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Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

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Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

Universal Harvester by John Darnielle

It’s the 1990s when video stores still did pretty good business, especially in small town Iowa. Jeremy works at the video store in a town where not much ever happens when customers start complaining about something “else” in the movies they are borrowing. Jeremy brings one of the tapes home and the customer was right, there was something strange spliced into the film; strange and disturbing. Jeremy lets his boss know and soon there are a few people interested in discovering if there is a crime behind the scenes or if it is just some weird home movie. He doesn’t want to get involved, but he finds himself drawn into the mystery anyway.

Thankfully this was a short book. I finished it because it was a good listen (the author reads his own book and held my attention); I probably would have given up on the print. All the reviews talk about the creepy horror feel of the piece. Yes, in the beginning it was. Then it got a little weird (which I appreciated) and then it just got sad. Sad and depressing. I know now that the exploration of loss and grief was the point of the novel but the mood of the book shifted so drastically, and in a direction I wasn’t in the mindset to go in, that I found the experience disappointing. I chalk this one up to being woefully misled by the description and reviews, or maybe I just can’t appreciate the author’s literary style.

By | 2017-05-03T19:46:34+00:00 March 24th, 2017|SCLSNJ Recommended Reads|
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