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Go Behind the Scenes of The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

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Publisher's Summary

From the authors of the number-one New York Times best seller Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality and creators of the internet’s most-watched daily show, Good Mythical Morning, a thrilling and darkly funny novel about two best friends fighting the sinister forces at the heart of their Southern town.

It's 1992 in Bleak Creek, North Carolina, a sleepy little place with all the trappings of an ordinary Southern town: two Baptist churches, friendly smiles coupled with silent judgments, and a seemingly unquenchable appetite for pork products. Beneath the town’s cheerful façade, however, Bleak Creek teens live in constant fear of being sent to The Whitewood School, a local reformatory with a record of putting unruly teens back on the straight and narrow - a record so impeccable that almost everyone is willing to ignore the mysterious deaths that have occurred there over the past decade.

At first, high school freshmen Rex McClendon and Leif Nelson believe what they’ve been told - that the students’ strange demises were all tragic accidents. But when the shoot for their low-budget horror masterpiece, PolterDog, goes horribly awry - and their best friend, Alicia Boykins, is sent to Whitewood as punishment - Rex and Leif are forced to question everything they know about their unassuming hometown and its cherished school for delinquents.

Eager to rescue their friend, Rex and Leif pair up with recent NYU film school grad Janine Blitstein to begin piecing together the unsettling truth of the school and its mysterious founder, Wayne Whitewood. What they find, with Alicia's life hanging in the balance, will leave them battling an evil beyond their wildest teenage imaginations - one that will shake Bleak Creek to its core.

This Audible book includes an exclusive interview with Rhett and Link, conducted by Stevie Levine, host of the Good Mythical Morning recap show, Let's Talk About That. In this conversation, Rhett and Link dive into their childhoods in Buies Creek and how they influenced their lives and writing.

About the authors:

Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal, raised in North Carolina and best friends since the first grade, are an LA-based comedy duo known for hosting the most-watched daily talk show on the internet, Good Mythical Morning, their narrative series Rhett & Link's Buddy System, the award-winning weekly podcast Ear Biscuits, and their instant number-one New York Times best seller, Rhett & Link's Book of Mythicality. Their YouTube channels have a combined subscriber base of over 24 million people with seven billion total views. They have been featured on and in The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Live with Kelly & Ryan, The Conan O'Brien Show, Variety, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker.

©2019 Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln "Link" Neal III (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

Editor's Pick

A smart mystery wrapped in humor
"There are some pros and cons to being the comedy editor here at Audible. One con is the "UNSUBSCRIBE" emails I get from coworkers whenever I joke about being old in my newsletters. (Looking at you, Catherine). One pro is that I get to do cool things like fly out to LA to meet and interview "Intertainers" like Rhett & Link about their debut novel. The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek really has it all. It’s funny, mysterious, smart, and filled with 90s references—which is perfect for me because I’m SO OLD. Plus Audible favorite Vikas Adam narrates it, which means that not one second of this listen will be dull. If you don’t know who Rhett & Link are now, well, this is a good introduction. And if you do know their work, expect the unexpected."
Aaron S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

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Does it hold up beyond the R&L fandom?

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek is the first novel by Youtube stars Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal. I have been a fan of Rhett and Link for several years now, watching GMM, listening to Ear Biscuits and reading their first book, which was not a novel. R&L promoted this book a lot on all of their mediums and more, so as a long time fan of this duo I was excited and curious to see what they would do with a totally fictional novel. To me, it seemed like I was being exposed to a lot of promotion for this book but I also understood that they needed to talk about it as much as possible in hopes of breaking the news to those outside of the R&L. sphere, subjecting themselves to awkward morning and nighttime television talk shows to promote their novel.

