By William Peter Blatty
Tor Forge, $22.99, 188 pages
Author William Peter Blatty, now in his 80s, is the author of such diverse works as the book The Exorcist (a theological horror drama) and the screenplay for A Shot in the Dark (featuring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau). Crazy is his latest work in a very long, successful career.
The story goes back to Joey El Bueno’s impoverished childhood in 1940’s New York City. The author writes of his character’s home life, friends, and time at a Catholic school. From time to time in the story, Joey encounters a female imaginary playmate that seems to be encouraging his moral development in very original ways. As no one else sees the girl, this leads Joey to believe he must be crazy, thus the book‘s title. Full of youthful and creative mischief, it is not until the end of the book that you learn whether or not Joey does develop a strong morality. The ending of the story is both beautiful and touching.
At first, it seems this book might be biographical, but in reading more on William Peter Blatty’s actual life, I see that the story is perhaps parallel in some ways but not truly biographical. I highly recommend this well-written, very entertaining book especially to older readers who can relate personally to the very different times described.
Reviewed by Rosalie West