Crazy: A Novel MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"Crazy is terrific! A wonderful novel: funny, touching and SO full of love!" ---Julie Andrews
About the Author
William Peter Blatty, described by the New York Times as "a gifted virtuoso who writes like S. J. Perelman," is best known for his mega-bestselling novel The Exorcist. Blatty also cowrote the screenplay of the Inspector Clouseau film A Shot in the Dark. He lives in Maryland.
Actor Stephen Hoye is a graduate of London's Guildhall and a veteran of London's West End. An award-winning audiobook narrator, he has won thirteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and two prestigious APA Audie Awards.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Ever since The Exorcist, his theological thriller-mystery-comedies have been about the exploration of his Christian/Catholic faith. Whether he's examining the problem of evil, the nature of altruistic sacrifice, or, as in Crazy, the joys of being a good, moral person, Blatty is using his fiction as a way to understand his faith, or his hope as he might say.
Crazy is really a companion piece to his autobiographical book I'll Tell Them I Remember You, the story about how his own mother shaped in him, and proved to him through miraculous means, his belief in God. You might say that his childhood was, indeed, crazy, and so it is not much a stretch to extrapolate that he is, in fact, the basis for Joey El Bueno, the main character here.
It's odd to me that Blatty recently said that Dimiter was his most personally-important work; knowing what I know about him, and of his fiction, I'd rank Crazy and The Ninth Configuration as more important and more Blatty-esque. Both of these novels are funny and poignant, and while The Ninth Configuration is more philosophical in nature, Crazy is more personal and introspective.
William Peter Blatty is getting old, and I'll be honest, I think about his passing. If this book is any indication, he does too! That makes me sad. I'm really going to miss him when's gone. In this day and age when so many people seem so cynical and skeptical about faith and religion, and when so many religious people act like heartless bastards, it's nice to know that there is someone like Blatty out there. To me he feels like a kindred spirit, a man and author I greatly admire. I guess I should just be thankful that his books even exist.
His story opens in New York City in 1941, where he's a smart-mouthed seventh grader at St. Stephen's School. Joey is a child of sacrifice. He has never known a mother's love because his mom, Eileen, died in childbirth. His father, Pop, is shamelessly and utterly devoted to the boy. Pop is an immigrant who speaks broken English, makes a living doing back-bending work, and does without so Joey can have a better life.
St. Stephen's is where Joey first meets Jane Bent, "this real pretty girl with reddish hair...in pigtails with green-and-yellow smiley-face barrettes at the ends." From the moment they see each other, Jane tells Joey details only he should know, and she knows some things about him even he doesn't know. After their first encounter, Jane disappears. Joey asks about her, but no one else has seen her, except a classmate who claims he saw her levitate six feet off the floor at a movie theater.
When Jane finally returns, she looks different and another age. Who is Jane Bent? Is she real, is she crazy, or is Joey crazy himself? During one visit, Jane claims she is on a secret Christmas quest. She buys him dinner, talks about how prayer builds up grace, and reminds him of the importance of confession, trust and generosity.
As the end of Joey's life draws near, the past floats to the surface of his memory: the movies and radio programs he and his father enjoyed, the sacrifices his father made for him, scrapes with his childhood friends, his Catholic school education at the hands of the Jesuits, his life in Hollywood and his return to the East Coast. With Christmas hours away --- through his stream of consciousness, and sometimes unconsciousness --- Joey reflects on his regrets and missteps, along with his moments of kindness and grace.
Interrupting his reverie is Rose Ellen Bloor, a self-assured nurse who wears stiletto heels and tells Joey about her dream of writing a screenplay about Adolph Hitler. She asks for his help because she isn't sure of the all technical stuff --- "the words."
CRAZY, with its wildly creative and humorous scenarios, is wise and witty, funny and sad. Through Joey's story, William Peter Blatty's unflinching prose questions the meaning of life. It's a story of good and evil, of second chances, of coming to peace at the end of the road and welcoming the unknown. Just as Joey takes a tangled trip down memory lane, reflecting and deflecting and detouring to figure out the mystery of Jane, following him on his serpentine journey is worth the trip. In the end, Joey's story makes sense --- and it gives a sense of promise and hope.
--- Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt ([...])
This bring me to the portion of the book that tears my heart. I tell you this, based on the final few chapters alone, this novel could easily achieve a masterful "5 star" rating. Only because of the long and mostly boring scenes elsewhere does it just undershoot it. In the closing chapters, there is a deeply concerning event that brings about a second in the final chapter or two. This second event ties up everything and even brought a welling tear to my eye.
In closing, I recommend this book strongly to anyone looking for a leisurely and reflective read. The underlying message being love and (when looking for it), the awe-inspiring and never failing power and love of God.
I borrowed Crazy from the library because of its cover (not because the author wrote The Exorcist) and ended up falling in love with its characters. I closed the book feeling really good about life and not being afraid of death. What more can anyone want from a piece of fiction?