Editor reviews

“Quiet, mysterious, menacing, taking you places you will never, never get out of your head.” - Daniel Handler
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Summary

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.
©2014 John Darnielle (P)2014 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 02-12-14

A story told out of order by a brilliant lyricist

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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.

What other book might you compare Wolf in White Van to, and why?

John Darnielle has written a review of the Black Sabbath album "Masters of Reality" which is very similar in a sense.

Have you listened to any of John Darnielle’s other performances? How does this one compare?

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.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was really attached to this book, there was moments that effected me emotionally.

Any additional comments?

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.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Megan Rice on 16-07-18

Astounding book, beautifully read

As a fan of The Mountain Goats, I was very keen to read this book as Darnielle is know for his ability to create worlds and tell incredible stories through his music. Alas I didn't have time to pick up the book to read, so when this audio-book was released it was a no brainier for me.
I absolutely loved the whole book and was at a loss when it ended. It's a beautifully told story and I followed every beat of it eagerly completing the whole thing in two days. Darnielle has such a wonderful way of telling a story and listening to him read it with his own mannerisms really brought it to life in a hauntingly beautiful way. It's deep, poignant book that explores some pretty dark and vivid stuff and I can say wholeheartedly that it is a fantastic read. The story and world he created stayed with me long after finishing it.

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