Out of all American Psycho‘s many crimes (murder, rape, torture), the one that finally got it in trouble with the police was … a lack of shrink wrap. In Australia, books with mature content can only be sold in shrink-wrapped plastic (presumably so minors don’t flip through them by accident). American Psycho is actually listed as an example in the relevant Australian legal classification code, which makes it even funnier that a recent edition of the book somehow managed to slip through unwrapped.
This production error did not escape the notice of one concerned customer, who called Imprints Booksellers in Adelaide, aggressively complaining about the unwrapped novel, according to ABC News Australia. Shortly after, Imprints owner Jason Lake was contacted by police and told to remove it from his shelves.
“It was very gentle and polite … I just think it’s ludicrous that this person complained about the book,” Lake told the Sydney Morning Herald. Lake had been selling the unwrapped version since March. “That’s the way we received it from the publisher … we just assumed that the classification had been lifted.”
Author Bret Easton Ellis, for one, has previously voiced delight at his book being shrink-wrapped in Australia.
“I love it, love it, love it,” Ellis told the Sydney Morning Herald in 2010. “I told my publisher I want all my books restricted and put in little bags. It’s like a little sandwich!”