American Psycho

American Psycho


Bret Easton Ellis

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American Psycho: Smith & Wollensky Summary & Analysis

Bateman is sitting at drinks with McDermott; they’re waiting for Harold Carnes, who never shows up. They make the move to dinner, going to Smith & Wollensky. Bateman is dazed, thinking about a cousin of his who also rapes and murders women, until McDermott stops to berate him for not ordering hash browns. You don’t come to Smith & Wollensky and not order hash browns, he says. “Jesus, Bateman, you’re a raving maniac,” McDermott says. Bateman is struggling to make sense of his situation, noticing for the first time the brightly painted walls and listening intently to the sounds of Frank Sinatra’s “Witchcraft” floating through the restaurant.
This would be the first time (that we know) that Bateman has seen his lawyer, Harold Carnes, since leaving his confessional voicemails (if the voicemails ever happened, that is). Luckily, Carnes doesn’t show. In a rare mention of family, Bateman’s daydream about his cousin points to a streak of violence or mental illness in his family, but is interrupted by McDermott’s ranting over something as inconsequential as hash browns. Clearly not in his right mind, Bateman goes back into his daze, losing himself as Sinatra’s devilish lyrics float through the air.
Materialism and Consumption Theme Icon
Identity and Isolation Theme Icon
Monotony and Desensitization Theme Icon
Vice and Violence Theme Icon