Monday, May 18, 2015

Psycho by Robert Bloch

4.5 Stars

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That’s what I tell my boys all the time. I hope they turn out just as friendly and loyal to their momma as Norman did.

Is there anyone even on the planet who hasn’t at least heard of Psycho before? What can I say that you don’t already know? Well, I can confirm that this book is short at roughly 200 pages. Due to its brevity, I can also say not a paragraph is wasted on filler. Every scene that occurs does so for a reason. What else? Ah yes, the writing. If I hadn’t already been privy to the fact this was an oldie by a goodie, I would have never guess this story to be 50+ years old. The subject matter as well as use of graphic language is not something I’m accustomed to when reading books that are a bit long in the tooth. Bloch had zero fear when tackling the taboo, that’s for sure. If you’re someone with a bit of a . . . dark sense of humor like me, you might even find yourself getting a morbid chuckle or two . . .

“No sense crying over spilt milk, though. Even if it hadn’t been milk.”

As is the case with me and most things dubbed “horror” I wouldn’t put Psycho in that category. Instead I’d call it a riveting page-turner of a suspense. One that I’d highly recommend to all.

If you’re not interested in the book, but rather the film I ask you – WHAT THE F*&^ ARE YOU DOING ON A BOOKNERD SITE?!?!?!? Nah, just kidding. The differences in the translation from page to screen lie almost exclusively in the casting. As my friend Ed called out in his review, the book version Norman Bates was a fella who was a bit festively plump – proving that the casting of this guy . . .

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was spot on if the remake had been done a few years later. Poor Vince. Remember when he was a real looker????

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(Well, not compared to Jeff Goldblum, but he wasn’t anything to chuck a rock at)

The only other Hitchcockian magic? Tweaking the following line into one of the most quotable of all times . . .

“I think perhaps all of us go a little crazy at times.”

and creating another use for chocolate syrup ; )

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