Bad Man

Bad Man

A Novel

Book - 2018
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Eric disappeared when he was three years old. Ben looked away for only a second at the grocery store, but that was all it took. His brother was gone. Vanished right into the sticky air of the Florida Panhandle. They say you've got only a couple days to find a missing person. Forty-eight hours to conduct searches, knock on doors, and talk to witnesses. Two days to tear the world apart if there's any chance of putting yours back together. That's your window. That window closed five years ago, leaving Ben's life in ruins. He still looks for his brother. Still searches, while his stepmother sits and waits and whispers for Eric, refusing to leave the house that Ben's father can no longer afford. Now twenty and desperate for work, Ben takes a night stock job at the only place that will have him: the store that blinked Eric out of existence. Ben can feel that there's something wrong there. With the people. With his boss. With the graffitied baler that shudders and moans and beckons. There's something wrong with the air itself. He knows he's in the right place now. That the store has much to tell him. So he keeps searching. Keeps looking for his baby brother, while missing the most important message of all. That he should have stopped looking.
Publisher: New York : Blumhouse Books, Doubleday, [2018]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385542920
0385542925
9780525435266
0525435263
Branch Call Number: FIC AUERBAC 2018
Characteristics: 386 pages ; 24 cm

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rsmunoz
Aug 06, 2019

Whew! I wanted to like Bad Man (especially after PenPal); instead, like a trail of crumbs stringing me along from one hopeful lead to another only to grab a fistful of air, I felt gut punched by this heartbreaking culmination of events. It's not horror in the traditional sense, if you don't count the way Ben begins to doubt himself and how an unknown person taunts him with weird drawings and strange acts. When I thought the plot would turn left, it streaked right, which kept me guessing alright, but after a while, it was just too much emotionally. I came away with unanswered questions and loose ends and more than a little frustration after having spent days following this overlong tale that simply blew up in my face. Where was the satisfaction for Ben? For his parents? For his friend Marty? Arrgh. After that kind of upheaval, I wanted some kind of happy, but all I got was agonizing injustice for the characters I grew to care for.

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