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Bookshop Raided Over American Psycho
Karl Smith , July 20th, 2015 13:20

Adelaide's Imprint Books was the subject of a (wonderfully oxymoronic) "gentle raid" at the hands of police for apparently flouting censorship laws with its improper displaying of Bret Easton Ellis' 1991 satirical novel

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Turns out print isn’t dead after all and neither is misinformed and unjustified moral outrage.

According to ABC, Imprint Books in Adelaide (AUS) was ‘gently raided’ by – some apparently very polite, possibly even contrite, hopefully totally fucking embarrassed – police officers for displaying unsealed copies of Bret Easton Ellis’ 1991 satirical (adjective: sarcastic, critical, and mocking another's weaknesses) novel American Psycho.

ABC reports that “The novel… has been classified R18 under national censorship legislation since its release in 1991, requiring it to be sold in plastic and only to those aged over 18.”

The new edition – introduced by fellow assailant of the taboo and serial twitter tennis commentator Irvine Welsh – unlike previous copies of the book supplied to Australian businesses apparently comes unwrapped: “"We just assumed the classification has been lifted … I'd actually always suspected a ploy by publishers to keep it in plastic longer because it makes it stand out on the shelf.”

While it’d be fun – frightening, pretty fucked up (all the f’s, basically) – if police were spending time and money sending plain clothes officers to investigate the display practices of local bookshops, as per usual the whole affair is the hideous mutant child of someone’s righteous indignation.

If you’re worried there’s a chance you might somehow also be exposed to an unsheathed copy of a 24-year-old work of fiction, take a breath – there’s good news: "Police spoke with bookstore staff, who were very co-operative, and the matter was resolved to the satisfaction of police". Alternatively, try some sort of helpline.

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Jul 20, 2015 5:50pm

Anyone who can get passed 3 pages of descriptions of Cerruti 1881 suits and Manolo Blahnik shoes - especially in the early chapters will find a gruesomely wry novel that is sharply hyper-reflective of the NYC money bubble of the mid to late 80's. Patrick is an 80's Anti-Hero of that cool, confident facade that was seen as life among the Wall Street young bucks of the time.

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Jul 20, 2015 9:24pm

One of the best books about America ever written.

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Scroty poloty
Jul 20, 2015 11:10pm

ban this filth !

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Jul 21, 2015 2:49am

Living here in Adelaide -- it is weirdly conservative in many ways, like the rest of nanny state Australia. Some self proclaimed watchdog-of-one tipped the plod. Glad we are protecting ourselves from the evils of literature though, shudder to think what effect this decades old classic could have on the minds of the youth. Hilarious. Watch out Nabokov!

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Manuel Humbert
Jul 21, 2015 8:16am

In reply to Kook:

I wish the police would take my book off the shelves. I might sell a few copies.

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Jul 22, 2015 5:36am

In reply to Kook:

Yes, agree with your points about our Adelaide's nannying side. The bookshop owner, in an interview, stated that his store recently received it from the publisher, for the first time since publication, without the plastic wrapping - and he put it on the shelf as it was. He also hilariously made the point that the book should probably be banned for the quality of the writing, not the graphic content, which features in so many other books these days. Imprints is a great store so let's hope this gets sorted.

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