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Universal Harvester
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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review
Addison_Reads
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

Creepy images are showing up on VHS tapes from a local rental place, women are disappearing and no one knows why, but even with such intriguing story ideas this book just never came together for me. It was disjointed and once I finished I was confused.

On another note though, the writing was well done and I would love to read something else by this author. I just think this book wasn't really for me. It's listed as Horror, but it shouldn't be.

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IamIamIam
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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🦁 I'm all Leo!
🧝‍♀️ I am a few steps away from finishing a huge crochet project!
📤 Tagged & Maid
🥁 Going to see Face to Face in Brooklyn! 🎸
❤💙💛
#FriYayIntro @howjessreads

37 likes1 stack add
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Jenken1998
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Pickpick

Weird but i loved it. Amazing writing. Familiar setting (right where i grew up in rural midwest). Familiar feelings of complete boredom and stuckness. Not a horror book, but a book about healing from loss (or not) in your own weird way. It can be confusing and you have to really reach to connect it all. I'll be the outlier and say i loved it.

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wen4blu
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Last one for #24in48. Hoping I can finish this one tonight AND I figure out what the heck the story is really about.

@24in48

Megabooks It‘s definitely weird! 5mo
parttimedomestic I love this weird book! ❤️ I can‘t promise you‘ll figure out the story though. 😂 5mo
58 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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Carrdahl
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Panpan

I enjoyed the writing and will have a few images that will stick with me, however the storyline does not. I found it to be distracting and hard to tie together.

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Skyrimir
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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So far this break I‘ve finished You and #fashionvictim. Both were wild rides. Next up! Universal Harvester. Starts in a video store. Just a few weeks ago I was explaining to some kids I babysit that Netflix didn‘t always exist and we would go to this place called Blockbuster if we wanted a movie (though my favorite was a mom and pop shop until it closed).

31 likes1 stack add
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Read66
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
Mehso-so

I liked the writing style but the story arc was puzzling to say the least.

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IamIamIam
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Bailedbailed

I'm bailing on this... I just don't care about any of these characters. They're so empty and they really should be more fleshed out. I guess you'd have to understand small town mid-Western life to really like this? I don't know... absolutely nothing has happened and with 1.28 left, I can't give them anymore of my time. 👎👎👎

Megabooks It is an odd duck. 8mo
IamIamIam @Megabooks Yeah, not for me. If it was a movie, I'd have walked out and asked for my money back. LOL, onward and upward! 8mo
27 likes2 comments
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IamIamIam
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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The race is on!!! 11 days for both of them so it should be a piece of cake...

Universal Harvester is read by the author so we'll see how I feel about it. I'm unimpressed so far by I did just begin.

RadicalReader @IamIamIam David Spade reads his book as an audiobook absolutely amazing you should give it a try he‘s a riot!! 8mo
IamIamIam @RadicalReader Awesome! It's stacked! I love a good memoir read by a celebrity. I'm not ashamed to admit that one of the first books I listened to was one of Betty White's books! LOL 8mo
RadicalReader @IamIamIam she‘s really genuine and hilarious too books seem to reach a level of ultimately awesomeness when they‘re read by the author adds such a personal touch especially if they‘re comedians makes it all the more enjoyable. 8mo
27 likes3 comments
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Pickpick

Listen, this is one of those books that is not for everybody (and its marketing as a horror/thriller has done it no favors) but it was very much for me.

A beautifully-written examination of lives lived in small Iowa towns. There are some creepy goings-on with VHS tapes and cults that unite these stories spanning decades, but in the end the tapes don‘t matter all that much. The anticlimax fits well with the quiet nature of the book.

I loved it.

vivastory This has received so many mixed reviews. I loved his other one, so I will definitely be checking it out. 8mo
vivastory I think you would like 8mo
59 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Our narrator is wondering what we, the readers, envision when she describes something. I love love love a good breaking of the 4th wall like this.

This book is like Deadpool if Deadpool were a lyrically written meditation on grief and small-town melancholy.

xicanti SOLD. 8mo
merelybookish I really enjoyed this book. More than I expected to! 8mo
44 likes1 stack add2 comments
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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TobeyTheScavengerMonk
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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wtimblin
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

Not too sure about this one. Think I was expecting something (horror, thriller) and it turned out nothing like how the blurb sells it. Basically weird cut shots being found on VHS tapes rented from small town video store in the 90s, and the slow-burn investigation by some folks into what the hell is going on. It doesn't go where you may think. Def one for thought afterwards. Fantastic writing though

