Obviously Pat Bateman is a sick fuck, but the most jarring thing is that the pacing of the book allows you to see yourself in him first. Conscious about social etiquette, playing cool all the time. Then you also see him in the people around you. He lies to his girlfriend without an inch of guilt and later ends things with her in the same way, feeling nothing. It’s that trance state which allows him to kill and torture random people and never look back on it. This character is–at once–an unhinged, psychopathic murderer stabbing bums and shooting people with nailguns and a regular person making dinner reservations and stanning Whitney Houston.
One woman admits to Bateman that she’s been abused by a boyfriend before. She cries talking to him about it. Then after they have sex he pretty much tells her to leave unless she wants to get hurt. So she starts getting ready and he’s saying it again to go before something bad happens and she’s like, yea that’s why I’m leaving. American Psycho reveals itself at that moment as a story about proximity. Reading him deadbolting his locks with his ex-girlfriend from college inside had me SICK like dude come on. I was so mad at her for going upstairs, for even having lunch with him. You wish a person like him wouldn’t exist. You wish the book didn’t even exist. But it does, and you can’t do anything about it.