30 September, 2014

Review - American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett

I gotta get this out of my system right off the bat. I don't like the cover to this book. It doesn't stand out, it's only mildly representative of the story, which is rich and vibrant (i.e., bland and boring), and it's just plain blah. Hate it.

Whew, that felt good. Now back to our regularly-scheduled review.

Other than the cover, this novel, American Elsewhere, was brilliant. This was not unexpected after reading only one other book by Robert Jackson Bennett. That book, The Troupe, happened to be my favorite book of 2012 as well and he does not disappoint in this instance.

I hesitate to make comparisons, but there are elements of H.P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman. But the problem is, no one compares to Bennett's imagination. That's what I learned in The Troupe and what's reinforced in American Elsewhere.

The prologue grabs you right away, I recommend reading it asap. I'm sure it's free somewhere, just keep your wallet ready. Then the mysteries keep building up until about 200 pages into this 660 page book, when suddenly the reveals begin and the whole entire two third plus of the book is one crazy ride. It's compelling from page one and though large, this book doesn't let up.

I've strayed from actually describing events. I guess I'll leave that to the description on Goodreads (linked above) because if I told you, I'd have to kill you ... erm ... actually, I really have no clue how to describe this book without giving way too many spoilers.

Suffice it to say, go read it, it's creepy, weird, gross, creepy, and super creepy. And awesome. Oh, and it's stand-alone.

4.5 out of 5 Stars (very highly recommended)