Time and Spy magazines printed excerpts from the book before publication. Time chose a passage in which a woman is skinned alive, Spy a scene in which the narrator removes a victim’s head and sodomizes it. Simon and Schuster, Ellis’ publishing house, paid him a $300,000 advance on the book and then refused to publish the delivered manuscript after women in the firm and outside women’s groups began protesting; before the protests the editors were simply performing the same revisions on the book that they would with any other novel.
There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman; some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable… I simply am not there.
Bateman’s narrative revolves around his murderous activities, and includes buying and returning video tapes, making and attempting to make reservations at trendy restaurants, the pursuit of cocaine in dance clubs, dates with various women, rivalries with colleagues, parties with vacuous associates, the avoiding of Luis (a homosexual non-love interest), rivalry with Bateman’s own brother, and pointless disputes at restaurants and bars over pop culture and fashion trivia.
Starling interviews Lecter in his cell, which is located at a distance from the other patients on his block. Upon meeting Lecter, Starling notices that he is strangely pleasant and well-mannered, almost to an extent that would be considered charming. But this awkward charm is accompanied with occasional random attacks on Starling’s appearence and emotional flaws. Lecter refuses fill out the questionaire, and rudely sends Starling on her way. As she leaves, a mentally ill patient down the block flings semen at her.
I think, the main and only difference between American Psycho and The Silence of The Lambs is in the point of view. American Psycho is what Silence would have been like if it had been told from the Buffalo Bill character’s point of view. Silence is acceptable because it is told from the female protagonist’s point of view. But strong female characters exist in American Psycho, they’re just seen through the sick mind of Patrick Bateman. How would the good(?) Clarice Starling character in Silence have fared from the point of view of one of the insane characters?