John Darnielle

reads from

Universal Harvester:
A Novel

in conversation with KELLY LUCE

THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT
There will be a standby line at the door

This event includes a book signing

Date

Feb
8
Wednesday
February 8, 2017
6:00 PM
(Doors at 5:30)

Location

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

SOLD OUT. View our Sold Out Event FAQ.

Harvard Book Store welcomes bestselling author of Wolf in White Van JOHN DARNIELLE—writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats—for a reading from his latest novel, Universal Harvester. Darnielle will be joined in conversation by Pull Me Under author KELLY LUCE.

Please Note:

This event is now sold out, but see below for details on the film screening to follow the event at the Brattle Theatre for another opportunity to see John Darnielle here in Cambridge.

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 Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa—a small town in the center of the state, the first “a” in Nevada pronounced “ay.” This is the late 1990s, and while 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 She’s All That, a new release, and complains that there’s something wrong with it: “There’s another movie on this tape.”

Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious. But he takes a look and, indeed, in the middle of the movie the screen blinks dark for a moment and She’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 unsettling 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 much like a barn just outside of town.There will be no 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 . . .

Film Screening

The Brattle Theatre will screen Peter Bogdanovich's Targets—featured prominently in Universal Harvester—after our event and signing with the author. This screening will be ticketed separately, through the Brattle Theatre, and will feature a special introduction by John Darnielle. Early arrivers to the screening will have the opportunity to purchase copies of the book and get them signed.

Learn more about the film screening here.

John Darnielle
John Darnielle

John Darnielle

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 was widely hailed as one of the best novels of the year. He is the writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and sons.

Photo credit: Brandon Eggleston
 
Kelly Luce
Kelly Luce

Kelly Luce

Kelly Luce is the author of Three Scenarios in Which Hana Sasaki Grows a Tail, which won Foreword Review’s Editor’s Choice Prize for Fiction, and the novel Pull Me Under. After graduating from Northwestern University with a degree in cognitive science, she moved to Japan, where she lived and worked for three years. Her work has been recognized by fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Sozopol Fiction Seminars, Ragdale Foundation, the Kerouac Project, and Jentel Arts, and has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Salon, O, the Oprah Magazine, The Southern Review, and other publications. She is a Contributing Editor for Electric Literature and a 2016-17 fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, where she is working on her next novel.

Photo credit: Alex Jaynes

UPDATE: Tickets for this event are sold out. Please note, we are often able to accommodate additional attendees from a standby line for sold out events. View our Sold Out Event FAQ for more information.

Tickets are non-refundable and non-returnable.

Brattle Theatre
40 Brattle St., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 10 minutes

As you exit the station, cross Mass. Ave. and proceed along Brattle St. Follow Brattle St. as it curves to the right in Brattle Square (follow the sidewalk on the right side of the street). The Brattle will be on the left-hand side of the street. The building is shared with Algiers Cafe and Alden & Harlow Restaurant, and the theatre entrance is on the left side of the building—look for the sidewalk poster case and marquee.

Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.

While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

Ordering a signed book on harvard.com:

  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
  • Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. If you are ordering the day of, please call us instead.

Ordering a signed book by phone:

  • Call us at (617) 661-1515 and one of our booksellers will take your order. Specify you'd like a signed copy.
  • If you are requesting a personalized inscription and/or requesting your book be shipped, we'll need to take down credit card information. If you are planning to pick up the signed book in the store, you can pay on pick-up.

FAQ:

Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

Do signed books cost more?
There is no extra fee for a signed book!

Do I have to pick it up in the store, or can you deliver my signed book?
As with all web or phone orders, we can hold your book for in-store pickup, or ship it anywhere in the country.

I am planning to attend an author event. Do I need to pre-order a book?
No need. We'll be selling books at the event, and nearly all of our events include a signing at the end of the talk.

More questions? Give us a call!

Purchase the Book
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
(617) 661-1424 x6
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

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