In November I reviewed 19 books, plus I deal-hunted the Kindle book deals for November. November bonus: I also deal-hunted the Cyber Monday one-day deals, with a record 800 books evaluated in one day!
If you're going to read one book I reviewed this month*, make it American Elsewhere, by Robert Jackson Bennett.
Here's an excerpt from my review:
American Elsewhere is a spectacular modern horror-fantasy-thriller, but I don’t quite know how to review it without major spoilers. I can say that the idyllic small town of Wink, New Mexico, stays idyllic because the inhabitants are willing to pay a terrible price. When rootless ex-cop Mona Bright inherits a house in Wink from her mother, she upsets a whole lot of careful arrangements, and sets some very terrible (but also very necessary) things in motion. The first section of the book is full of slowly escalating creepiness, including the revelation that some of the people of Wink are really not what they seem; the middle section uses transcripts and other documents to explain how the situation came about; finally, the last section hits like a trainwreck, as everything that’s been set up in the other sections comes to a head. In another novel, I might call it poor pacing, but I think Bennett is doing it quite deliberately, and I found it really satisfying. There was only so much more slow ratcheting-up of tension that I could take!
You can find the full review, along with all my book reviews since 2012, collected here:
* Okay, you probably should read Raymond Chandler before you read Bennett. (If you read just one, The Big Sleep is deservedly classic.) But you've heard of Chandler, and you probably haven't heard of Bennett's book. Hence the recommendation!