By Julian Murphet
This is a part of a brand new sequence of courses to modern novels. the purpose of the sequence is to offer readers available and informative introductions to a couple of the most well-liked, such a lot acclaimed and so much influential novels of modern years - from ‘The continues to be of the Day' to ‘White Teeth'. A group of latest fiction students from each side of the Atlantic has been assembled to supply an intensive and readable research of every of the novels in question.
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Additional info for Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho: a reader's guide
368). The tone of implacable certainty occludes the fact that Bateman has made only one 'hit': the black leather couch which, in 1989, was de rigeur. Bateman has simply not seen the place before. Or, that is at least one reading available to us, a lethal and important layer of meaning here —our narrator is not only unreliable, but worthless and thrown into a discursive tizzy when forced into recognition of this fact: "All frontiers, if there had ever been any, seem suddenly detachable and have been removed, a feeling that others are creating my fate will not leave me for the rest of the day.
263). Putting all of this together, Bateman is clearly meant to figure as a pin-up boy for the establishment Right, a composite, exaggerated portrait of the then new political entity, the Young Urban Professional Republican of the 1980s, whose egregious political impetus spelt ruin for the very 'underclass* over which we repeatedly see him trample on page after page. No reader of the novel will forget the use of the musical Les Mise'rables as a satiric key to the class politics of Bateman and his gang.
Such distinctions are loaded with significance, and tilt the scales against Bateman's philistinism. Following albums from Huey Lewis leave behind the early 'bitterness' and nihilism and disport in good-humored tunefulness and 'relationship' songs. 'Frat guy sweetness' takes over from punk on Sports: a "clear, crisp sound and a new sheen of consummate professionalism" (p. 355). The track 'Hip to be Square' is especially admired as a "rollicking ode to conformity" (p. 357). Popmusical taste is here being used as a means of gauging the degree to which Bateman's mind has in fact surrendered every critical impulse and gone over to the conformities of the entertainment industry.