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Bad Man

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  2,280 ratings  ·  467 reviews
Reddit horror sensation Dathan Auerbach delivers a devilishly dark novel about a young boy who goes missing, and the brother who won't stop looking for him.

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.

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Hardcover, 387 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Doubleday Books
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Josh Goodfellow
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Josh Goodfellow I think so, although it might be tough to put together what really happened. Lots of disturbing content as well, but as long as it's a mature 14 year …moreI think so, although it might be tough to put together what really happened. Lots of disturbing content as well, but as long as it's a mature 14 year old it should be fine.(less)
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Average rating 3.36  · 
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 ·  2,280 ratings  ·  467 reviews

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Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Last book of 2020, finished on a strong note! Dathan Auerbach definitely excels with the creep factor, especially writing about terrible events involving children. Like Penpal, the ending is not what you’d think - or hope for.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
As a long-time browser of r/NoSleep and fan of Dathan’s work, when I learned that Bad Man was being released, I was so excited. To learn that he was coming out with his first ever full-length novel—and his first new work in way too long—had me rushing to request this one, and I was beyond excited when I was approved for an ARC. That said, the end result left me with some very mixed thoughts about the execution of this story.

He’s not coming home. It was the only echo that seemed to get louder
3.5/5 stars

Eric and Ben are not only brothers, but friends. Ben is Eric's older brother and not only loves his brother, but is extremely protective. One day, while at the small Northern Florida town's grocery store, Eric goes missing. Eric's disappearance becomes a media circus for the town, and the family is distraught. Ben is devastated, but also feels responsible, and he will stop at nothing to find his younger brother—knocking on doors, putting up flyers, and searching for Eric daily. Five y
Sadie Hartmann
When I learned I would be getting an advanced reading copy of, Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach, I went ahead and ordered his first book, PenPal.
Horror readers are really polarized about PenPal, falling pretty consistently on one side of the fence or the other. A little research on the internet taught me that PenPal was a novelization of Auerbach’s collected subReddit stories that he then published through his own imprint after the stories gained a huge following. After reading it, I would say that I’
Tiffany PSquared
When I think about what makes a good horror story, one of the most important components is the atmosphere. Auerbach sets us up in a small Floridian town and then strips us of all sense of security and comfort. He surrounds his characters with grief, poverty, and suspicion, and therefore creates a perfect setting for this creepy tale that weaves real-life horror with a little something extra.

Eric has been missing for five years and no one has any answers as to what could have happened to him. His
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Jul 29, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
DNF @ Page 140.

I gave this book two chances. The first seventy or so pages didn’t grab me, so I started over. Things went better, until . . . I became bored. And more bored. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough here to carry a novel. A young man’s younger brother goes missing in a grocery store, and said young man gets a job in said grocery store a few years later.

This is the author’s first full-length novel, and it shows. The story feels endless, rambly . . . and just not interesting.

Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This ARC was provided to the Night Worms by Doubleday in exchange for an honest review.

I've been thinking about how to review this one for a few days now. Some of the Night Worms actually had a discussion about the book before we reviewed it. We almost never do that, but it seemed like something that was necessary because a few of us were struggling with the rating for this book.

Basically, I think there is a good story here, I just felt like this novel is overly long. It's starts with an utterly
BAD MAN, by Dathan Auerbach, is the first book I have read by this author. While there were some horrific elements (the loss of a child would hit just about anyone as horror), I saw this as more of a mystery/sometimes delving into fantasy. I found myself reading just to get to the ending and final solution.

That being said, I just don't think this book was right for me. There were things that I considered more "sad" than "horror" here, and that just wasn't what I was hoping for. Also, I felt that
Cameron Chaney
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, adult, thriller, horror
If you'd like to see a video review of BAD MAN, click HERE. If you prefer written reviews, read on!

BAD MAN follows the story of a young man named Ben whose life has been crumbling around him ever since his little brother was kidnapped at a grocery store five years ago while in Ben's care. In hopes of finding his brother, Ben takes on a job at the grocery, feeling like the store might hold the secret to his brother's disappearance. Sure enough, he may be right.

