Universal Harvester

A Novel

Paperback, 224 pages

Published Feb. 6, 2018 by Picador.


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2 stars (2 reviews)

"The second novel from the author of Wolf in White Van, inspired by his years living in a small town in Iowa"--

5 editions

Review of 'Universal Harvester' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Reading this book felt like watching a truck try to get out of a patch of mud; the tires certainly spent a lot of time spinning, but we sure weren't going anywhere.

The setting and inciting incident were promising enough, but they only served to get me in the door and were quickly discarded after the first third or so. I was expecting to get bashed over the head with a nostalgia hammer for the late 90's and go down a sinister path of depraved home videos that lead to some twisted climax. Instead I got a decades-spanning family drama and characters that actively resisted anything interesting.

Which is a shame because the prose was actually good and there were a few lines that impressed me with their wordplay, but that alone doesn't carry a book. There was also a strange choice in narration style; it was some kind of …

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rated it

2 stars