Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move. Isolated by a disfiguring injury since the age of 17, Sean Phillips crafts imaginary worlds for strangers to play in. From his small apartment in Southern California, he orchestrates fantastic adventures where possibilities, both dark and bright, open in the boundaries between the real and the imagined. As the creator of Trace Italian - a text-based, roleplaying game played through the mail - Sean guides players from around the world through his intricately imagined terrain, which they navigate and explore, turn by turn, seeking sanctuary in a ravaged, savage future America. Lance and Carrie are high school students from Florida, explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, tunneling toward the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live. Brilliantly constructed, Wolf in White Van unfolds in reverse until we arrive at both the beginning and the climax: the event that has shaped so much of Sean’s life. Beautifully written and unexpectedly moving, John Darnielle’s audacious and gripping debut novel is a marvel of storytelling brio and genuine literary delicacy.
"Quiet, mysterious, menacing, taking you places you will never, never get out of your head." - Daniel Handler
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A story told out of order by a brilliant lyricist
Yes, obviously context needed, but the I've contemplated buying a copy for my Aunt.
It isn't complex, it's scattered in the sense that the story is intentionally not told chronologically.
John Darnielle has written a review of the Black Sabbath album "Masters of Reality" which is very similar in a sense.
I wish there was other recordings of books by John. John writes in the same kind of voice as he sings, as such any Mountain Goats fans should check this out.
If you didn't know John is the primary member of the band The Mountain Goats.
I was really attached to this book, there was moments that effected me emotionally.
It's a lovely book, it's worth reading up on the furore over the Judas Priest court case and the Dungeons and Dragons hysteria.
- Amazon Customer
Somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed Darnielle's narration, as well as writing, but I'm not sure how much substance this book actually had.
That's actually quite hard to say. I would recommend it to anyone looking for something a little off-beat, and obviously to anyone who is a fan of Darnielle's music. I think for most fiction fans, though, this is a little too bizarre to recommend.
I actually really enjoyed the scene in the parking lot with the teenagers. I also enjoyed the parts where he is narrating locations - it added some amount of tension, and gave insight into the way the main character thought.
Neither - I was somewhat engaged, but never felt much emotional connection to the book.
I know people are raving about this, but I'm really not sure how I feel about it, even six months to a year after listening to it. But I will be looking out for what Darnielle does in the future.
- S. Kadhim