American Psycho was found to be gruesome and disgusting back in its day when first published. Almost quarter of a century later – in a move which would no doubt delight its controversial author – Bret Easton Ellis’s divisive novel has become the subject of a police raid, after a bookshop in Adelaide was asked to remove copies of the book from shelves when it was discovered to be on sale without the required plastic wrapping.
Ever since American Psycho was first published in 1991, Australia’s classification laws have given it a “restricted classification” and insisted that it only be sold “in a sealed wrapper and to adults”.
According to Jason Lake, co-owner of Adelaide bookseller Imprints Booksellers, the latest edition, featuring an introduction from Irvine Welsh, arrived from the publisher without the necessary wrapper.
He said he had a phone call from a lady on Tuesday who was quite aggressive and questioned why we were selling this classified product out of its wrapper. My defence was it came to us like this. He said there was no way he would have removed the wrapping. Lake said he was asked to remove the book from the shelves by the police. The Police spoke with bookstore staff, who were very co-operative, and the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of police