This classic horror novel, which inspired the famous film by Alfred Hitchcock, has been thrilling people for 50 years. It introduced one of the most unexpectedly-twisted villains of all time in Norman Bates, the reserved motel manager with a mother complex, and has been called the "first psychoanalytic thriller."
©1959 Robert Bloch; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"Icily terrifying!" (New York Times)
"A terribly chilling tale." (Bestsellers)
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
This is definitely one of those "Like the movie, love the book" type books. It is an easy listen, well read and well written. The story is easy to follow and the characters are easy to imagine... although while listening I couldn't get the original music to the 1950's movie out of my head.
While not unexpected, this book is so much better than the film, as film doesn’t allow us to share headspace with Norman. I always read that Norman Bates was based on Ed Gein, but I never really got that from the film. The novel drives that comparison home. Thanks (?), Bloch, for making Gein part of the cultural awareness. The bit with the human drum at the beginning was pure lurid horror comic territory. The two views of the strip tease was simultaneously delightful 50’s cheesecake while pointing out the problems with the male gaze. It’s a fast and fun listen and worth the time.
I should say that I have never seen the movie (unlike most reviewers, I think). But the basic plot line seemed so familiar. Adult son lives at home with a cruel mother. Years of abuse turn him into a monster. I expect Alfred Hitchcock did a lot with this, and that theme was new and cutting edge risque at the time. It feels like an overused theme to me now. None of the characters interested me. I did not even finish this. If you loved the movie and want to relive it through an audiobook, I expect you will like this. Otherwise, you might be bored like me.
This was very good entertainment! Narration was good. I saw the movie multiple times, but never read the book. It was better than the movie!
If you like horror and have no idea how this story ends, this will be an absolute treat. Alas, for those of us who've seen the movie, the big shock is just not that shocking anymore. Still, I was entertained throughout (well, except during the epilogue where a psychologist drones on and on explaining Norman) and the narrator did an excellent job.
Side note: I so identify Norman Bates with Anthony Perkins that it was odd to hear him described as fat in the book.
I have hundreds so placement does not come easy. I'd say in the top 100.
Yes. Paul Michael Garcia is one of my favorites. Some books make my wish list because he is the narrator. How does this one compare? It is right up there with all of his other performances.
NA -- As this book has already been a movie and a mini-series, another version would be overdone.
Wow this book was intense. Honestly I had to remind myself I wasn't enjoying a Stephen King novel. It has all the thrill, excitement, twists, etc. I know, I know, it's a classic and I have no excuse for having not read it before now. It's just when I normally think of classics I think of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and the Bronte sisters. Well, anyway this book is spooky and exciting, and I completely recommend it, especially if like me, you've never bothered to watch the movie. This was an incredibly fun experience for me.
I listen to a variety of audio books constantly in car and gym. My reviews remind me what I’ve read & are hopefully helpful to you as well.
I admit, I've never actually seen the whole movie. I just see bits and pieces on TV once in a while. I never sat down and watched more than 10 minutes of it, but I did enjoy the book and it makes me want to watch the whole movie.
This was very good. I did not expect Norman Bates to be such a relatable character, who doesn't love a psyco you can feel bad for.
By far the mother.
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