Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Sunday, December 12, 2004

American Psycho

I finished reading this book.

I think I only read it because of its controversial nature, and that my friend's then-boyfriend-now-husband recommended the hell out of the book to anyone who would listen.

I appreciated the parallels between a cruel heartless man living and killing in the cruel, heartless 1980s. I found the constant model runway-like scripts of what everyone was wearing and the ridiculousness of what everyone was eating at these trendy restaurants (a salmon meatloaf with kiwi mustard, some kind of trendy meat dish with a lime Jell-O glaze, quesadillas with papaya) hilarious. And if the main character hadn't already been psychotic, then I could see how someone might go crazy trying to compete in this world of constant one-upmanship.

The best chapters of the book are when the author devotes pages upon pages to the importance and relevance of Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis, and Whitney Houston. These singers are all shit. Well, maybe not shit, but I highly doubt anyone in their right mind would call any of these bands socially important and relevant, worth the ink needed to talk about how each of these artists changed the face of pop music forever. He calls Huey Lewis an "Angry Young Man," for chrissakes. But maybe that's the point. Then the character takes a bunch of his friends and some girls he wants to impress (yes, that is a euphemism) to a U2 show, and he sits throughout the concert absolutely confused as to who the band is. In fact, I think they become bored by the whole thing, after Bono stops sending him secret messages only the main character can comprehend, of course.

It's been debated whether the man's killings, torturings and mutilations are all a figment of his imagination, or actually carried out. These scenes, about 14 in all are gone over in cold graphic detail, and this is probably not a book you want to read while you're relaxing at the beach. Or eating for that matter.