Wolf in White Van

Wolf in White Van

3.71 (16,485 ratings by Goodreads)
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Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move.

A terrible event leaves Sean Phillips disfigured when he is only seventeen. In the weeks that follow he creates an adventure game he calls the 'Trace Italian', where players awake in an apocalyptic America and make their way to safety across an irradiated landscape, decision by difficult decision. The years pass and Sean lives a quiet life enriched by the growing popularity of his games. But when a pair of teenage sweethearts try to seek the Trace in the real world their actions prove fatal, and everything changes.

Confronted with the Trace's dangers, Sean finds himself questioning the safety of the world he has conjured and its origins in his own life-changing tragedy many years before; how strong are the walls between reality and fantasy? how can a single choice determine us? how great are the dangers in our own minds?

A beguiling story of contingency, solitude and escape, Wolf in White Van is a heart-stopping debut from a musician and songwriter known for the transcendent power of his words.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 135 x 210 x 15mm | 220g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • illustrations (black and white)
  • 1783781084
  • 9781783781089
  • 52,676

Review quote

"John Darnielle's novel moves through the mind like a dark-windowed car through a sleepy neighborhood: quiet, mysterious, menacing, taking you places you will never, never get out of your head." --Daniel Handler"Eerie, poetic, at times genuinely terrifying, "Wolf in White Van" is a meditation both on the saving powers of pop culture, and the fatal traps our escape routes can become. John Darnielle's unforgettable first novel is like nothing else I've read." --Paul Murray, author of "Skippy Dies" "Wolf in White Van is utterly magnificent. I was surprised and moved and amazed page after page after page. I am talking about audible gasp type stuff, and also deeper, interior gasps of reflection and astonishment and gratitude. This story is a hard and beautiful human puzzle that will be a pleasure to solve and resolve over many readings. And you can quote me on that. Every day. That is all." --John Hodgman "I can't remember the last time I so willingly followed a narrator into a frame of mind this splintered. (It helps that he's mostly wry about it.) As you read you waver between suspicions that the world itself is ill-made, and concern that the fundamental fault lies within our very brains. As for the writing, I'd go for anything else Darnielle writes like a shot." --Helen Oyeyemi, author of "Boy, Snow, Bird"""Wolf in White Van" is John Darnielle's savage genius gone free range. A meditation on monstrosity, isolation, escape, and transformation, this trance of a novel lures us deep into the labyrinth of one young man's imagination. What we find there is alluring and feral, raw, unflinching and exquisite. Absolutely fucking brilliant." --Claire Vaye Watkins, author of "Battleborn"""Wolf in White Van "is a clever, magical, and diabolical puzzle, at once a role-playing horror story and an ode to the daily salvations that enchantment provides." --Heather O'Neill, author of "Lullabies for Little Criminals "and "The Girl Who Was Saturday Night" "I loved e
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About John Darnielle

JOHN DARNIELLE is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band The Mountain Goats; he is widely considered one of the best lyricists of his generation. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and son.
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Rating details

16,485 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 24% (3,884)
4 39% (6,405)
3 26% (4,285)
2 9% (1,446)
1 3% (465)
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