Getting into this audio book, I really didn't know what to expect besides the fact that it featured characters that were essentially Rhett and Link (Rex and Leif), that Bleak Creek was based on their own hometown, and that it was going to be a sort of "Hardy Boys" mystery. The book featured a lot of "fan service" as I would call it - references to little personal traits and stories that Rhett and Link fans would know and love. It also contains a fair amount of 90's references, which at the beginning serve as a fun way to establish the setting, but at times were intrusive and would be un-relatable to younger readers. Because I wasn't sure what I was getting into, I found the pacing of the story to be kind of jarring sometimes. I think I felt comforted by the fun Rhett & Link references in the Rex & Leif characters, but then felt kind of blindsided when the novel took a particularly dark and magical turn a little more than halfway through the book. The underlying story of the Creek was somewhat interesting, a little cliche but most horror seems to be. Some parts were very gripping and others (a lot of Jeanine's personal backstory, for example) were kind of boring. The pacing of the story seemed to be out of balance overall.

I knew that I was going to be listening to this book so I was interested to see that Rhett and Link chose to have someone else narrate it. It made sense I guess, it is a novel and not a memoir like their last book, so having someone else read it seems appropriate. I have some mixed feelings about the performance, but overall I didn't like it. The general narration tone is incredible dry and boring, and easy to phase out and ignore. I know a lot of audiobooks sound like this, but come on. This monotonous narration was juxtaposed by some colorful character impressions, some of which I liked quite a bit (Whitewood, Rex) and I think they saved the performance. However, there were times when Gam-Gam or Ruby were talking and I could BARELY get through listening to it. Gam-Gam had a lot of dialogue early on and it was incredibly irritating to listen to.

Overall, this is a a fun and twisted first novel by Rhett and Link but it has a few shortcomings. I know that a lot of their fans are going to love this book, but I am curious to see how it is perceived by people who don't know anything about the duo.

22 people found this helpful

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The book the Mythical Beasts would have written...

At first when I noticed Rhett & Link were not the narrators of this book I was a bit disappointed. There choice in Vikas was the right one. He really did deliver the characters the way they needed to be. If you have been a Mythical Beast for a long time or this is your 1st introduction to Rhett & Link you will enjoy this book. There is a fantastic story inserted with fun facts about Rhett and Link and a lot of 90's references...very funny 90's references. If you are in the 40+ age group it will really make you laugh....scooter leg, NKOTB, bike pegs and multiple pagers taking us back to a time before AOL, internet and cell phones. Thank you for creating a place where we can grow with these characters...I hope this story will get to move forward very very soon.

20 people found this helpful

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Exceeds expectations

I used to be an avid reader but after a string of lackluster books I had slowed almost to a crawl. While I've been a fan of Good Mythical Morning for years as well as The Book of Mythicality, I didn't know what to expect in a novel. Well this novel blew my socks off. I am super impressed by the talent and story telling that went into it. I genuinely looked forward to continuing the novel after work and listened to it twice back to back. The only negative thing I can say is it ended. I would like to continue hearing about their lives. Start working on the sequel!!!

11 people found this helpful

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Pretty ok

Ok for a first novel, though a bit tedious at times and the "mystery" is disappointing.
Fans of R&L will find their fill, the best parts are probably the ones born out of their special brand of comedy. I'd say that Bleek Creek itself is the best character, the description and stories of the community and its surroundings are quite vivid and I simply enjoyed spending imaginary time there with the boys by the cape fear river.
Reading and voice acting is really good.
I give it a 5/10, middle of the road with highs and lows. Probably more suited for younger readers in the 11-18 yo span.

8 people found this helpful

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Funny, Creepy, and Excellent.

As a southerner, I feared two things in this book.

1. The narrator not being able to adequately handle central NC drawl.
2. The authors taking the quick way out and relying on degrading tropes.

I was thrilled to be proven baseless in my fears. The performance by Vikas Adam was flawless, and the story was engaging, fun, creepy, and very well done.

Well done, all.

7 people found this helpful

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Hard to finish.. I was disappointed

I think the narration contributed to my dissatisfaction of the book. Made it seem very juvenile. I read such great reviews on this book but it wasn’t for me.

5 people found this helpful

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Sequel please!

A fun ride! Sometimes cliche, sometimes predictable, but always a fun adventure. Definitely a worthy step into the new realm of creative endeavors for Rhett & Link! This story leaves so much more to unfold and I hope there will be future novels to come to unravel the mysteries ahead.

5 people found this helpful

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Fun and Engaging

Honestly did not expect this book to be this good. Probably in my top five for the year. Excellent characters. Great story. Painfully accurate metaphor for the Jesusland South Machine. Couldn’t put it down.

