Author(s): John Darnielle
From the author of the acclaimed Wolf in White Van comes a horror-infused thriller set in a tiny Midwestern town. Jeremy works at the counter of Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It's the 1990s, pre-DVD, and the work is predictable and familiar; he likes his boss, Sarah Jane, and it gets him out of the house, which has felt desolate and empty since his mother died six years before. But when Stephanie Parsons, a local schoolteacher, comes in to return her copy of Targets, she has an odd complaint- 'There's something on it,' she says. Two days later, Lindsey Redinius brings back She's All That and complains that something is wrong- 'There's another movie on this tape.' Curious, Jeremy takes a look. And what he sees on the videos is so strange and disturbing that it propels him out of his comfortable routine and into a search for the tapes' creator. As the once-peaceful fields and barns surrounding Nevada begin to seem sinister and threatening, Jeremy must come to terms with a truth that is as devastatingly sad as it is shocking. Creepy and poignant by turns, Universal Harvester is a deep dive into damaged lives and the different ways people try to escape grief, loss, and darkness.
John Darnielle's first novel, Wolf in White Van, was a New York Times bestseller, a National Book Award nominee, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction, and widely hailed as one of the best novels of the year. He is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and son.