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book cover of Universal Harvester

Universal Harvester

(2017)
A novel by

 
 
Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It's a small town in the center of the state - the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It's good enough for Jeremy: It's a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck.

But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets - an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, 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 a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it's not defective, exactly, but altered: "There's another movie on this tape."

Jeremy doesn't want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment, and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video. The scenes are odd and sometimes violent, dark, and deeply disquieting. There are no identifiable faces, no dialogue or explanation - the first video has just the faint sound of someone breathing - but there are some recognizable landmarks. These have been shot just outside of town.

So begins John Darnielle's haunting and masterfully unsettling Universal Harvester: the once placid Iowa fields and farmhouses now sinister and imbued with loss and instability and profound foreboding. The audiobook will take Jeremy and those around him deeper into this landscape than they have ever expected to go. They will become part of a story that unfolds years into the past and years into the future, part of an impossible search for something someone once lost that they would do anything to regain.

Engineered by Matt Douglas
Music by Buttonwood Agreement
John Darnielle - piano, guitar
Joaquin Spengemann - drums and percussion
Additional synth by John Vanderslice
Music produced by John Vanderslice at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco
Additional mixing and postproduction by Tim Franklin

Genre: Horror    

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Used availability for John Darnielle's Universal Harvester

Hardback Editions

February 2017 : USA Hardback
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Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 0-374-28210-2 / 978-0-374-28210-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

January 2019 : Canada Paperback

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 1-4434-5273-4 / 978-1-4434-5273-1 (Canada edition)
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 1-250-15999-7 / 978-1-250-15999-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2017 : UK Paperback
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Title: Universal Harvester
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 1-911344-07-2 / 978-1-911344-07-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Scribe UK
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2017 : Canada Paperback
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Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 1-4434-5272-6 / 978-1-4434-5272-4 (Canada edition)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

February 2017 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
ISBN: 1-4272-8286-2 / 978-1-4272-8286-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2017 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon   


February 2017 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon CA   


February 2017 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

March 2017 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: Scribe
Availability: Amazon UK   


February 2017 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Availability: Amazon   


February 2017 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Universal Harvester: A Novel
Author(s): John Darnielle
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Availability: Amazon CA