While this novel is categorized as h
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
Review: BAD MAN by Dathan Auerbach

An engrossing horror novel which seems to start out carefully, but almost immediately segues into flat-out horror, from then on BAD MAN is non-stop horror, tragedy, grief, suspense, terror. There are no "normal" folks in this story (except perhaps Clint, Ben and Eric's father, store cashier Chelsea and a neighbor, James) but I think these are present more as a reflective backdrop in which we watch the dysfunctional, the villainous, the evil, and the barely-human
Patrice Hoffman
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be most accurate, Dathan Auerbach's Bad Man is a good 3.5 star rating for me. Two children stumbling upon a body is where we begin this tale. Who's body we're unaware of at the time but there's much speculation once we get into the girth of the story.

Ben is charged with going to get groceries for the family with his young brother Eric. As he and Eric shop for their belongings, the younger of the two needs to use the bathroom. After a mishap with Eric's stuffed animal in an effort to clean him
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Is there anything more heart-wrenching than a tale about a child gone missing? For protagonist Ben, there is no deeper anguish. Five years ago, his little brother Eric disappeared from a grocery store while Ben was supposed to be taking care of him. A moment of distraction was all it took. One second, the three-year-old was there, and the next, he was gone. Search teams scoured the area and the police also looked into al
Ashley Daviau
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After reading Auerbach’s other novel Pen Pal and loving it, I had very high expectations for this one and they were met and even surpassed! I enjoyed this book even more than Pen Pal and that’s saying something. The story was just so gripping, it sunk its claws into me right at the very beginning and didn’t let go until I was left completely shook at the end. I know a lot of people found this book slow and that nothing happened but I have to disagree. I thought the pacing was spot on for the sto ...more
Dec 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A long, sad and painful read of a young man, Ben, who years ago, was in charge of watching his little brother, Eric, only to lose him at the local grocery store.

The recanting of the chain of events is distressing. Sometimes it makes sense, other times it seems skewed - by other people’s reactions? Is there a cover up by the police? Why are there no leads or clues? Is Ben hallucinating? The stepmother and father are emotionally damaged as a result of the kidnapping of their young son. Is there s
Brandy Humphrey
Aug 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Despite my best efforts, after making it nearly halfway through this book I just could not bring myself to go on and had to DNF. I kept hoping SOMETHING would happen to keep me engaged and it didn't. It shouldn't take nearly 200 pages for a book to reel me in, and from what I can tell, this one was never going to. I certainly cannot speak for everyone and would never say "do not buy this book!" Because everyone is different and what I found to be boring and quite repetitive, someone else may fin ...more
Robin Bonne
A chilling and entertaining sophomore novel. I went into reading this book with high hopes, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The protagonist, Ben is still searching for his missing brother, Eric. He takes a job at the same grocery store he lost his brother in years ago. He begins to find strange clues that seem to relate to his brothers disappearance.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a free copy of this ebook.
Cupcakes & Machetes
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: do-eet, fiction, arcs
I received this copy from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Now this is what I was looking for when I said I wanted a good mystery.

Ben's younger brother, Eric, disappeared from the local grocery store five years ago while Ben was in charge of watching him. It's ate away at Ben over the years and he's never stopped looking. With his family on the verge of losing everything because his depressed stepmother no longer works, Ben is forced to take a job at the only place i
Amy Risner
ARC provided by Doubleday in exchange for an honest review

I first became familiar with Dathan Auerbach several years ago when he was known as /u/1000Vultures on Reddit. He wrote the serial-creepypasta series, Penpal, in the /r/nosleep subreddit. No Sleep’s subreddit has one rule: “Suspension of disbelief is key here. Everything is true here, even if it’s not.” In other words, it is a subreddit for authors to post their horror stories and readers/commenters had to go along with it. It’s a creepy
Ruthy lavin
Ahhhhh.... frustrated, frustrated, and frustrated 😩
Penpal was one of my most favourite reads last year - I adored it. Ever Since the moment I finished it I’ve been constantly googling Dathan to see if I can find out when and if he was publishing more work. It felt like a long wait!
I was SO keen to download this book the moment it became available for my kindle, and happily paid the full price for it, something I seldom do if I can help it.
I began with baited breath and it soon became apparent t
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
2.5 Stars

Ben lost his little brother Eric in a grocery store. His family has had a hard time moving on from the incident. Ben decides to take a job at the grocery store where his brother went missing. That's where the troubles start.

This story had a lot of atmosphere. There were times were I was confused as to what was going on. The story dragged a bit throughout, and I felt that the story left a few things hanging in the end. The book overall left me wanting more.

