By Robert Bloch
Why this book?
First up on my list is the book that inspired what would be considered one of the first “slasher” blockbusters. Deviating a bit from the Alfred Hitchcock film, Bloch’s Psycho is much closer to showing what a serial murdering psychopath would actually look like. Where the film was limited in censorship, Bloch threw everything out on the table. In the book, Norman Bates is not some unassuming young man with mother issues; he is an overweight loner whose sexual repression plays a much larger role in the story and its subsequent outcome. Both book and film are classics in their own rights, but I really appreciated how Bloch showed a realistic, timeless look into what the “boy next door” really looks like: a ruthless serial killer, one who never hesitates to dress up in his mother’s bathrobe and come visit you in the shower.
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