5 people found this helpful

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Bought for the Authors, Stayed for the Narrator

I'll admit -- as someone who has watched GMM on youtube for years, a big draw of this book was the authors and knowing their unique sense of humor and way of seeing the world. I looked at the hardcover book in stores and the reviews seemed intriguing, suggesting Stranger Things as a similar interest for readers. So I decided to give it a listen while at work.

I absolutely love the performance from the narrator. He changes voices so fluidly and sticks to characters so perfectly. And he gets that perfect level of Southern Drawl to add to the story without being too overdone and distracting. Gam-Gam's sweet southern old lady voice and Rex and Leif's slightly differing pitches (which, I'll add, were excellent mimicries of Rhett and Link's voices as children), and the voices of parents and townspeople all came together to weave a captivating performance.

I think the story itself is also well done, and absolutely had me always looking forward to hearing more. The chapters are well-paced and many tiny cliffhangers have you eagerly thinking "oh just one more chapter" over and over. Without spoiling anything, I'll simply say it felt like it was set up for a potential sequel, which leaves me both disappointed and wanting more.

4 people found this helpful

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Fun and Original

Didn't know what to expect going into it. Very surprising twists to what could have been a typical "small town secret" story. Kept me listening even though a few of the narrator's character voice choices got annoying. Worth the listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 11-04-19

I love Rhett and Link

I have been watching Rhett and Link on YouTube for a while and I really enjoy their humour. This book stands on it's own as an excellent story and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Thea
  • 10-09-20

Funny and disturbing in equal measure!

Like anything you’d expect from Rhett and Link, The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek is filled with lots of humour and great observations on life. But this story also has a much darker side, and ends on a really creepy note. So much so I’ve just told my husband he needs to read it pronto so that I have somebody to discuss it with!

The narration is brilliant and easy to follow, and the story flows so well. I listened to it over the course of a few days and will be listening to it again in the near future I’m sure.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Finn Burton
  • 01-17-20

It was okay

it had an okay story line however it was not as good as it was promoted it to be but i would still recommend it to you if you needed something extra in your life

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-19-20

A captivating story which was performed amazingly

This book was a wonderful surprise. I'm a fan of Rhett and link and "read" this more out of curiosity than anything. It was interesting and kept my attention throughout. The reading by Vikas Adam's was remarkable and I will be searching for more books read by him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mary Murphy
  • 05-13-20

The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek

i dont usualy listen to this kind of book, but as i watch Good Mythical Morning every day i thought i would give it a go. I realy enjoyed this book, it made me smile, laugh and cry. well done Rhett and Link, you did your Mythical Best

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-19-21

I am a fan of GMM,

but I did not like this book. The story did not really speak to me. Great read thou. :)

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  • Audiobooks Nest Reviews
  • 06-17-21

Sweet, Chilling, Thrilling

Sweet and chilling. Not a dipping sauce, but my description of this fantastic thriller about immense evil in a small town.

LOVED

I loved almost everything. The following are the highlights.

- This is a classic tale of good versus evil with a solid, creative premise.

- In a story told through the eyes of children, I found their perspectives funny, charming, annoying, heartbreaking and, above all, impressively authentic.

- The tone overall achieved a delicate balance between creepiness and humour.

- Vikas Adam has that comforting, wry “Wonder Years” quality as the voices of Rex and Lief.

COULD HAVE LOVED MORE

Rex and Lief. This is in no way a criticism, rather exasperation at the thought processes of 14 year old boys.

SHALL I COMPARE THEE TO...

This was advertised as perfect for fans of Stranger Things. Spot on.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-18-21

Great book

This has been the first audio book that I was able to listen to and not lose track of. The story is great and the overall way how it was performed added some character as well. Really enjoyed it

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  • MG
  • 01-31-21

Excellent

What's there to say about The Lost Causes of Bleak Creek? Picked it up assuming I'd get Stephen King, and instead I got R.L. Stine (and possibly the book is all the better for it).

