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The Handyman Method

af Craig Davidson, Andrew F. Sullivan (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1425193,357 (2.72)8
Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:A chilling domestic story of terror for fans of Black Mirror and The Amityville Horror.
When a young family moves into an unfinished development community, cracks begin to emerge in both their new residence and their lives, as a mysterious online DIY instructor delivers dark subliminal suggestions about how to handle any problem around the house. The trials of home improvement, destructive insecurities, and haunted house horror all collide in this thrilling story perfect for fans of Nick Cutter's bestsellers The Troop and The Deep..… (mere)
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Viser 5 af 5
The Saban family are the first ones to move into a new, unfinished development community. Rita Saban is a successful lawyer. Trent Saban, her husband, is also a lawyer, but currently on paid leave (significantly less than he used to make) due to an incident that happened in the recent past. They have one child, Milo, who has a pet turtle named Morty.

When they first move into their new home, Trent's biggest complaint is that the beautiful lawn he was promised doesn't exist yet. The house itself initially looks perfect...until Trent takes a closer look and sees the large crack in one of the closets. He can fix it, he's sure, even though he's never previously been very handy. His ego has taken a bit of a hit lately due to his work situation, and he's determined to prove his worth by taking care of the various little issues around the house, starting with that crack. With the help of "Handyman Hank" videos he finds on Youtube and frequent trips to Home Depot, he begins to feel more confident and capable. But there's something darker behind those videos, and before he knows it, Trent finds himself caught up in it.

I went into this expecting Trent to be a decent guy who was gradually influenced by toxic aspects in his "Handyman Hank" videos, which included a pretty strong thread of "real men know how to fix things themselves" from the start. Instead, Trent was pretty bitter and awful right from the start, and it was pathetically easy for the "Handyman Hank" videos to get him to embrace openly toxic masculinity. I hated his internal voice and the way he thought about and talked to his wife and son. My dislike was so strong that, if this had been a longer work, I doubt I'd have finished it. As it was, I wanted to DNF it pretty early on, and unfortunately Trent only got more repugnant as the story progressed.

Something I didn't expect: pretty much every character in this was horrible and off-putting, by the end. I started off with a certain amount of sympathy for Rita, but that evaporated as I found out more about her. The one character who 100% didn't deserve what happened to them was Morty the turtle (by the way, content warning for gruesome and graphically described scenes - pet death, self-harm, amateur surgery, and probably other things I'm forgetting).

All in all, this was an unpleasant book about largely unpleasant people, and I was glad when I finished it and could move on to something else.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Jun 8, 2024 |
A fun twist on a normal haunting! Descriptions were out of this world, like everything Cutter does! ( )
  eboods | Feb 28, 2024 |
From the beginning of this book an ominous tone is set. From the moment the family steps foot into their new home, they notice that there are problems with it, made even worse by the fact that it was meant to represent a new start for them. They had high hopes on a house that was literally sinking into the ground, so it didn't take very long for the situation to take an even darker turn. The first project Trent takes on sees supernatural elements introduced and readers are propelled into a world of creepy symbols, strange occurrences, and characters who can’t be trusted. As is true of most works of horror, the story quickly slides into an unrecognizable place where characters and situations become more and more outrageous, more and more creepy, causing more and more self-doubt to the main character that it has decided to attach itself to...and in this case it's Trent. However, the question remains as to whether Trent is the one sliding into madness, or if it's the world around him...specially in the house, that is changing. Milo, the son, describes his family as having "weak spots" to begin with, and the house immediately takes that to heart and exploits that by dragging them each into a hellish world of frightening creatures that are seen in both the daytime and the nighttime. The family is allowed a few weeks of bliss once the initial scary creepiness settles down. But it is the eye of the storm, and the author shows that it is only numerous elements of foreshadowing that suggest this calm is very short-lived. Milo desperately attempts to please his father in their new home, but the house is not the only thing that is changing...Trent is changing along with the house. It seems that Milo can't ever quiet find common ground with his dad. I believe Milo's thoughts sums it up fairly well...“If he could just do that, strengthen his mind, it’d make his father happy. And when Dad was happy, the house was happy. And when the house was happy, they could all be happy.” Oh Yes...you diffidently want this house to be happy! ( )
  Carol420 | Sep 7, 2023 |
I thought Nick Cutter's 2014 horror tale, The Troop, was a great read. I read the premise of his latest novel, The Handyman Method, and thought it looked intriguing. And the cover is eye catching.

Okay, I'm going to be somewhat obtuse here as I don't want to spoil things for you.

