Download Ebook PDF Free
Universal Harvester
3.29/5 by 4785 users

Universal Harvester


Life in a small town takes a dark turn when mysterious footage begins appearing on VHS cassettes at the local Video Hut

Jeremy works at the counter of Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town—the first “a” in the name is pronounced ay—smack in the center of the state. This is the late 1990s, pre-DVD, and the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut. But there are regular customers, a predictable rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: It’s a job; it’s quiet and regular; he gets to watch movies; he likes the owner, Sarah Jane; it gets him out of the house, where he and his dad try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.

But when Stephanie Parsons, a local schoolteacher, comes in to return her copy of Targets, starring Boris Karloff—an old movie, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store—she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, Lindsey Redinius brings back She’s All That, a new release, and complains that there’s something wrong with it: “There’s another movie on this tape.”

So Jeremy takes a look. And indeed, in the middle of the movie the screen blinks dark for a moment and She’s All That is replaced by a black-and-white scene, shot in a barn, with only the faint sounds of someone breathing. Four minutes later, She’s All That is back. But there is something profoundly disturbing about that scene; Jeremy’s compelled to watch it three or four times. The scenes recorded onto Targets are similar, undoubtedly created by the same hand. Creepy. And the barn looks a lot like a barn just outside of town.

Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious. In truth, it freaks him out, deeply. This has gone far enough, maybe too far already. But Stephanie is pushing, and once Sarah Jane takes a look and becomes obsessed, there’s no more ignoring the disturbing scenes on the videos. And all of a sudden, what had once been the placid, regular old Iowa fields and farmhouses now feels haunted and threatening, imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. For Jeremy, and all those around him, life will never be the same . . .

Title:Universal Harvester
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:214 pages
Download Ebook PDF Free

    Universal Harvester Reviews

  • Larry H
    Jan 03, 2017

    I'm between 2.5 and 3 stars here, but I'm going to round up because of the quality of John Darnielle's writing.This should be an interesting exercise: writing a review of a book that you do not unders...

  • Julie Ehlers
    Sep 25, 2016

    I guess I'm going to have to be the outlier on this one, at least for now. When I got this ARC in my latest Indiespensable shipment, I was immediately pulled in by the description on the back cover. I...

  • Kevin Kelsey
    Feb 25, 2017

    This was leaps and bounds better than Wolf in White Van, which I thought showed a lot of promise, but ultimately didn't deliver on it. The plot strayed just a little bit from what I was expecting, but...

  • Raeleen Lemay
    Apr 24, 2017

    *I'm so disappointed*The only thing I enjoyed about this book is the synopsis. It drew me in and made me want to read the book, but nothing about this book delivered for me. The plot and writing were ...

  • Justin
    Mar 09, 2017

    John Darnielle is a fantastic writer. This is his second novel, and it is just as good as his first. Clocking in at just over 200 pages, the story is divided into four parts that feel a little disjoin...

  • Andreas
    Feb 13, 2017

    I think the only word I can find to describe this book is disjointed. Disjointed narration, disjointed characters, disjointed plot, disjointed pace. This is neither a horror story, as the words of the...

  • Hannah
    Aug 05, 2016

    This book is like its cover, super weird, kind of not telling a story, and absolutely, stunningly beautiful. I think. Because this book is so weird - for me it sits right at the edge of unreadable and...

  • Jennifer
    Feb 25, 2017

    ★★★In an online interview with NPR, author and musician: John Darnielle discusses his book: Universal Harvester. "This is an examination of grief," he says, "and ... grief is horrific — that...

  • Maxwell
    Aug 05, 2016

    This sounds super creepy and cool, and if it's even half as good as Wolf in White Van was then I will be ecstatic. February 2017 can't come soon enough....

  • Imogen
    Feb 19, 2017

    In looking over other people's responses to this book, I'm finding I had a pretty different experience with it. I guess some readers found it disjointed or hard to follow? But that wasn't my experienc...