The Therapy Diaries Chapter 19: American Psycho the sequel?!?!

I bet you had no idea did you? That American Psycho, the polarising (to put it mildly) masterpiece (to be even more understated) from Bret Easton Ellis, has a sequel.

I mean the book, obviously. Not that ridiculously boring movie adaptation everyone creams over for some reason. Sure, Christian Bale is amazing in his portrayal of Bateman, but that’s about it. Everyone bangs on about the axe scene with Paul Allen (Paul Owen in the book, why was that even changed?) and Bateman screaming “try and get a reservation at Dorsia now” or something like that. Like, it’s kinda funny, I guess? In the book there’s an entire chapter called “Killing child at zoo”. Now that shit is FUNNY.

I specify the book because I’m pretty sure the film does have a sequel. In which Bateman has a daughter, and she follows in her father’s footsteps. I believe the daughter is played by Mila Kunis even? Who knows. I don’t care enough to Google it, put it in that column (this sentence will make sense once you’ve read Belonging…).

I was going to get back to the emails, but one second. The film of American Psycho is ridiculous for many reasons. The main one is subtlety. That isn’t the fault of the film itself, per se, but a flaw in the genre. Movies can only be subtle to a point. Things are shown, because of the very nature of the medium, and can’t always be told. It’s why 95% of Stephen King adaptations are crap: because most of what happens in King books happens in characters’ heads. Same thing for Bret Easton Ellis books. Like, there’s a second that starts something like “I won’t lie, it’s been a bad few weeks. I’ve been drinking my urine. Sleeping under my futon…” etc. etc. The novel is so train of thought, so Kafka-esque (from the Kafka epigrath onwards, right to the very last page), that to turn it into a film is to remove an essential part of the self of the book. The whole thing about the book is whether Bateman actually committed any of the murders he talks about, or whether he’s just going insane. (I know, I know, why not both?)

In the book, as Ellis revealed recently, the opening chapter heading is the answer we’ve all wondered. That heading? April Fool’s Day. So tell me, do you think the events took place or not?

Anyway, whilst Ellis has teased a sequel himself a few times over the years, most notably when he tweeted a bunch (when he still did tweet) about Bateman meeting David Beckham. But actually, there is a sequel of sorts. The one good thing about the movie of American Psycho is that, as part of the promotional material upon its release, an author was commissioned to write a series of emails from Patrick Bateman to his psychiatrist, several years after the events of the novel.

Now I’ve read these emails a bunch of times, almost as many times as I’ve read the novel, and could talk about them for days, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to leave you with a couple of my favourite quotes from the book, then a link to the emails, and let you make up your own mind.


“Another broken scene in what passes for my life…”

“On the seals tank a plaque warns: COINS CAN KILL – IF SWALLOWED, COINS CAN LODGE IN AN ANIMAL’S STOMACH AND CAUSE ULCERS, INFECTIONS AND DEATH. DO NOT THROW COINS IN THE POOL. So what do I do? Toss a handful of change into the tank…”

“Since it’s impossible in the world we live in to empaphize with others…”

What a fucking broken man. Here’s his emails:

American Psycho 2000

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