Trent, Rita, and their young son, Milo move into a new subdivision. And their new house is...well it's the only one there. Trent is between jobs, as they say. When he sees an item that needs attention in his new house, he decides to undertake the repair himself. And like many of us, he turns to the internet to find some guidance. And he stumbles across upon Handyman Hank's site. And the weirdness begins. At home and out in the world. Specifically big box DIY stores. As odd as it sounds - these bits were darkly humorous and decidedly true. Cutter skewers toxic masculinity through the big box, the website and another program that pops up on Milo's computer. Quite frightening for sure. There are a number of other dark events and pieces.

But. Yes, there's a but for me. The Handyman Method started down avenues that I understand are 'horror', but I found them to be things I didn't want in my head. Misogynistic comments that were truly vile. A doomed turtle. The plot seemed to feel repetitive and I decided to take a break from the book. I came back to it, but realized my opinion hadn't changed. I fast forwarded my way to the final chapters to see what answers the ending might bring.

So, it's a rare DNF for me. I do know there's lots of others who quite enjoyed The Handyman Method, so check out the other reviews on Goodreads.

I will say that the narrator, Corey Brill, did a fantastic job interpreting and presenting Cutter's work. He brings out a mocking, caustic voice for Handyman Hank that is spot on. Trent's voice is just as good - the anger he carries, the biting sarcasm, the ugly hate and more are captured with Brill's reading. He speaks clearly and enunciates well. ( )
  Twink | Aug 16, 2023 |
Having loved Nick Cutter's previous horror novels, I knew I had to read his latest novel, The Handyman Method: A Story of Terror, cowritten by Andrew F. Sullivan. I wanted to see what he did with the haunted house motif. If it was half as terrifying as what he did with ocean exploration and camping, I knew horror fans were in for a treat.

From the very first, I knew something was off with The Handyman Method. The original synopsis mentioned satire. Reviews on Goodreads from other galley readers commented on how funny it was. Not just funny - one of the reviews I read described it as hilarious. This is not what you expect to read when trying to learn more about a horror story.

I will say that The Handyman Method is scary. From the appearance of the very first crack, you know something is wrong with the entire property. That sense of dread increases with each chapter. Mr. Cutter and Mr. Sullivan keep their cards close to their chests so that the few twists they add are unexpected and add to the tension.

As for the satire/humor other readers mention, I suspect they believe the ominous DIY Youtuber is the satirical portion of the novel. Except, all he does is spout misogynistic statements about women and encourage the idea of an alpha male. Misogyny isn't funny. Ever. To call the handyman satirical is just a sad excuse to think his statements about a woman's place are funny. If anything, the DIY guy isn't amusing or satirical but another hint that the property is not all it appears to be. Thankfully, the publisher removed any mention of satire in its marketing. As for the reviewers, I suspect they belong on a different end of the political spectrum than me.

Where The Handyman Method disappoints, however, is with the ending. The ending Mr. Cutter and Mr. Sullivan chose for their story is unfulfilling. There is very little in the way of resolution. I understand the lack of a happy ending because it is more realistic for any novel to have a fairy tale conclusion. However, The Handyman Method ends in a way that makes it possible for a sequel, even though there is no hint that they plan to or even thought about continuing the tale. It is very unsatisfactory, akin to an early Stephen King novel wherein they didn't know how to end the story and picked the easiest route.

My final impression of The Handyman Method by Nick Cutter and Andrew F. Sullivan is that it is a decent horror story. I believe Kiersten White's latest horror novel is better, as I found it much more unsettling and psychologically terrifying. The way The Handyman Method ends leaves a dissatisfying impression, and the rest of the story is forgettable. None of the characters develop beyond their archetypes, and the plot easily fits into every other haunted house mold. The Handyman Method is not what I expected from Mr. Cutter, which may be the most disappointing aspect of my reading experience. ( )
  jmchshannon | Aug 7, 2023 |
Viser 5 af 5
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Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Davidson, CraigForfatterprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Sullivan, Andrew F.Forfatterhovedforfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
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Fiction. Horror. Literature. Thriller. HTML:A chilling domestic story of terror for fans of Black Mirror and The Amityville Horror.
When a young family moves into an unfinished development community, cracks begin to emerge in both their new residence and their lives, as a mysterious online DIY instructor delivers dark subliminal suggestions about how to handle any problem around the house. The trials of home improvement, destructive insecurities, and haunted house horror all collide in this thrilling story perfect for fans of Nick Cutter's bestsellers The Troop and The Deep..

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