American Elsewhere

Robert Jackson Bennett, Author
Robert Jackson Bennett. Orbit, $13.99 trade paper (688p) ISBN 978-0-316-20020-2
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-76246-5
Hardcover - 439 pages - 978-0-316-21452-0
Open Ebook - 978-0-316-21451-3
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Bennett (The Troupe) 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. Mona Bright, a former cop with a tragic past, inherits her long-dead mother’s house in Wink, N. Mex., a picture-perfect hamlet built as a support community for a government lab conducting experiments in quantum physics. As Mona pieces together a history that bears no resemblance to the childhood she remembers, Bennett’s epic narrative unveils a chronicle of dysfunction masked by Wink’s mechanical obsession with normalcy. The quibbling, displaced characters are vile and sympathetic by turns, and always startlingly American. Through sharp empathetic detail, the horrific becomes both achingly poignant and comic; a wholesome diner where no one can ever order just one piece of pie shares space with a harsh alien landscape where a quivering blue imp cowers in terror while pleading for his life. Readers will be captivated from start to finish. (Feb.)
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