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Psycho [Paperback]

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
NORMAN BATES heard the noise and a shock went through him. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bates is open for buissness May 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was an interesting piece of late 50s pulp fiction that is not bad, and ordinarily would not have been really remarkable, except it was the basis for one of the greatest horror movies of all time. I know what you are thinking; but this is Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho"! Well, no it isn't. It is Robert Bloch's novel. The plot is the same as the movie; Marian Crane steals money from her boss, and runs away to be with her boyfriend. She ends up in a small rundown motel run by shy but odd Norman Bates (who is described as fat with glasses here). Well, the rest is history. The book is a little different in the level of violence that was in the book that was missing in the movie, and I thought that was pretty cool. The problem is that almost everyone in the world has seen the movie, so the end is kind of ruined. But it dose offer a little more insight into Norman; he likes books on voodo and hypnotism, as well as adult magazeens. He is a lot less sympathetic here than he was in the movie, but that is ok. It is a fast read, and it offers a little more insight into the movie.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a curious piece of 1950s pulp fiction.. Oct. 4 2003
By lazza
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'Psycho' by Robert Bloch would most certainly be long forgotten and probably out of print if it weren't for its brilliant film adaptation. Actually it is one of those unusual cases where the film is actually better than the book; the film's screenwriter (Joseph Stephano) did a great job. So what does the book offer?
While all the major elements found in the film 'Psycho' are also in Robert Bloch's original novel I found the book to be relatively poorly written. Great premise with a not-so-good execution. For much better psychological/criminal character studies I recommend 'The Killer Inside Me' by Jim Thompson, or one of the many early works of Patricia Highsmith. Robert Bloch simply doesn't have the same literary strength, and the characterizations are fairly thin.
However it is very interesting to note key differences between the film and the book, and so I believe fans of Hitchcock's film will enjoy reading Robert Bloch's novel. At least it's a short read, the perfect sort of book to carry on business trip.
Bottom line: the book that spawned Norman Bates. Somewhat disappointing but most will find some reading enjoyment from it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars put yourself in the time frame Nov. 16 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading everyone else's reviews and seeing what mostly everyone else had to say, I want to agree that the film is better than the novel. But, I still loved the novel. I think the bet way to enjoy it is to put yourelf in the time frame. It's 1959, a time that when we look back on it we think of a better more peaceful time. And the people thought they were living basically in peace. Then word spreads the country of a small town man from Plainfield, Wisconsin, (a town you've probably never even heard of). A man who has killed 2 women and done horrendous things to them. A man who has dug up at least 9 graves at cemetarys in the area. You don't know all the facts, but you have heard rumors of cannibalism and other suh terrible things. You are disgusted and terrified, yet eager to know more. Then, Robert Bloch, a more or less unheard of author at the time writes a book and says it is based on the Gein case. You recognise the name Gein as the small town man from Plainfield, Wisconsin. Eager to get inside his head, you read Psycho. It gives you an insight into Ed Gein's head through the character of Norman Bates and this terrifies you. You did not think anyone could ever be *that* Psycho, and with everything that is going on, you know that it may not be just a book, but a reality. My point is, while, even though it is a good, fast, enjoyable read, it may not seem very terrifying to you. But If you think back to the time it was written, you may get a better perspective. If you are looking for a horror that reads fast, and just hppens to be true (except for the hotel and other fictional facts) read Psycho; if you are looking to be really truly scared, watch the movie. I recommend both.
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5.0 out of 5 stars IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, YOU'RE PSYCHO May 13 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After seeing the movie for the second time I decided to read the book that inspired it. To be honest, I'd say that the movie is better overall. The book, however, is a dreadfully fast read. I could have finished it one sitting if it weren't for other chores--like cleaning the bathroom. Most impressive was how good the writing style was for 1959. It was one of the few TRUE page-turners that I've read. One thing that I didn't care about the book though was that Robert Bloch didn't handle things in chronological order like in the movie. For example: The part about the $40,000, car-switching, Mary's relationship with Sam, are only mentioned when Mary reminisces. I was also disappointed with how Sam tells how Norman Bates's mind works, instead of the psychiatrist. In short, this book is very well written and I probably would have liked it more if I'd read it first. One can easily see why it was made into a movie. So if this book is 5 stars, then I'd have to say that the movie is 6. But the book is still 5 stars.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Psycho is a great read, made even greater by the fact that the book is 40 years old! Extremely groundbreaking in the use of a pathology for the killer, it seems that Norman Bates is as much a household name in American culture as Ronald McDonald. The Alfred Hitchcock film version seems to have used the book for the script, with only minor deviations. A short read, it's impossible not to finish this in one sitting. While reading I took down four pages of quotations from this book, it's that good and inspiring. I do think this book could have been longer and bloodier provided it had been written 10-15 years later. The ending was great and overall the book was awesome. Reading it was like watching the Hitchcock version of the movie, and vice versa. A must read Horror novel. On a scale from 1-10 I'd rate this novel a 10, for its historical significance, the intensity of the story, the quote factor, and characterization.
Come on, everyone knows Norman Bates!
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast delivery
Delivered with standard delivery in only 2 days! Price was great and can't wait to read it. It's a must have for a lover of the psycho series
Published 3 months ago by Hltmom
1.0 out of 5 stars Not what I thought
I was intensely dissappointed with this product. Nowhere on the page does it say that this particular version of Psycho is NOT the one written by Robert Bloch, but is in fact... Read more
Published on Oct. 25 2007 by Alex Bergen
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome book!!!!
This is a really cool book about a crazy gut who thinks he is his dead mother some times. It's a cool book. Shower seanne is awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Published on April 30 2004 by Lauren B. Floss
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read !
I bought this book to see how close the film was to the original story. In fact it was a very faithful interpretation, so there was absolutely no surprises.
One plus. Read more
Published on July 13 2003 by Jean-Marc M Salama
2.0 out of 5 stars Third Rate Pulp Trash
My recently-purchased copy of Robert Bloch's PSYCHO features a cover photograph of Janet Leigh screaming and a quote from film director Alfred Hitchcock: "PSYCHO all came from... Read more
Published on July 4 2003 by Gary F. Taylor
3.0 out of 5 stars overrated
it is certainly not my fault this is considered a classic. horror. thriller. not great, but good, either way. simple plot. superficial descriptions. Read more
Published on April 8 2003 by jan erik storeb°
3.0 out of 5 stars Average rating, but it's still good.
I've always wanted to read this book ever since I saw Hitchcock's famous thriller movie that created the slasher film genre (true fact!). Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2002 by DJ Heinlein
2.0 out of 5 stars I saw the movie first read the book second
Like my title says and I thought the movie was better,mostly because I expected what Norman Bates looked like on screen and in the book,he's totally different. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 2002 by S. Schofield
4.0 out of 5 stars Just another opinion
Some people say the movie was better, some people say the book was better. I'd say in terms of quality, they're about equal. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2002 by Sara Howard
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.... even compared to the classic movie!!!!!!
Many critics say it can't live up to the movie, but isn't it obvious that without this book the movie wouldn't even exist? Read more
Published on July 17 2002 by "jbhapgood2"
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