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The literary Norman Bates returns in Chet Williamson's Psycho: Sanitarium

08.24.2015by: Cody Hamman

Literary characters sometimes outlive the writers who created them. James Bond is still appearing in newly written novels more than fifty years after the death of Ian Fleming. The prose adventures of Jason Bourne continued on beyond the life of Robert Ludlum. Robert Bloch created the character of Norman Bates with his 1959, Ed Gein-inspired novel PSYCHO, and the character became a horror icon when brought to the screen by Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins the following year. When Hollywood started looking to make sequels to the movie PSYCHO, Bloch also returned to the world of Norman Bates with two literary sequels to his work: PSYCHO II, published in 1982, and PSYCHO HOUSE, published in 1990. Bloch passed away in 1994, but Norman Bates is now becoming the latest character to live on in continuation novels.

Bloch's PSYCHO II and the cinematic PSYCHO II have very little in common, but they do both start off with Norman Bates having been in a mental institution since the events of PSYCHO twenty years earlier. Author Chet Williamson will be delving into Bates's time at the institution with his novel PSYCHO: SANITARIUM, which is set to reach book store shelves on March 1, 2016.

While it's somewhat surprising to hear that there will be a new PSYCHO novel, it does make sense that it's happening now, given the popularity of A&E's BATES MOTEL. Bloch's original novel is classic horror pulp, but I didn't like the sequels he wrote very much at all. I will definitely be giving PSYCHO: SANITARIUM a read, and hope to enjoy it more than PSYCHO II and PSYCHO HOUSE.

If you'd like to know a bit more about PSYCHO: SANITARIUM, Enterainment Weekly has a brief excerpt from the novel on their website.

Extra Tidbit: Will you be reading PSYCHO: SANITARIUM?
Source: EW.com

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