1040 N Guillemard St
Pensacola, FL 32501
From Reddit horror sensation Dathan Auerbach, author of the viral self-published bestseller Penpal, comes BAD MAN: A Novel — an old school, slow-fuse psychological thriller about a missing young boy and his older brother who should have stopped looking for him.
The set-up is simple. Florida, 1995. Ben is fifteen years old when he and his three-year-old brother Eric leave the house together one day to run an errand at the local grocery store. At the market, a headache consumes Ben. He closes his eyes just for a moment to rest his head on the wall. And when he opens them, Eric is gone.
Flash forward five years. Ben’s family life is in disarray. His stepmother has become a recluse, sitting alone in his brother’s old room, singing to no one. And when his father can no longer pay the bills, Ben needs to find a job. Despite applying to every business in town, the only opportunity that presents itself is the overnight graveyard shift at the very store that swallowed his brother all those years ago.
And that’s when things get strange.
At the grocery store, items begin to stock themselves on the shelves. The walk-in freezer mysteriously locks itself behind him. And one day, Eric’s favorite stuffed animal appears in the store’s lost and found, as if it had been waiting five years for his arrival. Soon, Eric’s missing child posters begin showing up in unexpected places, defaced with a strange symbol. And all the while, a menacing industrial baler lurks in the background.
Dathan Auerbach initially made a name for himself when he self-published his first book, which began as a post on Reddit. Dathan’s entries on the site’s “No Sleep” horror forum were an instant hit, becoming some of the most up-voted among the community’s twelve million subscribers. And after starting a GoFundMe campaign that received more than one thousand percent of its funding goal, he rewrote them as Penpal, a novel about a boy who goes to sleep at night and wakes up in the middle of the woods, over and over again.
Blending the best of classic and contemporary horror elements and tropes, BAD MAN combines creepy kids, dark woods, silent industrial spaces, occult symbols and one unforgettably sinister grocery store. Imagine the first season of True Detecive as written by Joe Hill and you’ll begin to understand the creepy, masterful, slow-burn horror that Dathan Auerbach creates.
Praise for Dathan Auerbach’s BAD MAN:
“With Penpal Auerbach freaked us out. With Bad Man he’s got a bigger canvas, and, it seems, a sharper shovel, as he’s dug deeper here and found a totally unsettling story about never giving up on a loss. Brilliant stuff.”
—Josh Malerman, author Bird Box and Unbury Carol
“Bad Man blew a big dark hole right through my chest. Spellbindingly terrifying stuff. Dathan Auerbach writes high-test, 151-proof horror.”
—Nick Cutter, author Little Heaven and The Troop
“Cleanup on aisle 9: Bad Man will make a mess of your daily life, will haunt your next trip to the grocery store. And then you’ll want to reread it, just to see how Dathan Auerbach did that. And you’ll be scared all over again.”
—Stephen Graham Jones, author of Mongrels