Dogearedcopy I was intrigued by your review to see what others were saying and interestingly, other comments are very similar: Great writing but a plot arc that seems to leave everyone bemused. 8mo
wtimblin @Dogearedcopy absolutely. I read a few reviews after I finished the book today and was so glad it wasn't just me! It's good but I can't really say why. It's def one you have to take a punt on 8mo
34 likes2 comments
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madamereadsalot1
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

This book started out great. The writing was incredibly well done, it had an almost Twilight Zone vibe to it. I loved the creepy undertone, the mystery of it. It was going so well. And then suddenly.... It veered so far off track it became nearly a whole other story. This had so much potential to be an excellent horror/suspense novel. I don't even know what happened to it. I was so disappointed, I almost couldn't finish it. But it wasn't bad.

vivastory I love Wolf in White Van, but have put off reading this one due to the mixed reviews 9mo
madamereadsalot1 @vivastory I want to read more of his work. His writing is exceptional! 9mo
vivastory I think you'd love Wolf etc. Are you a fan of his band The Mountain Goats? I really dig them. 9mo
madamereadsalot1 @vivastory I DO like the Mountain Goats and I had no idea he was from that band!!! That's awesome! 9mo
vivastory A man of many talents! 9mo
8 likes5 comments
review
ErickaS_Flyleafunfurled
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

My review: 🤷‍♀️
I don‘t even know what to say.
It seemed like a framework of a novel. Like a first draft or an outline that needed to be fleshed out.
I really liked Wolf in White Van, but this just left me perplexed and wanting more.

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madamereadsalot1
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Even though I haven't officially started Slave to Sensation and don't know if I will tbh.... @howjessreads #31bookpics #currentlyreading

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WeeziesBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Panpan

This was a huge disappointment. It was promoted as a horror novel but it‘s actually about... grief. And the writing was all over the place. Nope.

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The.Intentional.Reader
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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I‘ve read this once before and didn‘t really enjoy it. But, I‘m doing a reread of it and finding I like it a lot now. Not sure what made the difference other than time.

Joy0201 I felt this book was marketed all wrong and that sort of tainted the way I read it. 9mo
20 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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HiddenGemBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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While working at the Video Hut in his tiny Iowa town, Jeremy connects reports of damaged VHS cassettes. Video Hut owner Sarah Jane and customer Stephanie push him to investigate the strange "second movie" that's popping up on the tapes: a disturbing film that appears to have been shot somewhere close by.

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Kryckett
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

Kept reading for the writing ... tolerated the plot. Which is unfortunate, because I recall feeling similarly about Wolf in White Van.

KateFulfordAuthor If you need a recommendation to bridge the gap, may I point you to my People‘s Book Prize nominated debut? Sassy female narrative, laugh out dialogue and a pacy plot. Check the link in the bio for 2 free chapters, reviews and more. 13mo
6 likes1 comment
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Bertha_Mason
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Bertha_Mason
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle

"At sixty-five miles an hour, the cornfields flicker against the window like stock footage; shadows in between the rows pulse steadily in shades of yellow and green and early brown."

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Kryckett
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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It has been a ‘beer on a work night‘ kind of day ...

CouronneDhiver I concur! 13mo
7 likes1 stack add1 comment
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Bertha_Mason
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle

"Another nagging little question lodged like a bit of grapeshot in his chest. It was nothing major, but the place where he stored them all was running out of room."

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Loralie
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Holy crap this book. I am only on page 40 & just read a line that made my stomach drop. The writing is awesome.

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danibel
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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“Not everyone wants to get out and see the world. Nothing wrong with that. Sometimes you just want to figure out how to fit yourself into the world you already know.”

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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Mehso-so

Huh. I‘m not sure how to describe this book. Jeremy works in a video store & a customer returns a video complaining several minutes of another movie had been spliced in- & the story goes from there. The author says the book is “largely about mothers” but I might argue it is a book about staying & leaving & the price people pay for both of those actions. Did I like it? I loved the writing. A page turner it is not, however. Read it for the writing.

Cinfhen Nice review! 1y
SamanthaMarie I've definitely read books just for the beautiful or interesting writing. The premise does sound promising, bummer it didn't pull through! 1y
18 likes2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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I‘ve said it before and I‘ll likely say it again—I love the imagery and Darnielle‘s descriptions.

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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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“It was a powerful gambit. Talking about family health is a pastime almost as exalted as the noble art of who lives where now and how they got there.”

I‘m really enjoying some of the writing—descriptions are great.

Matt_S That line really struck me too. It took something so mundane, but elevated it to the importance it takes in peoples thinking. 1y
13 likes1 comment
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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Oh man, I remember those types of days...

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TracyReadsBooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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This book doesn‘t have great reviews on Goodreads and I honestly don‘t remember how I came across it. I found it on the sale shelves at a local bookstore, snatched it up and now it‘s my next read.

