Books for Breakfast #49

Book Reviews

Prepare yourself for a breakfast with a bunch of serial killers! For October, of course I have to read some freaky books!
Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
&
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

I’ve read so many books by Stephen King, his books occupy the most space on my bookshelves, actually. I love all of his books that I’ve read! Although, I never really got into the Dark Tower series, I read the first book but it never stuck with me. I love the classics like IT, The Shining, Carrie, and those! His short story collections are also fantastic, scary stories lend themselves very well to short stories! It’s like sharing creepy stories around the campfire.
So, Mr. Mercedes is a break from the norm, though it’s still super creepy, it doesn’t have that supernatural horror that King is known for. The inside flap reads like a murder mystery, but its not so much a mystery, as you know who the killer is pretty much right off the bat…as parts of the books are told from his point of view. I liked that though, it was interesting to read things from the perspective of a crazy sociopath.
Mid-way through reading it I realized that it’s actually going to be a trilogy! I liked the lead ex-cop, he was very human and not overly cliched either. Normally you find the cop has some vice (alcohol normally) and has a lone wolf complex. Tall, dark, and handsome and what not, you know, that sort of thing! I don’t feel that the ex-cop in this story fits that normal mold, which was a nice break! His right hand man is his black neighbor, who is super awesome and very tech savvy. Then he meets some lovely ladies along the way trying to find his killer who calls himself “Mr. Mercedes”.
I love how he made a bunch of references to his other books in this, like IT! There was also a Space Odyssey reference that I giggled over. I love King’s writing style! After finishing this I’m curious to see where this will go as a series and how it will turn out as a trilogy. It’s so much different than his other stories and I’ve heard some people say that this book is like a comeback for him. I’d agree in some ways, I think this is a really strong story that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s thrilling and the characters (the killer mainly) makes you shudder when you read the thoughts in his mind.

I’ve actually never seen the movie before reading this book, though I’ve heard good things about it, which made me want to read the book! Midway through the book, I decided to watch the movie so I could compare! But, I’ll cover that later. Anyways. This book gets under your skin, it’s like a roller coaster ride through the mind of a true blue psychopath while being a nice satire of wall street and how people just look at things on the surface. Patrick Bateman, the lead, and the crazy person that this book is all about, cares A LOT about fashion. I mean, he gives descriptions of what everyone of importance around him is wearing. The designers, the styles, the patterns, what looks good, and what doesn’t look good. He mentions designers I’ve never even heard of and designers that I have heard of. It’s so surreal reading this and seeing the disconnect of Bateman’s hold on reality.

Now, my warning: THIS BOOK IS VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY GRAPHIC I MEAN WHOA I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU BUT THIS IS NC-17 STUFF IN HERE! Think about it. Bateman goes into such drab/detail heavy descriptions of everything (music reviews, clothing, what people order….everything!) so clearly…he goes into the same detail about this murders and sex scenes. And dear sweet latte, those murder scenes. I had to put the book down after finishing some of them and just reflect on life.

The movie, on the other hand, is on page 209 about 29 minutes into the movie. Aka, it moves REALLY fast. Some things are skipped or in a completely different order and you don’t really get the details that are in the book about just how crazy Patrick Bateman really is. His slip farther into insanity is so much more compounded upon in the book. I mean, he picks apart everyone in book, there is so much internal monologue that you miss out on when watching the movie. The movie just misses the best part of his craziness. There are so many scenes in which he kills people that you miss in the movie that shows with horrifying clarity over and over again just how much of a psychopath this american really is. Also, you don’t get all the internal monologue about people’s fashion or the music/cd reviews that are spontaneously in the book. Seriously, entire chapters dedicated to his explaining how much he likes each song on a CD for various reasons. The book has feeling that creeps through you and stays rooted in you as your reading while the movie just washes over you and then ends without much lingering effect. Now, that’s not to say it’s a terrible movie or anything, I just couldn’t like it as much after finishing the book.
You can’t judge a book by it’s cover! (I mean this as a pun about judging people, get it? I know, I’m not funny)

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By Jess

A bookworm since the tender age of whenever I stopped chewing on books and started actually reading them. A cat-mom, graphic designer, and introvert originally from Pittsburgh, but now resides in the humid, hot, state of Texas. Cheers!

  • Kay

    Definitely adding these both to my list. I've seen American Psycho, but I actually didn't know it was a book! I tend to really enjoy books about serial killers….seeing into their psyche fascinates me!

  • It was a really intense book!! Very different than the movie!