Write up a short summary of the book (include the title, author, and cover art) and an explanation of why you love it.
Psycho by Robert Bloch
From my original post, May 3, 2007:
This is a re-read that didn’t disappoint. When I first read Psycho, probably in high school, maybe in college, I was too in love with the movie. The differences between the book and the movie were too great for me to enjoy the book then. Still, I saw that it was good. It was the first of Robert Bloch’s book that I’d read. I bought all the rest on the strength of this book. It might be his absolute best.
It has all the things I like about Bloch’s style. The writing is tight. There’s less description in this book. He uses it only when he needs it, never when we’re in the internal world of Norman Bates. The word usage is again very charged, manipulative. Psycho avoids the things that usually annoy me about Bloch’s plots. The novel’s contemporary setting allows for the spunky, strong female characters that Bloch likes. The gimmick is actually very simple and avoids too much of the twisting some of Bloch’s later novels have. The only thing I *really* disliked was the second to last “explanation” chapter. It’s long, it’s boring. It’s fairly inaccurate in light of modern psychology, though not as bad as other more recent novels. The movie does this scene better in its very concise manner.
Why read it today? Psycho, the movie, is a classic. It set many bars for horror movies. Psycho, the book, is every bit as masterful, if very different. In retrospect, it’s unfortunate that much of horror literature weighs in far below this bar, including much of Bloch’s own work. If you’re looking for great read this October, you can’t go far wrong with a classic.
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