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tobypfrench
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
Pickpick

I feel intensely sad.

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KimmyM
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
Mehso-so

Well this was definitely...a book. I enjoyed WOLF IN WHITE VAN, his previous book, and I was soooo intrigued by this one's synopsis. I was really into the first part, but this felt like a book that almost got somewhere but never quite did.
I'm torn because I didn't outright dislike it. I probably just need a little more time to think about it.
Probably 3/5 🌟 for me.

Chelleo Love that first sentence! 😂😂😂 1y
14 likes1 comment
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KimmyM
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Started this earlier today. I'm about halfway through and very intrigued.
#currentread

susanw It‘s a weird one. 1y
17 likes1 comment
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danibel
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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One of the officers from my ship went to John Darnielle‘s book signing on my behalf and would never pass up an opportunity to embarrass me behind my back 😆

1 like1 stack add
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Aloisi_tribe
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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⭐️⭐️⭐️My husband was out of town this past weekend and I‘m finally done with my classes for now so I was able to finish two audiobooks! It‘s the most I‘ve read since November. This one was okay. I didn‘t quite get the point of the whole story or the ending. Maybe if I had read it instead of listening to the audiobook it would have made more sense.

16 likes2 stack adds
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RedbagReadbooks
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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1. Iowa
2. Long epic sagas
3. 20 pages into about 4 different books. But I am reading James and the Giant Peach to my daughter. And I am reading Captain Underpants #9
4. Mexican
5. 2 dogs. Lab that is almost 12, Rottweiler/ Mastiff mix who is 4-5, and 1 hairless cat.
6. What is your go to book when giving a recommendation to someone?

Kaye What are your pet‘s names ? 1y
RedbagReadbooks @Kaye my lab is named Tanner (named before we got him, wouldn‘t be my choice), my rott mix is named Cain ( once again he was a rescue dog that had previously named Kruger and Cush, we thought it was a happy medium), and the hairless cats name is Jinx. 1y
24 likes2 comments
review
eachwishrezigned
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
Mehso-so

I still don‘t know exactly how to feel about this book. I loved Wolf in White Van, and in some ways, it was similar to that. But I didn‘t get a real sense of resolution despite getting “endings” for most of the characters. I think mostly I just expected something different from it. The writing was good and I do like the way JD plays with time and doesn‘t tell a story in a linear way.

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jveezer
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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So much talent! I haven't got to the book yet but I'm spinning this vinyl right now. We were the only thing in the galaxy God didn't have his eyes on... #IOnlyListenToTheMountainGoats #ThePiratesLifeForMe

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eachwishrezigned
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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In the HoL reading group, someone mentioned “leaves” reminded them of table leaves. My family has those types of tables, but I hadn‘t thought about them in years. I have this ridiculous notion that these little coincidences are sort of like signposts on a path, affirming you‘re going the right way. I notice them far too often, especially lately, and I‘m beginning to think maybe it‘s the opposite. This can‘t be the right way!

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eachwishrezigned
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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Why is there no cover photo for this book on Litsy??? Loved Wolf in White Van, so I‘m hoping this is just as good.

5 likes1 stack add
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kaywa
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
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All I need to keep me warm.

2 likes1 stack add
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nofutureparttwo
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle
Pickpick

I‘ve loved the Mountain Goats forever but hadn‘t read any of Darnielle‘s fiction. I was pleased to find that the same fierce humanity and emotional acuity which has endeared Darnielle‘s music to so many people is present here; I also loved the book‘s weird darkness. However I had trouble following the narrative toward the end, and don‘t quite understand how it all fit together. Overall: I quite enjoyed it but I can understand why others might not.

nofutureparttwo Also: I read this on audiobook, and thought Darnielle was a fantastic narrator. 2y
nofutureparttwo @Nat_Reads I‘ve heard glowing things from everyone I know who‘s read it! I‘m eager to read it, especially based on how much I liked this. I‘d be more inclined to listen, but it looks like the audiobook isn‘t (yet) available from my library‘s Libby catalogue. 1y
6 likes3 comments
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nofutureparttwo
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle

“Over the years, she has taken great pains to hide the face of the child she once was. She does it by trying to feel older than she is. [...] Over time it has been a great comfort, this discipline of imagining herself alive and intact, safe on the other side of years she might otherwise have had to live through, uncertain of where they would lead.”
———
Darnielle‘s writing is unsurprisingly gorgeous and insightful.

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nofutureparttwo
Universal Harvester | John Darnielle

“Abby had burst into tears upon seeing her mother in the driveway. Parents get so old when you leave them to themselves for a few semesters.”

😢