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Publisher's Summary

It was a dark and stormy night when Mary Crane glimpsed the unlit neon sign announcing the vacancy at the Bates Motel. Exhausted, lost, and at the end of her rope, she was eager for a hot shower and a bed for the night. Her room was musty, but clean, and the manager seemed nice, if a little odd.

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.

Critic Reviews

"Icily terrifying!" (New York Times)
"A terribly chilling tale." (Bestsellers)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Interesting

Never read it never thought I would read it but saw it was on sale so tries it not a bad read at all I found it interesting. Definetly worth a read if you have the time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

a ride of craziness

What did you love best about Psycho?

The book teaches you that any one can be a pyscho because of a terrible situation that happened you

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes it did. U keep wondering is Bates really mad and is his mothers dead or alive . Loved it

Did Paul Michael Garcia do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes he did. The privateer detective was the best. Everyone Sounded different

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

We all get a little crazy sometimes

Any additional comments?

The book actually teaches you about psychology and personality disorders and its different forms.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • 504033
  • Draper, UT, United States
  • 11-15-12

Great timeless Story

Would you consider the audio edition of Psycho to be better than the print version?

I loved listing to this story. It was done

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this very fast over two days. I didnt want to turn it off.

Any additional comments?

Great book. I knew the story but it would have been increadable to read it and not know what was going on.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Cynthia
  • Monrovia, California, United States
  • 02-28-16

We're all not quite as same as we pretend to be

The first time I read Robert Bloch's "Psycho" (1959) was in 1975. The highest grossing movie that year - and the movie that single finnedly built Universal into a theme park - was "Jaws". Adapted from Peter Benchley's 1974 novel, that monster was grotesque, alien and incredibly gory. I'd seen Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 movie and expected the same violence in Bloch's book, but "Psycho" was much more subtle. It's a psychological thriller, not a slash fest.

"Psycho" is very much a book of its times. It's set in an era when women were desperate to wed, and having a job was a shameful marks of the lower working class. Mary Crane is so set on marriage to a penurious Sam Loomis, wracked with inherited debt, that when the opportunity presents itself, she absconds with $40,000. The irony is that Loomis wouldn't want someone willing to commit a crime for him.

Mary Crane gets truly lost in a way that was only possible in a pre-GPS, pre-cell phone, pre-credit card world and ends up at The Bates Motel, dilapidated and long forgotten by a freeway bypass. It's raining, though, and there's nothing else for miles and miles. Norman Bates, long bullied by his mother, dares to stand up to the elderly harridan, relents and rents a room for the night to Mary Crane.

Mary Crane meets an end presaged by the infamous shower scene so adeptly filmed by Hitchcock. (And no, you never actually see a knife.) Later, a private investigator, Loomis, and Lila Crane, Mary's sister, come looking for her. What actually happened to Mary is never in doubt - but what happened to Norman and his mother is.

There are parts of this book that are going to offend modern sensibilities. There's an inherent prejudice against a class of people -based on immutable characteristics - people who are still sometimes unfairly maligned. It's not possible to discuss what the issue is without revealing the plot. The stereotyping was acceptable in 1959, but it's not today. The prejudice is informative in the way that Mark Twain's casual use of racial slurs in "Huck Finn" (1885) is. Both books are snapshots of a past time, when mores were different. Bloch does attempt a more nuanced psychological approach to the issue than could have been appreciated when the book was written, though.

Paul Michael Garcia was okay as narrator. I did find his performance of Lila Crane simpering, which was a little off-putting.

The title of the review is a quote from the book.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

7 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

great classic story and great narrator

this was very good. the narrator is really very good so that makes it so much more enjoyable - don't like a bad narrator. loved hearing more to the story than the movie i know so well - worth listening to for a classic scary story!

3 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pavel
  • Czech Republic
  • 05-21-10

on pair with movie

Honestly, I can't decide if movie was better than audiobook, but I'm inclined to favor the book. Your imagination can create pictures you haven't seen in the movie, especially when listening to what's going on in his mind.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

More detail than the movie

I liked the narration, Paul Michael Garcia has a voice that is a perfect balance of clarity, pitch, and timing. It keeps you engaged and adds to the writing, keeps the story moving along (as opposed to being a distraction).
Oh, and this is a great, original story!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Masterful Narration to a Classic

What made the experience of listening to Psycho the most enjoyable?

Paul Michael Garcia's narration is incredible. He paces every voice so well, each character has their own cadence. He adds to the drama.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There is a moment when Norman is putting Mother into the fruit cellar where the narrator has delivers a chilling line in Mother's voice.

Any additional comments?

The brevity of this book is one of is best features. Doesn't over stay its welcome and tells a concise story. Excellent listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Great Listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, this book was great! I had already seen the movie so I knew more or less how the story would end. Even though I had an idea how the book would end it still held my interest.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Psycho?

I enjoyed getting to know Norman more. I've seen the movie and the Netflix series Bates Motel it was nice to have more Norman in my life.

What about Paul Michael Garcia’s performance did you like?

He did a great job reading. I really enjoyed his voice and found it very soothing, he also did a great job with different character voices.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Norma(n)?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Saw movie first

It's quite interesting to listen after seeing the movie. Don't skip the book if you've seen the movie.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful