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American Elsewhere [Kindle Edition]

Robert Jackson Bennett
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Hachette Book Group
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Book Description

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 neighbors we thought we knew.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Mona Bright, a former police officer, is surprised to learn that she’s inherited a house from her deceased mother. She’s even more surprised to learn that the house is located in Wink, New Mexico, a town that, according to various sources, including maps, doesn’t seem to exist. Curious to learn more about her mother’s past and about this odd little town, Mona takes up residence in the house. But she didn’t count on Wink being full of dark secrets and on the people of the town being determined to keep them that way. The novel starts out curious and odd but quickly becomes terrifying and haunting, as the author reveals more about the people of Wink, who just may be the most curious and intimidating collection of folks you’re likely to meet outside the pages of Stephen King. We, like Mona, feel the town closing in on us, trying to take us over. A beautifully written, claustrophobic, and deeply memorable horror novel. --David Pitt


"American Elsewhere conjures up echoes of the best works of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King. ... American Elsewhere manages to surprise, terrify and move the reader."—Los Angeles Times

"This wonderful offering is perfect for fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman."—Library Journal

"Highly impressive."—Kirkus Reviews

"Bennett's novel may remind readers of the early works of Stephen King, presenting a small town where nothing is what it seems.... Bennett's work also evokes a mood similar to that of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, where every darkness may swallow a person only to spit them out into a place akin to Wonderland."—RT Book Reviews

"Bennett gives the idealized image of the American dream a pan-dimensional twist with this alien invasion tale, part Bradbury and part L'Engle with a dash of Edward Scissorhands... Readers will be captivated from start to finish."—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on American Elsewhere

"The novel starts out curious and odd but quickly becomes terrifying and haunting, as the author reveals more about the people of Wink, who just may be the most curious and intimidating collection of folks you're likely to meet outside the pages of Stephen King.... A beautifully written, claustrophobic, and deeply memorable horror novel."—Booklist

"Mad and humorous, gory and poignant, American Elsewhere is a sort of mid-20th-century retelling of the embodiment of Lovecraftian Elder Gods by way of Alamogordo's legendary atomic tests. It's not to be missed.—Seattle Times

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

Product Details

  • File Size: 973 KB
  • Print Length: 673 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AS84PM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,945 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take back the night February 20, 2013
Robert Jackson Bennett is a masterful creator of unclassifiable fiction. Is American Elsewhere science fiction, fantasy, or a horror story? Is it a crime novel? A mystery? A satire? Is it an allegory of insular life in small town America, a commentary on intolerance of outsiders? A send-up of the illusory wholesomeness of small town life? A wry take on motherhood and dysfunctional families? Maybe it's a conundrum wrapped in a paradox soaked in a one hundred proof fever dream. Fortunately, you don't have to categorize American Elsewhere to enjoy it.

The quirky residents of Wink know there are places in Wink you just don't go. It's best, in fact, to stay inside at night. You might want to gaze at the moon, but you're never really sure whose sky it's in. You don't ever go into the woods because you might encounter ... well, nobody in Wink really wants to talk about that. Other things about Wink are strange -- rooms you enter that keep going forever, mirrors that relocate the objects they reflect, the way time is broken (or maybe it's just bruised). People don't want to talk about that either. In fact, they can't, under penalty of ... well, they can't talk about the penalty, but you wouldn't want to experience it.

Mona Bright, a former cop, can barely remember her mother. When her father dies, she is surprised to learn that she has inherited her mother's house -- surprised to learn that the house exists, in a town she's never heard of in New Mexico. Mona's mother worked for a lab outside of Wink that did research into quantum states. These days, Wink is difficult to find, as Mona discovers when she searches for it. She arrives just in time to disrupt the funeral of Mr. Weringer, Wink's most popular resident and a victim (if you believe the rumors) of homicide.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Creepy March 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderfully Creepy

There are several really great reviews for this book. I know because I read them . TChris has the most perfect. It says it all and he says it WELL. But just for the record, its a GREAT book! I like how it slowly unwinds . The gentle oddities, the weirdness within this very attractive little town that pulls you in. Reminds me of a train pulling out of the station. Slowly, ever so slowly accelerating and then whoosh... off it goes and your reader along with it.
The language is fun and interesting. The characters vivid. Mrs. Benjamin is my all time favorite. As the story unfolds the mystery about Wink unfolds and it turns into a delightful science fiction nightmare. Delightful because your really not sure where this ride is taking you let alone how it might end. I just enjoyed the strangeness of it all. I loved the way the horror, mystery and science fiction were woven like a brilliantly colored glass necklace where there are drops of gold and drops of blood all along the length of it.
Such a great fantasy. The imagination running at top speed. If your an avid reader of anything unusual and different, this book is for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wink, An Idyllic Town Just Don't Go Out At Night March 27, 2013
By C. Raso
Nestled in a valley beneath a vast mesa is a small town called Wink, New Mexico. Don't bother to look for it on a map, it won't be there. It was built to support a scientific laboratory located atop the mesa. It's a curious little town. All the homes are perfect with immaculate lawns. The people look exactly as they should and do exactly what they should. The local radio station plays Buddy Holly and the television station plays "Ozzie and Harriet" reruns. It's a quiet idyllic little place; just don't go out at night.

Mona Bright has inherited a home in Wink that belonged to her mother who died when Mona was just five years old. Her mother had worked as a physicist at the laboratory before marrying her father. Mona sees this as an opportunity to learn more about her.

The theme of the book is mothers; what a mother should be and how children view them. Mona is searching for her lost mother and so are the inhabitants of Wink. They feel abandoned and long for her to return. Yet was their progenitor right to do what she did and what were her motives?

This fantasy novel explores theories on pan-dimensional reality. The laboratory was doing quantum physics research on bumping or "bruising" dimensions adjacent to ours when something came through.

Even though this book was long, it was an engaging and quick read. I enjoyed the New Mexico setting. I could picture the landscape and the people who populate Wink. The plot was sometimes creepy and strange, but I never lost interest. The only problem I had was with the main character Mona. She always seemed a few steps behind in understanding what was going on. Her character is important so the reader should think she is awed or confused about the bizarre occurrences not totally slow and dense. I understood everything long before she did which I found frustrating. Otherwise, this book was a fun read and I will be looking for more books by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Audio Version Just Not For Me... February 3, 2015
Format:Audible Audio Edition
I made it more than halfway through listening to this audiobook, and I just never really liked any of the characters, the mystery surrounding the town was too closely kept and I ultimately just can't make myself finish it. I am thankful for the easy return policy of Audible, because I just couldn't force myself to listen to the last nine hours of this one. I was expecting a Halloween listen that was a little creepy, maybe haunted house-ish but this is not what I was expecting at all. Which is a shame because I have really enjoyed Bennett's other books. Maybe it was just the audio pacing that made this too slow and too overly convoluted. I liked the narrator though - he had a kind of Richard Dreyfuss-quality to his voice which was nice.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Robert Jackson Bennett's "American Elsewhere" is one of the more ...
Robert Jackson Bennett's "American Elsewhere" is one of the more unusual books I've read in recent memory & is also one that fits any number of genres. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul L.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
I really enjoyed this book. If you like Neil Gaiman's books I would recommend American Elsewhere.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting term of events
This book was great. Wonderfully written (a few errors, but nothing glaring). The characters well written and the story line intriguing.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Mixing the "bruising" of the time and space continuum with the...
Fun writing. A bit of edge with a a nice moral undertone. Not as good at this as Richard K. Morgan but if you like his stuff, you'll probably like this. Read more
Published 4 months ago by william r gentner
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very enjoyable read.
Published 5 months ago by Kittridge
5.0 out of 5 stars yet they still ask their overbearing Mother "Why won't you let me be...
I read this book in less than ten hours. It was that remarkable. But I wonder if I saw it from a different point of view because I found the novel quite humorous. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Doug Reedy
4.0 out of 5 stars Intricate Plotline That Completely Defies Genre Boundaries
‘…it is always quiet near homes like this, and it is always ill-advised to venture out at night in Wink. Everyone knows that. Things could happen. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Miss Bonnie
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, off-kilter horror
I picked up Robert Jackson Bennett's American Elsewhere after seeing it had won the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Genevieve DeGuzman
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
It was ok.
Published 6 months ago by Kenneth D. Berg, Jr
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark,violent and depressing
I would call this book DVD for dark, violent and depressing. I thought the concepts of time not being linear, parallel lives and different dimensions promising, but the author... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Constance Marshall
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More About the Author

Robert Jackson Bennett was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, but grew up in Katy, Texas. His interest in writing came from hearing about the books his older brother was reading and then attempting to mimic them on paper, though when his brother became interested in Stephen King and the stories written for Robert's elementary school class developed a correspondingly high body count it did cause something of a ruckus. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin and, like a lot of its alumni, was unable to leave the charms of the city and resides there currently. His first novel is "Mr. Shivers."

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