Cinema: A Yuppie's Killer Instinct

American Psycho, the book they didn't want to publish, becomes a movie you shouldn't miss

How to capture the soul of an age that has no soul? That was the task facing Bret Easton Ellis at the end of the '80s. For Ellis, the death of feeling among hip young urbanites was a criminal act. And so, in his black-comic tour de force novel American Psycho, Ellis pushed past parody into nightmare farce. He created, in his antihero Patrick Bateman, a moneyman with a true killer instinct: mergers and acquisitions become murders and executions. "I have all the characteristics of a human being," Patrick (Christian Bale) says in Mary Harron's handsome, icily funny film version, "but...

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