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American Elsewhere (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Darkly Fantastic

Welcome to Wink, a small town trapped in a Norman Rockwell nightmare, where only some of the Ozzie-and-Harriet residents are human. After ex-cop Mona Bright loses her father, she inherits a house in Wink that belonged to her mother, who committed suicide when Mona was a child. Mona soon discovers Wink can’t be found on any maps, but faded, family photos offer clues on how to get there. Wink straddles “the bruise”--a breach into a sea of cosmic horror, which ruptured during an early experiment in quantum physics, and is awful proof of Nietzsche’s infamous warning--“If you gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss gazes into you.” American Elsewhere peels back reality layer by layer, and takes us on a joyride from uneasiness to terror along with a host of strange and moving characters.

– R.J. Crowther Jr.

— From Rob Crowther


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.

Some places are too good to be true.

Under a pink moon, there is a perfect little town not found on any map: Wink, New Mexico.

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. And the closer Mona gets to her mother's past, the more she understands that the people of Wink are very, very different ...

"Perfect for fans of Stephen King and Neil Gaiman." --- Library Journal

About the Author

Robert Jackson Bennett was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Winner of the Shirley Jackson Award, the Sydney J. Bounds Award, and an Edgar Award, he is the author of the novels Mr. Shivers, The Company Man, The Troupe, American Elsewhere, The Founders trilogy, and the Divine Cities trilogy, which was a 2018 Hugo Awards finalist in the 'Best Series' category. Find out more about the author at

Praise For…

"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
ISBN: 9780316200202
ISBN-10: 0316200204
Publisher: Orbit
Publication Date: February 12th, 2013
Pages: 688
Language: English