Patrick Bateman: ‘One of the Funniest Comic Creations Since Bertie Wooster’

Imperial Bedrooms may not be knocking the socks off the literary world, but at least Bret Easton Ellis is getting some love from The Guardian. The paper has chosen American Psycho as its latest book club selection, and critic Sam Jordison writes that the oft-maligned book has just been misunderstood: it’s super funny!

There’s no doubt that it works as an indictment of a culture.

Yet to talk of such weighty matters hardly does justice to the most significant aspect of the American Psycho reading experience: the fact that it’s hilarious. As well as being a repulsive nightmare, Patrick Bateman is a comic creation of the highest order. His snobbery, his bad taste, his obsession with Les Mis and ability to take Huey Lewis and the News seriously, his terror when someone has a better business card than him, his constant worry that he has “to return some videos” all add up to one of the funniest comic creations since Bertie Wooster. True, he isn’t quite such pleasant company as Bertie, but what did you expect? He’s a psycho.

Maybe with the rebirth of Nell’s Patrick Bateman deserves a reassessment? Maybe. At least Ellis himself seems to harbor some affection for his comic creation.