Bret Easton Ellis’s Quotes 💬

Besides the quotes in his stories, Bret Easton Ellis has shared his opinions about the world throughout the decades.

Bret Easton Ellis

American Author

From intense action-filled books to short stories about the decadent lifestyle of young adults, American author and short story writer Bret Easton Ellis uses quotes to present his universe. As most of his stories are in the first-person narrative, they portray the characters’ mindsets and desires. Scattered throughout the novels of Bret Easton Ellis are quotes about consumerism, individuality, impression, hatred, doubt, and love.


There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman, some kind of abstraction, but there is no real me, only an entity, something illusory, and though I can hide my cold gaze and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable: I simply am not there.

Throughout ‘American Psycho‘ Bret Easton Ellis showed Patrick Bateman’s struggle with identity. Unable to express himself in a world filled with excessive materialism and consumerism, Patrick admitted he believed he was nothing but an empty shell. He explained that he was nothing but the sum of his material possessions, objects with no value.

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was, simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning.

Struggling to maintain a persona, Patrick hated people and society. He hated how everyone focused on the next big thing. However, Patrick hated himself the most. He despised his existence and felt that the only way for others to feel his pain was for him to give it to them; this made him a serial killer.


Every book for me is an exorcism in some way or another, working through my feelings at the time.

After ‘Less Than Zero,’ many people believed that Bret Easton Ellis enjoyed sadism. However, ‘American Psycho‘ sealed the deal, making him the go-to writer for intense violence. Years later, Bret admitted that he created Patrick Bateman after himself. The statement above also confirmed a stipulation that Bret created his stories based on his emotional drive. It showed that the writer used the deepest darkest parts of his past to create stories that reflected his world views.

Less Than Zero

I had no idea that ‘Less Than Zero’ was going to be read by anyone outside of Los Angeles, and believe me, as the writer of the book, I’m somewhat amused and intrigued by the idea that 25 years later, it’s still out and people are still reading it.

Before he finished The Buckley School, Bret Easton Ellis started working on a novel. He wrote it throughout high school and released it while at college. The book’s success shocked even him, as he never expected it to blow up the way it did. Upon its release, ‘Less Than Zero’ became a controversy magnet as many people frowned on its intense storyline.

Mental Degradation

There are no more barriers to cross. All I have in common with the uncontrollable and the insane, the vicious and the evil, all the mayhem I have caused and my utter indifference toward it I have now surpassed. My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not hope for a better world for anyone, in fact, I want my pain to be inflicted on others. I want no one to escape, but even after admitting this, there is no catharsis, my punishment continues to elude me, and I gain no deeper knowledge of myself; no new knowledge can be extracted from my telling. This confession has meant nothing.

Throughout Bret Easton Ellis’s novels, the central theme of mental degradation recurs. Most of his characters got mentally degraded, and the culprit is society. From Patrick to Anne and others, Bret portrays how his characters’ decline comes from their interaction with a decadent society high on drug-filled parties, vain sex, and materialistic gluttony.

I like to dissect girls. Did you know I’m utterly insane?

Though he was a Wall Street Banker, Patrick Bateman was mentally ill. He was a noncontingent human being who lacked a conscience. Patrick became a serial killer and murdered men, women, and children. He dished out the chaos in the world and never took pity on his victims. He was mentally bankrupt and caused havoc because of his inability to be a sane human.

There’s no use in denying it: this has been a bad week. I’ve started drinking my own urine.

After killing so many people, Patrick got worse and acted irrationally. He started eating the flesh of his victims and even drank his urine. Patrick became a mess internally and externally. However, the worst part of his problems came when he learned he never killed Paul Owen.


Got you. You’re mine now. For the rest of the day, week, month, year, life. Have you guessed who I am? Sometimes I think you have. Sometimes when you’re standing in a crowd, I feel those sultry, dark eyes of yours stop on me. Are you too afraid to come up to me and let me know how you feel? I want to moan and writhe with you, and I want to go up to you, kiss your mouth, and pull you to me and say: “I love you, I love you, I love you,” while stripping.

Bret’s portrayal of obsession is exquisite. From ‘The Rules of Attraction’ to ‘American Psycho,’ he showed how far it can go when not properly handled. In ‘The Rules of Attraction,’ Sean Bateman gets a letter from an admirer who expresses her love. She explains how much she craves his attention and believes they should be together. Though writing a love letter is not an evil deed, the way she presents it is so obsessive that it gives an insight into her mind.


No one ever likes the right person.

The statement above talks about love and attraction. It argues that no one ever likes the right person. It tugs at a concept that has existed since the beginning of humanity. People never go for those that are right for them because they do not understand the difference between their wants and needs. They go for people they believe will perfectly fit their lifestyle instead of those who will complete them in imperfection.


The better you look, the more you see.

The world is an incredibly vain place where all attention is on superficiality instead of depth of character. The statement above talks about how much value society places on outward appearance instead of what is within. In ‘American Psycho,’ Patrick appeared to be the definition of a perfect man. However, his mask of sanity got destroyed.


What is a quote by Patrick Bateman?

My pain is constant and sharp, and I do not wish for a better world for anyone.

Why did Patrick become a serial killer?

Patrick was in a society that favored unhealthy competition over personal improvement. His world was brutal and lopsided. With extreme materialism, drugs, and never-ending decadence, Patrick slipped into insanity. Unable to keep up with the demands of his twisted imagination, he became a killer to feel happy.

What are some quotes by Bret Easton Ellis?

Are you as much of a criminal if you don’t act when there’s a crime taking place in front of you as you are one of the participants? That was something that I was thinking about a lot because there are many moments in ‘Less Than Zero’ where horrific things happen, and Clay could do something about them, but his passivity stops him.

Who inspired Bret to write American Psycho?

Though he initially stated his father inspired Patrick Bateman’s character, Bret Easton Ellis later admitted he created Patrick from himself. He said he was at a low point in life, and the inspiration for ‘American Psycho’ came.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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