“Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do?”
Debauched corporate climbers and psychopaths are among the most unreliable of narrators. Patrick Bateman, the narrator of “American Psycho”, claims to be the greatest serial killer in American history. Why does no one notice?
Bateman, a man of excess, has us questioning if what he perceives as his immediate reality is true at all. With off hand confessions during restaurant conversations about his lust for violence and his love of guns, the people around him seem to tune him out. As readers, we are both questioning if Bateman is really saying these things outloud or what it takes to disturb these vapid people.
A lot of the scenes are described in a flat, deadpan voice as Bateman accounts explicit sex scenes with multiple women or sadistic details of murdering people. With contradictions and impossible situations unfolding, Bateman is among one of the most delusional and unreliable narrators in literature.
Implementing What We Have Learned: Writing Prompt
Write a scene where a character is airing his/her dirty laundry or hidden secrets. Take after scenes from American Psycho, where the people can’t hear your character. How do they respond? What do they say?