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.
©2013 Robert Jackson Bennett (P)2013 Recorded Books
I have always loved to read. Discovering audible has been great for a multitasker! Sorry for any misspells on reviews!
A very entertaining trip of weird. The book is described as supernatural but I would say it has many sci-FY elements such as quantum physics, alien beings and parallel worlds. Mona is an ex police officer that has been wandering for a few years after losing her baby and divorce. She inherits a home that belonged to her mother (committed suicide when she was a child) and after finding some info in her dads storage that shows her mom happy and working in a lab feels a great desire to learn of her moms life. The home and lab are located in Wink New Mexico, unfortunately it is not on any map. I don't want to spoil the story so in short she finds Wink, a charming small town and weirdness ensues. People are strange nothing is what it seems including Mona. The book kept me riveted till the end. Narrator was great. If you like Stephan King, or early Dean Koontz you will enjoy the story.
WARNING: Contains a few SPOILERS.
There might be a very good 250-300 page novel somewhere in American Elsewhere but author Robert Jackson Bennett buries it in a book that's over twice that length. At 22 hours, this audiobook ended up being a slog for me. Jackson s-l-o-w-l-y introduces readers to the unusual town of Wink, then tediously reveals the truth behind it's mysteries, truths that any seasoned reader of weird fiction will grasp long before the book comes close to revealing them. When they were finally revealed, I found it hard not to smirk a bit at the combination of Lovecraftian extra-dimenional beings and mommy issues. The whole thing plays out pretty predictably, all things considered, and similar concepts have been handled more efficiently and effectively. There ARE some good moments in American Elsewhere. There was a section in the middle of the book where things really picked up, became original and interesting and got me enthused about listening further. Unfortunately, in the end, I didn't feel that enthusiasm was rewarded.
I give reader Graham Winton an A for effort. His quality performance actually helped me finish the book.
Well, truth be known, it took me awhile to get through this tour de force as I was travelling and i kept stopping and starting. That said, it is a remarkable, stunning book that will stick with me for awhile.
Where do I start? The introduction to Mother, and the scene with Gene Kelly/Mr.First, are stunning.
The last few chapters are deep , complex and wrap up many many concepts, but the entire book is littered with sharply wrtten, and performed, scenes and dialogues.
I don't recall listening to him in the past, but I may have. Notwithstanding,
Any scenes involving Mr. First were amazing. The human trash clean up guys stuff was amazing. Hell, the entire book is amazing! Hard to pull out any one moment.
This is a stunning book. I can't recommend it enough. It is full on, sometimes over the top, horrific, fantasy, gory, fascinating, complicated, everything but the kitchen sink. An immediate classic.
I urge you to commit your credits and yourself to this shimmering performance, and to pass it along. You will never be the same after listening to it. Remember, things are never quite as they seem.
Right up there
At the Mountains of Madness because it engages with similar concepts of beings from another dimension.
What lives on the other side of the mirror?
Loved it - best since Lovecraft and Philip K Dick
I'm a fan of mystery, science-fiction, and the unusual.
The plot seemed to meander. It seemed like the story was going to be interested, but it ended up like a Hollywood B-movie.
The plot didn't develop into anything new or different.
I didn't feel a connection to any of them.
The last two-thirds of the book.
It started out promising, but like many modern novels, the author seems to be writing with the hope of a movie deal, and creating a new action hero for a series of bad, but successful Hollywood action films.
American Elsewhere may be the best audiobook I've listened to this year.
I hate reviews that say 'Best Book' etc... But this story was great.
It felt familiar enough for me to enjoy the ride but not so much that it was predictable.
"Mona had walked through the fire, but now she was only filled with ash". That's kinda how I feel right now. It took me a little to get into it, so many story lines not yet connecting. By the middle, I was captivated! Then the last 100-200 pages just would never end. Random over-descriptiveness, just at the gory parts it felt like. I feel like I should love this book, like so many others... But I just didn't.
Graham Winton was awesome tho. Fantastic reader, just not so awesome story.
American Elsewhere is about an out-of-kilter town called Wink and what happens to its unusual residents and visitors.The book can be violent, but manages to remain cerebral stylish and witty. It is a mysterious, lyrical and darkly funny book. Among its odd but fascinating characters, Mrs. Benjamin is my favorite - strangely delightful on so many levels. I know Robert Jackson Bennett doesn't need another rave review, but here goes. I rarely care enough to comment on a book. It is even more rare that I listen to a book repeatedly just for the pleasure of the writing and to capture nuances I may have missed the first time. Bennett has a surfeit of talent for such a relatively new writer.The narrator, Graham Winton, is marvelous and captures the angst and awkwardness of characters living odd lives in a strange place. He is so good, it is hard to believe he is one person. Is American Elsewhere horror, science fiction or allegory? Who cares? It is a mesmerizing, charming and creepy read.
I was originally sold on this book by my friend comparing it to the small-town odd-horror of Welcome to Night Vale. And it's true: both WTNV and American Elsewhere share a deep thematic kinship, but not always in the ways I expected.
What really got me the most about American Elsewhere was Bennett's ability to weave a story with real creeping dread that didn't sacrifice an emotional core. The struggles that Mona faces are big, impossibly big, but at their heart they're about the inability for children to ever truly know their parents; about how parents are not always, much less often right, and how hard it is to see that. It's a book about motherhood in an alternative and beautiful way.
In the end, American Elsewhere is a story about things that could have been but never were, and there is little more horrifying than the thought that you could have made different, maybe better choices, and living with that not knowing.
I had a hard time with the description and some of the reviews. It's hard to put your finger on what this book is really about. There's a lot of themes that you might find another books but this seems to be a story unlike any other. I thought it was thoroughly entertaining and intriguing. I enjoyed the character development and the way it unfolded. It was a rather long book but I think it allowed for the depth that it had. I would highly recommend it but be sure this is a sci-fi story, not for those that only want realism.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.