American Psycho Questions and Answers
by Bret Easton Ellis

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American Psycho Referencing Bonfire of the Vanities Hi, I am currently halfway through reading American Psycho. I was just wondering did Bret Easton Ellis make a reference to Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe in the Pastels chapter. When Bateman and his friends are talking about someone they mention that the person "knew Mc Coy." I was wondering if this was a reference to Sherman Mc Coy from Bonfire of the Vanities, who worked in the same company (Pierce & Pierce) as Bateman. Just thought it would be pretty cool and interesting if it was. Can't seem to find an answer anywhere online. Anyone who knows or has an opinion, I would love to hear it......

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write15,967 answers

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I think that it could be an allusion, considering that both will appeal to a similar audience. It could also be a coincidence. It's a fairly common name. You could say that if you look at it that way, you are in on the inside joke, which is basically what an allusion is.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write4,625 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

After reading your posting, I am setting American Psycho as an immediate reread for myself. It has been a while since I read the novel, but I am always curious about ties to other works. I, too, am interested if any others no the answer.

What I can say is that Bret comes off very highly educated and loves all types of art. It would not surprise me if the reference to Bonfire of the Vanities existed in the way that you suggest.

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shanewaldron | Student

It's very early in the book, in the Pastels chapter, and it's only the one line saying 'He knew Mc Coy,' nothing much relly but the name just stood out as I read Bonfire a few months previously, it would be easy to miss with all the names that get thrown around in their conversations.....