trappings of money to be annoying but it is a key element to getting into the head of Patrick Bateman. I must also say that he disgusted me and, as the book neared it's end, I began to loathe Bateman even as his tenuous grasp on reality began to slip. The language and imagery are disturbing and not for the timid. However, if you are an adventurous listener that can spend 10 hours inside the mind of a luncatic, I believe this is a worthwhile listen that will make you think and leave you wondering if Patrick Bateman really is who you thought him to be after all. Good book. Good narrator.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Tobey
  • 2016-02-03

Would have been 5 but last chapter missing

The book is an interesting dive into yuppie 80s culture - this recording seems to be missing the last chapter, though, which really pissed me off.

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elle Kay
  • 2016-06-14

Wonderfully Depraved!

What made the experience of listening to American Psycho the most enjoyable?

I love the horror genre, and I actively seek things that will disturb me. It has been a very long time that I have felt genuinely disturbed by a horror novel, and I was so delighted by the unbridled depravity in this book.

Pablo Scheiber did an absolutely outstanding job narrating this book!!! Mr Schreiber, if you see this, you simply must narrate more audiobooks!

What was one of the most memorable moments of American Psycho?

There are parts of this book where Patrick Bateman has completely lost it; lost his grasp on reality and sanity, and just goes on a manic rampage. Moreover, the first person narrative really heightens his bouts of crazy and uncontrollable behavior.

Which scene was your favorite?

There is a lot of sex and torture in this novel, and it is extremely graphic, which I can appreciate.

Who was the most memorable character of American Psycho and why?

Patrick Bateman! I have seen the movie with Christian Bale before listening (or even reading) the book, so in my mind I envisioned Christian Bale as the deranged Patrick Bateman.

Any additional comments?

This book goes way beyond the movie. The movie is significantly less gruesome, and I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is now one of my favourites!!!

Please keep in mind, if you are easily disturbed or have a weak stomach, you should avoid this book. The protagonists kills and tortures men and women, animals (dogs included), the homeless, and even children. If any of those things really bother you, then I highly recommend you skip this book.

22 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison
  • 2013-06-04

Intense. Odd. Don't expect it to be like the movie

What did you like best about American Psycho? What did you like least?

I think it would almost be sick to say what I like best about American Psycho because its sooooo deranged. This is one of those novels where you question the sanity of the author because it's just that twisted. So I guess what I like "best" is the authors ability to completely step outside of himself (hopefully) and bring to life a homicidal sociopath like Patrick Bateman. I tend to agree with most of the other reviewers when they say that the descriptions of what everyone is wearing gets to be a little much. There gets to be a point where it's almost laughable. But at the same time, I get the need for it. It's so Patrick.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I mean, how could you not choose Patrick. Even though there are many characters, Patrick is really the only character.

Which character – as performed by Pablo Schreiber – was your favorite?

I thought the narration was some of the best I've ever heard. I've listened to a bunch of books but Pablo's take on Patrick was on point.

Was American Psycho worth the listening time?

There were points that I didn't know if I could finish it mostly because it's slightly repetitive. Dinners, AMEX, labels, cocktails, etc.

Any additional comments?

If you're a fan of the movie don't expect too many similarities. Where the movie and novel share the same title. Easton's Bateman is so much more crude, violent, foul mouthed then depicted in the movie. The movie only scratches the surface of the characters, the murder, the gore, the language. So if you think you've got the stomach for it, you won't be disappointed.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rbtmw
  • 2011-05-04

Makes Dexter look like a boy scout.

Patrick Bates is one sick puppy that we see spiral worse and worse with heinous acts of psychosis.

The narration was great.

If you have weak stomach you may not want to read this. He gets really descriptive.

Overall, I thought this was a great book.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Thomas
  • 2015-07-10

moment of beauty

chapter 54 was beautiful. poetic and astonishing, the writing so well done and the kind of speech came at a perfect time in the novel.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Stacy
  • 2014-03-02

Fashion, food, beauty tips...and murders

My favorite parts of American Psycho were the fashion & food commentary, beauty tips, and updates on the Patty Winter Show. The murders were pretty hard to listen to- way over the top. Still- I really enjoyed this book and the characters- the reader was great too!

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Terrance Ferguson
  • 2017-02-21

Distasteful and ugly in exactly the right way.

The book definitely began to drag for me. There is not really any escalation. There are some peak points in the "Action" but over all it was just the same thing over and over past a certain point in the book. This helped the book for me. The way the violence became dull gave the story a PERFECT feel for me.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • itzKat
  • 2014-08-20

Ever Drive by a Bad Car Wreck?

Reviews warn you that it's graphic, trust me when I say "It is very graphic", at times hard to listen too. But like a car wreck it's hard to turn away, I have to get to the end! Pablo does an excellent job narrating.

3 people found this helpful