Jay's Reviews > Elsewhere

Elsewhere by William Peter Blatty
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's review
Sep 08, 2011

really liked it
Read in August, 2011

by William Peter Blatty

Known for writing The Exorcist, author Blatty has some major shoes to fill—his own.

Elsewhere is the perfect summertime read, it’s creepy, has quirky characters and the ghosts are endless; really. The story is built around the main character, Joan Freeboard. A tough, New York, cigarette puffing real-estate agent who really digs her job and since the story is set in the nineties, she’s rich!

One day a curious proposition walks her way and she bites. A client has a massive mansion perched upon an island in the Hudson River with one little problem; it’s haunted. Offered an enormous commission, Freeboard becomes obsessed imagining all the toys that cash will bring her, so she forms a ghost-busting crew and off to the Island they head.

The crew is made up of a famous author by the name of Terry Dare who will write an article for an illustrious magazine if there aren’t any ghosts, (Freeboard hopes there are none) Mrs. Trawley, a renowned psychic and NYU parapsychologist Dr. Gabriel Case, a specialist in the realm of all things haunted. Toss in countless twists and turns, endless drinking, rattling windows and creaking floor-boards galore and a really big storm. BIG.

Most of this novel is written in snappy dialog which is yet another reason it’s just a fun page-turner. I’ve read in several reviews that author Blatty (who wrote this when in his eighties) was attempting to perhaps apologize for all that pea soup nonsense in the movie version of The Exorcist. Luckily, for me, this book didn’t have the same intense macabre factor and many of the scenes are a riot.

“Yes Quandt was a violent man,” Case confirmed.
“I’m not surprised,” answered Dare. “I think surgeons have violent natures, that’s the reason they go into that line of work: normal people couldn’t slice another person into bits and moments later eat a double Big Mac with fries.”
“No, I agree.”
“It’s rude,” added Dare.
“So it is. However, Quandt was not a surgeon,” said Case.
“No, Quandt was a noted psychiatrist.”

The book is written in three parts and I have to admit, the third part got me. That old gotcha feeling that honestly still gives me a kick. No, I’m not telling, but the surprise twist was not only cliché as hell, but added to the dark humorous fun that’s made Baltty famous. If you like cozy, haunted house stories rife with metaphor, sprinkled with mystery and served up dead; go Elsewhere…

As you’ve gleaned by now, I don’t write nasty, negative reviews, why bother? I try to seek out interesting and semi-current reads that others may have passed by. Once in a while I can’t resist the hot new debut author’s block-buster—who can?

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02/18/2016 marked as: read

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message 1: by Deb (new)

Deb Atwood Ooh, a new ghost novel to add to my list. Is the title an allusion to The Giver? Gabrielle Zevin wrote a book called Elsewhere that does allude to that novel.

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