I received an e-copy of this
Don Gillette
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Bad Man very much.
The progressive creepiness was a delight and the highs and lows of the progression were spaced nicely. Even when the progression slowed to a snail's pace, it still managed to build ever so slightly--plenty to keep you interested and moving forward waiting for the next burst.
Most characterizations were full, rich, and tone-setting; those that were not aided in building the suspense factor as the reader was fed tidbits of information about the character. Readers will
Richard K. Wilson
Outstanding! Just finished this novel of total devastation, and personal loss...Absolutely devastating and extremely emotional!!! Review coming tomorrow! I WEPT for 20 minutes after finishing this, coming of age, and love for a little brother thriller! You must LISTEN to this one....and do NOT miss the 'Authors' NOTE' at the end!!! Grab your tissues!

Here is my video review from my channel AreYouIntoHorror here:

-Love and Hope
-Personal loss of a child

What d
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was not a huge fan of Penpal, but figured I would give Bad Man a shot for the Nightworms group read. Apparently I have a hard time connecting with this author's writing. I could not get into this book. I read for quite a bit & nothing ever happened that held my attention.

The synopsis sounded really interesting, and I was looking forward to seeing where it went. Even the part I read was just dragged out, and there was a lot of information about the layout of a grocery store. I hope y'all have
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was so stoked when I was approved to read an advanced copy of Dathan Auerbach's upcoming sophomore novel Bad Man. I devoured Penpal in a day, and it's stuck with me ever since. This one is in the same general neighborhood but doesn't leave as strong an impression. Don't get me wrong, I really dig this and I'll probably buy a copy. It had all the same creepy nuances that reminded me of Dathan's past with creepypasta. But there were some things that didn't flow well, like how often he used U.S. ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Somewhere in the distance, lightning lit the sky on fire, and it screamed in pain."

Bad Man will be published on August 7 and is available for pre-order now.
It is told from the point of view of Ben, a young man who lost his little brother 5 years ago and never forgave himself and never gave up searching. For some reason the police don't seem to care and his step mother is lost in her own world, still buying presents and holding birthday celebrations for her little boy who never came home. Ben's
Kaycee Bowick (Off_The_Press)
Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for providing me with a advanced DRC of this title in exchange for an honest review!

Off The Press Reads: BlogInstagramBloglovin'
Morgyn Peterson
Jun 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I got a lot of questions
Alex | | findingmontauk1
Bad Man, by Dathan Auerbach, follows the story of Ben who loses his brother at a grocery store one afternoon. Flash forward to five years in the future and Ben has not given up hope in finding his brother and starts working at that same grocery store! Ben can sense something is wrong with the store, or the employees, or even the townspeople… he knows he is on the right path.

The first few pages in this book are straight fire and hooked me in right away. I started having all kinds of nostalgia vib
Cassie’s Reviews

First I want to thank netgalley and the author for an advanced copy of this book for my kindle. This book started out really well but started dragging towards the middle and the end really disappointed me!! I enjoyed the depth of the characters and you could feel the pain coming from Ben. The story was about how Ben is living with the guilt of losing his brother while at the grocery store he can’t help but feel it’s his fault since he was babysitting him. So after so many years he decides to get
Bee Reading
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why do I get emotionally invested in some novels I'M EXHAUSTED
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The disposable camera photos and the gift? 2 14 Dec 11, 2019 08:02AM  
'Bad Man' 1 27 Oct 28, 2018 02:13PM  
The NoSleep Podca...: September 2018 Book of the Month: Bad Man by Dathan Auerbach 1 27 Aug 27, 2018 01:56PM  

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DATHAN AUERBACH was born in the southern U.S. and has lived there for most of his life. In 2011, he began posting a series of stories to a forum dedicated to horror. After a Kickstarter campaign that raised over 1000% of its goal, he was able to release the revised and expanded versions of his story as the novel Penpal.

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“He didn't mind, though. He hardly noticed at all. Because that's the thing about hope--when it seems that there's no point in moving, it pushes us so forcefully that we come to feel like we /need/ it to keep going...

And that's what hope really is, after all. An anesthetic. Something that takes the sharp edges of reality out of focus just enough that we can keep looking at it, keep moving forward with steps that are guided by the assurance that every inch of ground can't possibly be covered in broken glass. And then when it /is/--- when your feet are left as coiled ribbons of wet skin-- you forget what guided you there in the first place.”
“Where did you come from?” Ben muttered to the toy, like it might answer. Stampie just smiled. And just like Ben’s first night, it felt almost as if the store were smiling back.” 1 likes
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