Its superb, for the following reasons
1) Seems to be geared towards YA, but easy to enjoy as an older reader
2) Main characters aren't stereotypical tropes (some side characters are however)
3) Writing is very good, with the book progressing at a steady pace (no filler)
4) Setting it in the 90's isn't throwaway. There are legitimate reasons why the story couldn't have worked in a modern setting

My only criticism would be that certain elements of the story aren't explain more. Does that add to the mystery? Yes - but sometimes you want more of an explanation than "it just is'"

I listened to the audio version, and Vikas Adam does an excellent job at narration. He breathes a lot of life into the characters, adds to the book no end

Overall, 5/5. Give this a Go.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-18-20

I stayed up all night to finish, Had me hooked!

A huge well done to the lads, this is a captivating and very well written story. It's been years since I actually read a novel, but I was persuaded from all of the plugging the GMM boys have done on YT. I put it off for months as I wrongly thought it was maybe more of a children's book, a bit of a cash grab - I wish I hadn't of doubted our fave duo and read it earlier. It certainly can be enjoyed by all ages, a true testament to the quality of writing.

The different perspectives were unusual and added an exciting dimension. The plot is full of Twists and turns - some were a bit obvious and I had guessed what was going to happen, but for the most part had me on edge. The supernatural vibes at the climax were immersive and believable, like a bad trip -a nightmare come true. Thus book is fantastically written as to not sound completely ludicrous and break the illusion and realism.

Heartwarming to see the smattering of Rhett and Link 'isms' throughout the story, little Easter eggs for us mythical beasts. The voice actor is amazing props to him also for bringing it all to life, he does a beautiful southern drawl, something I have fell in love with over the years of watching GMM!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-21

Funny, scary, heartwarming adventure

Really enjoyed this, if you know Rhett and Link well from the GMM show, it gives it that extra bit of life in the characters Rex and Leif. A lot of highlights too their lives growing up but not so much to make it a fictional tale of their lives together. Even in the most nerve racking scenes I couldn’t help but laugh in certain instances. Narrator was absolutely amazing, I’d love to listen to more of his “Acting” because that’s what it is I guess. Very glad I took the time to listen to it. And remember to always be your mythical best

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-15-21

Wow. Just wow.

From beginning to end I was enthralled with this book. Well done to Vikas for his brilliant storytelling and voice acting.

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  • Bree Harper
  • 05-06-20

Absolutely loved it!!!

This book is amazing, the story caught my attention immediately and kept me wanting to listen to the whole thing in one sitting. The narration is great with the different voices, it really feels like the characters are real. I think it’s so good, I’ve listened to it 4 times and it never gets boring!

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  • Sarah
  • 03-29-20

More dark than expected (in a good way)

Loved the book! - only criticism is the narrator had a weird and creepy voice...

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  • Bateyk
  • 02-20-20

Super creepy and fun

I really liked this story- great characters and unexpected stuff! Definitely hope to hear more from the ‘triumvirate’s untold adventures’ but you have to find a way to keep Ben and further develop hornhat!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-14-20

Great book

Not being someone from The USA or religious in anyway the beginning was a little bit cringe to start with but absolutely worth listening to it all the way through.

Thanks Rhett & Link for even more entertainment
Love ya work.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-04-20

phenomenal

it was a really great story full of twists and turns, I would highly recommend it

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  • rejnh
  • 01-31-20

Surprisingly good

I was surprised how good this story was. I'm a fan of Rhett and Link's YouTube content but I wasn't sure if this would translate into being good authors, but the story was engaging and the characters interesting. The pacing was good and kept me listening.

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  • Emily Hitzke
  • 12-28-19

Entertaining and intriguing

After a slightly lengthy setup, I became immersed in this nostalgic take that became surprisingly dark. I truly want expecting the direction they took it in. I'd love to see a sequel made. 😊

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  • Peter Hawkins
  • 12-17-19

A generous 3 star as i enjoy good mythical morning

a slow start the whole thing is a pastiche of Stephen King themes with strong echos of IT and stand by me but missing the continuity and craft. The narration is a bit flat. there are moments in the book that carry you along but not sustainable. reads a bit like a young readers. clearly the ending is left shamelessly open to further exploitation but more a case of flapping in the wind than a promise of something better. i wiuld not buy a sequel on the basis of reading this book.