But back to American Psycho. There was a mountain of negative publicity about it when it published. All authors should be so lucky since people are far more interested in reading a book that has been denounced than one which is praised.
The most recent example of this is: Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sister Margaret A. Farley, R.S.M., Ph.D., a member of the order of the Sisters of Mercy. She is an ethicist and retired professor who taught Christian ethics at Yale Divinity School from 1971 to 2007. In other words, this 77 year old lady is a nun, a thinker, and an ethical philosopher in the long standing tradition of Christian scholarship. This is an academic book written for fellow academics. It was well reviewed in dozens of scholarly journals which focus on Christian philosophy and Christian sexuality. And it was published six years ago! No one outside of academia had ever heard of it.
Writes Maureen Dowd in her column in the New York Times on 6.6.12:
In fact, I just checked Amazon’s website (I’m writing this on 6.15.12) and the good Sister’s book is 222 on their bestsellers list! Believe me, that number means this book is flying out of Amazon’s warehouses. It has lots of five star reviews, but even better, lots of one star reviews which say things guaranteed to increase sales: “disgusting.” “shameful.”
Best of all, the “Book is condemend (sic) by the Church.” This last review lacks a certain something since the reviewer has not read the book and misspelled “condemned.” Nonetheless, having your book condemend by the Church, or even condemned, will result in sales of 500,000 copies or more. I’m sure of it. Why can’t this happen to me. If only the Pope and the Catholic Church, or any church, would denounce my novel. Even if you are not a high ranking religious figure, please denounce my novel on an internet forum.
[Source: New York Times.]