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JOHN DARNIELLE - Universal Harvester
Saturday, Feburary 25th at 6pm
Musician & Songwriter
speaking & signing
Songwriter and novelist John Darnielle joins us tonight with his new book Universal Harvester. Set in a small town in the late 90s, Jeremy runs a struggling movie rental store. When customers complain of disturbing images recorded over their VHS tapes, Jeremy and his friends set out to uncover the dark mysteries of their otherwise quiet town. Don’t miss out!
EVENT & TICKET GUIDELINES
- The speaking portion of this event is free & open to the public.
- Tickets are required to join the signing line.
- Tickets are only available with the purchase of a copy of Universal Harvester from BookPeople.
- Books & tickets are now available to pre-order. Purchasing a book online automatically assigns you a ticket for the signing. There is no separate "ticket" item to add to your cart.
- Tickets are lettered. The line for the signing will form according to ticket letter after the author speaks.
- Keep checking this page for further guidelines as the event date approaches.
If you cannot make the event, you can order a signed copy of Universal Harvester. Simply add the book to your cart and indicate SIGNED COPY. We ship all over the world!
ABOUT 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 blink dark for a moment andShe’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 . . .
ABOUT JOHN DARNIELLE
John Darnielle is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats; he is widely considered one of the best lyricists of his generation. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and son.
If you cannot attend the event and would like to order a signed copy of the book, add the book to your cart and put SIGNED COPY in the comments field at checkout. We ship all over the world!