I just finished reading Robert Bloch’s Psycho, which the movie from the 1960’s is based upon. This book itself is based upon the Ed Gein murders, which was a much used source of inspiration for many other movies, books and tv shows throughout the 60’s and 80’s, not to mention The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I first saw the original Psycho movie in the 1990’s and loved it. Sure, it had its problems, but it was fun. The remake came out in 1998, which I hated, even at twelve years old. Although I am not pictured in it, because I was taking the photo, when I went to Universal Studios Florida as a child, we got a pic of the house from the film. I also went to Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts. Which, one of my principals looked a lot like Anthony Perkins. So to say I haven’t loved this film for years would be an understatement.
The book was originally written in 1959, and took only one year for it come come to the big screen, which would be in 1960. The impact of this movie would be felt for generations to come, as it gave birth to the slasher genre and without it, we wouldn’t have all the fantastic 80’s movies, like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm St without it. While the movie is still more spoken about than the novel is, I am going to review this anyways. So without further ado, here is Robert Bloch’s novel, Psycho!
A young woman steals $40,000 dollars from her boss and set out to find a new life, when she stops at the Bates’ Motel. Little does she know what is going on in such a secluded place out here on the new highway and the ramifications of her actions result in a unexpected twist!
The characters are developed slightly better than the movie, but still not enough to care about in this novel, which is a shame too, because the additional information of the characters in the novel make the movie a lot more interesting.
Fine as is. As I always point out, dialogue is hard to screw up.
Nothing horrible, but it has some flaws like misplaced expository aspects within, but otherwise, just fine.
If anything about this book needs to be said, it is how this is really more relevant than ever before, given the Millennial male is a typical momma’s boy.
The novel isn’t bad, but it lacks the suspense of the movie. Robert was better than a lot of writers in his time frame, but this book isn’t the best example of this. Psycho is just mediocre compared to what people think about the movie and it is hard to imagine this book being so lucky as to create a movie so soon, when a lot of other books have taken longer to grace the silver screen. The twist is given away by chapter 10 or 11 and it is a downhill ride from there that ever even had an ascent. It could of ended a whole 4 chapters earlier than it did and might of salvaged itself, but it didn’t and it only made reading this to the end even more tedious, which is a shame, given it is such a short book. All of the movie’s iconic moments are there, accept non of Hitchcock’s suspense is there to make it worthwhile, nor is the line “We all go a little mad sometimes”. The tension doesn’t exist, the writing is only ok, but it is still a decent read.
3 out of 5.