American Psycho At 30


2021032520210607 (R4)
20210801 (R4)
Bret Easton Ellisís third novel, American Psycho, was nearly not published. Leaked pages of some of the novelís most violent scenes provoked outrage, and the original publishers pulled out.

But 30 years on, the bookís cultural relevance is hard to deny, as is its eerie prescience. The world of Wall Street serial killer Patrick Bateman looks alarmingly similar to today's world - a consumerist, narcissistic and brand-obsessed society, rife with racism and misogyny, and perhaps most eerie of all, an obsession with Donald Trump.

The writer Octavia Bright unravels why this acerbic satire of a cruel capitalist world, and its dubious social and cultural values, continues to resonate. She unpacks our reaction to disturbing and disgust-provoking literature, asking why this novel struck such a nerve.

Octavia speaks to Bret Easton Ellis, the filmís director Mary Harron, Professor of Business Ethics John Paul Rollert, Professor of Social Psychology Sophie Russell, an expert in the emotion of disgust, and novelist Eliza Clark. With readings from the novel by Christopher Ragland.

Did we never leave the 80s? Are we all psychos now?

Presenter: Octavia Bright

Producer: Sasha Edye-Lindner

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Writer Octavia Bright explores how Bret Easton Ellis's novel resonates, 30 years on.