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American Elsewhere [Paperback]

Robert Jackson Bennett
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: £11.99
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Book Description

28 Feb 2013

Some places are too good to be true.

Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map.

In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things.

After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother's home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different...

From one of our most talented and original new literary voices comes the next great American supernatural novel: a work that explores the dark dimensions of the hometowns and the neighbours we thought we knew.


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American Elsewhere + The Company Man + The Troupe
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Product details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit US; 1 edition (28 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316200204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316200202
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 14.1 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"So "American Elsewhere" is basically so good that I want to camp outside @robertjbennett's house until he tells me his secret."--Adam Christopher

Book Description

From the acclaimed author of Mr. Shivers and The Company Man comes a haunting tale of modern America.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly done - highly enjoyable. 15 April 2014
By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
**4.5 stars***
Some places are too good to be true.
Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map.
In that town, there are quiet streets lined with pretty houses, houses that conceal the strangest things.
After a couple years of hard traveling, ex-cop Mona Bright inherits her long-dead mother’s home in Wink, New Mexico. And the closer Mona gets to her mother’s past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different …

This was a weird and wonderful story, full of amazingly well drawn characters and with a highly fascinating and often disturbing premise. It was also another thing I love – a good, long book! Not many writers give us novels of the longer variety that manage to keep up the pace, interest and quality from page one to end but Robert Jackson Bennett has done exactly that here.

When Mona inherits her mother’s house, in a place she never knew existed, she hopes to find somewhere to settle and some more about her mother’s history – but Wink is not like other small towns – something lurks just below the surface that is unimaginable.

This was a terrific blend of science fiction, supernatural and mundane. That is the best way I have of describing it – the story ebbs and flows in beautiful fashion, with little nuggets of information as to the truth behind Wink and its inhabitants seamlessy woven into the bigger picture, all written in an addictive and compelling way that keeps you right in each moment throughout the reading experience.

Clever and highly imaginative, with some exquisite prose and magnificent world building, all alongside some strangely fabulous characters that you will love, this is one of the best novels in its genre I have read for a while.

Happy Reading Folks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling, weird, and thoroughly reaadable 14 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The town of Wink is not what it seems. Behind the picket fences of small-town America lie secrets that would put Twin Peaks to shame. What lurks beneath is mostly hidden, but things are changing in Wink, and a single unexpected death heralds a family reunion of unimaginable scale.

It's cheesy, I know, but I was hooked from the first page. Tough, no-nonsense Mona is one of the best female protagonists I've encountered in years, and her responses to the threats and puzzles she faces are coloured with bravery and grace. The strangeness of Wink- and beyond- are portrayed with dazzling detail and almost tangible vintage patina. The plot had me gripped, even the parts where the science was mind-bendingly complex, and I was very sad too reach the end. I'll be reading more of this writer's work, for sure.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought this one to take on holiday. Thought I would enjoy it from the other customer reviews I had read, but it exceeded my expectations. Horror fiction has definitely improved in recent years, with Glen Duncan, Justin Cronin, Joe Hill, the Swedish chap and a few others taking forward the Stephen King/Peter Straub high concept approach to writing, with strong characterisation, humour and relevance to modern life. Robert Jackson Bennett is up there with the best, and American Elsewhere is as good as vintage King, Straub et al.
I have bought some of the authors earlier books, but not got round to reading them as yet, thinking I would start with this one, mainly because the plot outline really appealed. Without giving too much away, there is a strong H.P. Lovecraft/Old Gods slant (much more than one reviewer suggested), combined with a 50's BEM/Paranoia feel which is really well done. The main characters-Mona Bright, the town Elders and the Gangsters from the Roadhouse are all memorable and believable, and the book zips along even though it is over 600 pages long. I really don't want to give the game away, so won't say anything more about the story, but it has science, humour, action, horror in liberal doses throughout. Looking forward to reading the rest of Robert Jackson Bennet's published works and seeing what he come up with next. Excellent stuff.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The best chapter 58 I've ever read 12 July 2013
Format:Paperback
Well the book's ok. I bought it on a whim from a bookshop (not from Amazon) as I liked the cover and it felt hefty in the hand. And it was not obvious what it was, at its heart; a SF story, or a supernatural horror? So I took it home and read it.

Some of it is great. There are some very, very good scenes, and there is a dry wit to some of the writing.

Some of it is, well, not so hot. There is a huge - over 100 pages I guess - chunk of exposition, where various characters explain to the main character What Is Going On. If you like exposition then it will float your boat but I prefer a bit more ambiguity, personally. Oh well.

I also felt that it was a bit too obviously structured, like the author had opened up a spreadsheet on how to write a novel, and was simply going through, ticking bits of structure off as he went. Minor character dies? Check. Start the book in the middle of a bit of action? Check. Give the main character a misery backstory? Check. Ending resolves everything? Check. Really I prefer endings which are open, unresolved, ambiguous ... often not really endings at all. But American Elsewhere has a proper unambiguous resolution. I know I'm probably in tne minority there.

Chapter 58 though is excellent. It's only four pages, yet it was worth reading 600 pages of story just to get to those four.
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