Bestselling author William Peter Blatty warms our hearts with a funny yet deeply moving nostalgic tale of memory, mystery . . . and miracles.
New York, 1941: Joey El Bueno is just a smart-aleck kid, confounding the nuns and bullies at St. Stephen's school on East 28th Street when he first meets Jane Bent, a freckle-faced girl with red pigtails and yellow smiley-face barrettes who seems to know him better than he knows himself. A magical afternoon at the movies, watching Cary Grant in Gunga Din, is the beginning of a puzzling friendship that soon leaves Joey baffled and bewildered.
Jane is like nobody he has ever met. She comes and goes at will, nobody else seems to have heard of her, and is it true that she once levitated six feet off the ground at the refreshment counter of the old Superior movie house on Third Avenue? Joey, an avid reader of pulp magazines and comic books, is no stranger to amazing stories, but Jane is a bewitching enigma that keeps him guessing for the rest of his life—until, finally, it all makes sense.
Rich with the warmth of a bygone era, Crazy captures both the giddy craziness of youth—and the sublime possibilities of existence.
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Joey El Bueno recalls his childhood in WWII-era New York in this nostalgic, uncharacteristically sentimental novel from horror master Blatty (The Exorcist). In 1941, seventh-grader Joey meets the "nuttier than a truckload of filberts" Jane Bent and admits to being " perverse enough to find a little lunacy incredibly attractive." After an afternoon at the movies, Jane disappears, and Joey has trouble proving to anyone else that she ever existed. When Joey next encounters Jane, she's taken the form of a little girl who knows all about him, and Joey, understandably, questions his sanity. The mystery of Jane is eventually and unsatisfyingly explained, but it's Joey's narrative voice, not the plot, that sustains this slight, amiable book, as it dips between the good ol' days and an elderly Joey, a retired screenwriter, dishing about the movie biz something Hollywood veteran Blatty sketches with aplomb. Cheerful though unsubstantial, this novel will please nostalgia seekers but will disappoint readers who associate Blatty with spewed pea soup.