Author: Robert Bloch
First Published: 1959
Page Count: 175
Film/ TV Adaptation: Yes*
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Everyone has heard of Psycho, but the original book tells the true tale of Norman Bates and his murderous motel.
*Dull Secondary Characters
“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.” A woman on the run makes the mistake of turning into the desolate Bates Motel on a stormy night. Little does she know that the owner, Norman Bates, isn’t quite right in the head. His puritanical upbringing and mental instability will end up costing her more than the money she puts down for a one night stay and it will shed a light on the house of horrors that have taken root at the Bates Motel over the years.
I’ve heard of Psycho the film, but I had never actually seen it. I had also watched the movie Hitchcock, which follows how Alfred Hitchcock went about making the famous film, so I was pretty motivated to eventually experience the story. I managed to get my hands on the book first, so I decided to finally give it a try and I was not disappointed. Norman Bates is one of the most notorious villains in cinematic history and literature. I can see why; the author slowly reveals the insane reality that Norman is living in and the twisted childhood he had with his witch of a mother, Norma, and it is gripping. Even already having an idea about what the story was about from hearing about it in pop culture, that did not lessen my interest in the story at all.
The book is very short and could probably be finished in less than a day. Therefore, I didn’t have too many problems with it because it is so straightforward and interesting that it’s easy to get through. However, when the reader isn’t with Norman Bates or at the motel, the story falls flat. I was pretty bored with the other characters, and just wanted to fly past those parts of the story to get back to Norman. He’s the real jewel of the book.
I don’t see how anyone could not want to check out this book unless you’re opposed to the horror genre. It’s easily a classic because of the crazed killer that Bloch has crafted and the book is so short that it would be easy to knock out in a day. Psycho is a no brainer if you’re looking for a good book.
*Film Adaptation: ( Directed by Alfred Hitchcock 1960, Starring Vince Vaughn 1998)