(Bret Easton Ellis)
Patrick Bateman is not your typical wall street banker. This 26 year old is intelligent, aggressive, and crazy. The novel takes place in Manhattan, New York during the mid 1980s. The protagonist and narrator takes the reader on and exploration of the young Bateman's mind. He is the kind of man that from the outside has the entire world in the palm of his hand. His cool collected demeanor and chiseled good looks makes him the everyman of the 80s. The novel starts out simple enough by introducing the reader to the inner workings of Patrick's thoughts and feelings on subjects pertaining to men?s fashions, his very intense social life , his apathy towards his pending marriage to Evelyn, his many one night stands, music and his job. Easton Ellis really demonstrates the ideal of "yuppiness" in his work as the almost soulless characters the people surrounding the narrator suggests. The absolute goal of these people are to make money and prove that the can spend it. Their suggestion that paying $500 for a meal in New York is a "good deal" and Patrick Bateman exemplifies this in his obsession with trying to get into only the best restaurants. This is all demonstrated in his total obsession in his appearance coupled with his alcohol and cocaine filled nights where he and his friends attempt repeatedly to pick up as many women (hard bodies)as they possibly can. Easton Ellis demonstrates in his novel how the ideal of the yuppie mentality of the mid 1980s in New York was so self obsessed that a person like Patrick Bateman could live and exist undetected. As the novel progresses we get a clearer image of who or what Patrick Bateman is. The very detailed fasciations of torturing and killing people becomes more and more frequent until he actually starts acting out on his impulses. During one brief encounter he has a conversation with a homeless man in an alley and ends up stabbing him to death and then killing the mans dog. His reason for doing so is that he has nothing in common with the man. The novel is written in a very sporadic style and follows no real defined timeline. As the novel progress so does the body count until his jealousy of a work mate, one Paul Allen who in his mind is viewed as more successful in the eyes of his colleges. This continually builds from a meeting in which Bateman starts showing off his business cards in which the concusses is Paul Allen?s is better. At this momentit takes all of his power to keep his sanity. Eventually Patrick ends up meeting with his counterpart, gets him drunk in a bar and takes him back to his apartment where he kills with an axe all the while explaining the fine points of Phil Collins separation from Genesis. He fakes his victim?s disappearance and goes about his everyday business despite a private detective who questions him several times regarding the case. This is all part of his killing spree which includes a small boy he stabs at a zoo, a police man, several prostitutes and a police man. Like his slipping grip on reality the events of his past start to unravel and he begins to lose his composure as he can?t keep his facts straight. Luckily for him the people surrounding him are as equally obsessed with fashion, night life and their own existence to really notice. IN fact as the reader progresses there are serious questions regarding the reality of any of his stories. There seems to be no notice of Bateman?s killings his growing list of victims, his complete irrational behavior, blood soaked clothes and total meltdowns throughout the novel. IN one particular description a maid is brought in to clean his apartment after a torture and killing and is un-phazed by the sites. The reader is left to draw their own conclusion as to the reality of the characters stories or if all this has just been imagined. His confession to his lawyer over the phone of killing Paul Allen and his many other victims is not met with nothing more than a joke as Paul Allen turns up alive. The book is aery in deh look at this one mans psyche. The detail of certain events and facts such as music and fashion demonstrate his manic obsessions. The detail in which he narrates his killings is intense and not for the faint of heart.