Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: American Elsewhere

Robert Jackson Bennett's American Elsewhere (2013), sits nicely in the same Horror/Science Fiction cross genre as the television series Rick & Morty - a place I (and any number of literature critics) like to call cosmic horror.

Cosmic Horror, largely influenced by the weird fiction (actually a genre classification, not a judgement - mostly) of Howard Phillip Lovecraft, focuses less on gore and terror and more on the fact that our world is merely the plaything of ancient gods and monsters who can not only destroy us with little effort, but probably wouldn't care if they did. Generally when characters in a Cosmic Horror story figure this out, they go incurably insane.

American Elsewhere follows an ex cop named Mona Bright, who discovers at the reading of her stepfather's will that part of his estate includes a house previously owned by Mona's mother, and it exists in a small town called Wink, New Mexico.

Unfortunately for Mona, Wink does not appear on any map, and she has a week to claim the home before it reverts to municipal ownership. Finding her way into the town, Mona finds a curiously perfect city, with any number of strange rules (actually, this is not dissimilar to Welcome to Night Vale - only really not played for laughs) such as no one can go out after dark, certain questions cannot be asked and certain buildings cannot be entered.

Also there some sort of demon in a rabbit mask no one is supposed to talk about.

Although topping six-hundred pages, the novel moves along a quite a nice clip and definitely kept me interested. Definitely worth a look!

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