(!) Dueling Monsters Reviews (!)

This is the first year that I've participated in the Dueling Monsters even and let me tell you how much fun it was.  [Shout out to Trish and Jill and the Estella Society!]

The two monsters competing?  Hannibal Lector in Red Dragon and Patrick Bateman in American Psycho.  So, who's the most monstrous?!

Here's the thing...initially I would want to say Mr. Lector, hands down because you know, he EATS people and all.  But there's something sick and twisted about a sociopathic killer.  (Also, after reading Red Dragon, I was more freaked out by the Tooth Fairy than anything else).


Title: Red Dragon
Author:  Thomas Harris
Pub: Dutton Adult; 2000
Pages: 368
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense
So there's this serial killer referred to as "The Tooth Fairy" and his schtick is to ritualistically kill families and bite the women.  The FBI seeks out Graham, who has been living a low-key kinda retirement since he had a run in with Hannibal Lector.  There's not many deets in what happened to Graham when he first took down Lector, other than it appears as if the mad crazy cannibal had attempted to eat him.  Graham must confront his issthues that still haunt him and ask HL for help.  Of course, it's not as though hanging out with HL is all fun and games and kittens.  (He'd probably eat them too given the opportunity).
The story with the Tooth Fairy was frightening.  I admit that the procedural passages bored me because that's just not my thing, but when I was reading the actual inside-the-head of The Tooth Fairy with that all "hey he could be that person I work with who was always just a little off" had me spooked.  More than any other horror books.

As far as the Dueling Monsters point - most devilish thing that Lector did? Finding out where Graham lived and sending evil his way.  

Also, I just did some snooping and evidently Red Dragon The Movie wasn't the first adaptation to the book; Manhunter was.  I searched for it on Neflix but unfortunately it's not streamlined.  


Title: American Psycho
Author: Bret Easton Ellis
Pub: Vintage; 1991
Pages: 416
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Horror

I wish that I could totally blame reading this book on Fizzy Jilly but I can't.  Truth be told, I've had this book on my shelves for nearly a year now and the Dueling Monsters event was the little bit of nudge that I needed to actually pick it up and read it.

Unfortunately because of THAT I have these graphic and horrible and gnarly images seared to my brain's eye.  Seriously.  There were parts of this book that made me so squeamish I had to set it down - a feat that has NEVER occurred and I've read Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door.

Because of the visceral reaction that I had, this book hands down earns a moment in literary brilliance.  I cannot look anyone in the face and say that Ellis cannot write or that this book isn't gripping.  BUT in the same sentence, I would repeatedly encourage the person to run far away from this novel and forewarn them that after reading this you will feel uber dirty.

American Psycho is a candid walk in the mind of psychotic Patrick Bateman.  If he's not comparing business cards and discussing the morning talk shows with his yuppie friends from Wall Street, he's working out, commenting on hard bodies, or offing bums and prostitutes.

It's a downward spiral.  I  mean, you actually see Bateman fall further into psychosis with each horrid sexual fantasy, killing fantasy, or sociopathic act.  Ellis creates images that shows like Criminal Minds imply. 

Ellis is a mastermind at exposing society at its worst.  Anyone remember Less Than Zero or Rules of Attraction? I mean, it's his THING.  And he does it magnificently.  He is not someone I would want to go out drinking with, but am happy that he is using his pen for his obvious need to release something wicked in his brain. 

The Dueling Monsters Verdict?

Definitely hands down #teambateman. I mean, seriously, Bateman comes across as this nice guy (or at least it appears that way) but in truth is a big ole wackadoo.


  1. Interesting you put those two together, I would say Hannibal for me, he is more intelligent and interesting, Bateman was narcissistic and scary.

  2. Seriously, there is no contest. Bateman would meet Hannibal for lunch, bash him for his mediocre reservation, criticize him for his wrinkled linen suit (white, and after Labor Day) and then carve new orifices into his face and then stuff french fries down into the hole. Yep, no contest.

  3. I think Hannibal would see through Mr. Bateman and have him crying under the table before the scotches even get served.

  4. Three cheers for #teambateman. Or something like that.

    I do think it takes some serious talent to write a book like that, but like you, I'd never be recommending it to anyone! And one is enough. No more Easton Ellis for me. Ever.

    Thanks for joining the Monster Mash. I'm thinking next year calls for fluffy monsters.

  5. Great post and reviews! I think you summed up the American Psycho experience perfectly. He can definitely write, and his work is often gripping, but it seems only fair to advise someone to run -- not walk -- away from that book. :-)


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