The Handyman Method

S. & S. Audio Aug. 2023. 732p. ISBN 9781797151854. Audio. $19.99. HORROR
The horror is already in the house—and it’s toxic masculinity. This collaboration between Cutter (The Troop) and Sullivan (The Marigold) traces the downfall of Trent Saban, a man who just wanted to fix a crack but ends up succumbing to his most disturbing impulses. Trent seeks out a YouTube handyman series for help, but things take a turn when the host slyly inserts poisonous words of advice just for him. The messages wear at his confidence, identifying Trent’s wife and son as the problem and offering violent solutions that descend into grotesquery and true horror. Corey Brill brings an everyman voice to the narration, creating an absently fond, tolerant head-of-household tormented by a morass of insecurities within. Secondary characters are given distinct, if somewhat stereotypical, voices—an unhelpful side character exhibits perfectly pitched nasality, while the insidious handyman speaks in a good ol’ boy voice, and so on. Whether listeners love this novel will depend on their interpretation of its third-act twist.
VERDICT A haunted-house story possessed by the shades of Stephen King’s The Shining and The Tommyknockers. Horror fans will be enthralled.
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