S.G. Browne

A is for American (Psycho and Gods)

Okay. I’ve started a new blog endeavor, which is to share my favorite books I’ve read from A to Z. To be clear, I’m not saying these are the best books beginning with these letters. Just the best books I’ve read throughout my life. For the sake of argument, I’ve left out short story collections and anthologies and have stuck mostly with fiction, though one or two works of non-fiction might make it in.

I’ll include my favorite novel, then one or two runners-up and, occasionally, one novel I couldn’t stand. These will usually be classic works of literature I was forced to read in school, which I’m still happy to complain about. And I invite you to share your thoughts on my picks and your own favorite novels that begin with each letter.

So, without further delay, we’ll get on with the letter A:

And the winner is:
American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis
A friend bought this for me years ago. I doubt I would have picked it up myself and had no idea what it was about but found it amusing, compelling, inspiring, disturbing, and impossible to stop thinking about. Great satire and social commentary, with an ending that I found ambiguously perfect.

Close but no cigar:
American Gods andAnansi Boys, Neil Gaiman
I’m not sure which one I enjoyed more, so I’ll include them both here. I loved the themes of immortality and the way Gaiman played with concepts of gods in American Gods, but found the storytelling in Anansi Boys to be more playful and engaging. Either one is well worth the time. Read them both.

What about…?
The first novel to come to mind for A was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll but, um, well, I haven’t read it.

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Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 5:08 pm

3 Comments »

  1. American Psycho is definitely one of those books that just sticks with. Engaging and imaginative, Ellis wrote it in such a perspective that you, as the reader, felt just as crazy as Bateman. I loved the ending to this book, as well as the other countless books, and films that end in a similar way. Ambiguity is normally the best way to go in a story of this nature, because you risk destroying the feel that was created before. I understand how some would feel annoyed, or even angry by it, but for me it fits so perfectly. I’ve talked up American Psycho for years, the problem is if you explain anything about the book to someone, they’re immediately turned off.

    Comment by Sam Coombs — April 15, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

  2. I loved the narrative, the constant describing of details, and the way you feel like you’re in his head. I think people are turned off because they think of the book as misogynistic, which is a view I disagree with.

    Thanks for leaving a reply, Sam!

    Comment by admin — April 16, 2010 @ 12:33 pm

  3. Somehow, I managed not to include ANIMAL FARM by Orwell in here as one of the runners-up. It’s inclusion, I think, speaks for itself.

    Comment by admin — April 18, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

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