A lil story ’bout Joey & Jane – “Crazy” by William Peter Blatty
When you’re most famous for writing “The Exorcist,” people probably expect everything you write to be bone-chilling and eye-popping. William Peter Blatty doesn’t play by those rules. His most recent work, “Crazy,” is a sweet coming of age story in which no one gets possessed by any demons, no priests meet the devil, and no projectile vomiting happens.
Instead, we get the story of young Joey growing up in 1941, living with his Dad in a one-bedroom apartment. He’s not particularly remarkable in any way – he’s just a kid. Then one day he meets a wonderful girl named Jane and – on a whim – they go to the movies and to dinner. Joey has a great time, but then Jane vanishes. Though he searches, almost no one has ever heard of her, and those who have tell bizarre stories. One guy tells Joey about seeing Jane levitating while in a movie theater…
What IS Jane?
That, dear reader, is what I can’t reveal to you.
Jane comes and goes, while Joey learns and grows, and their paths cross again and again.
I’ll stop before I dare spoil anything, but I’ll simply say that “Crazy” is a really fascinating read, and one it’s hard to put down until you know the answer to these mysteries. Blatty (perhaps from personal experience) writes the voice of a boy in the 40s with sparkling candor, showcasing all the running thoughts that keep kids going – even the pointless and frivolous ones.
It’s a sweet mystery of a book, with a surprising ending that you probably won’t see coming. It’d be a good beach read, as it’s not terribly long and goes by really quickly.
Cheers to Mr. Blatty, for not resting on his laurels or just churning out another terror-filled piece. “Crazy” showcases the surprising range this guy possesses.