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Wolf in White Van: A Novel by John Darnielle
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Wolf in White Van: A Novel (edition 2015)

by John Darnielle (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7254318,529 (3.68)28
Member:selfnoise
Title:Wolf in White Van: A Novel
Authors:John Darnielle (Author)
Info:Picador (2015), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work details

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

  1. 10
    All the Birds Singing by Evie Wyld (bibliovermis)
    bibliovermis: Another novel that can be read in either direction, exploring a teenage mistake and the moving on from it.
  2. 00
    Remainder by Tom McCarthy (revbean)
    revbean: Though quite different in a number of ways, Darnielle's Wolf in White Van and McCarthy's Remainder are both stories of men scarred by traumatic events who embrace world-creation as a means of coming to terms with their situations and (re)discovering themselves.… (more)
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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Finished the book last night and this morning found myself starting again from the beginning. Had to stop and let the book live in my mind. America, guns, mass murder - but friendship, life, death. ( )
  Ma_Washigeri | May 27, 2018 |
Défiguré par le fait de la prise des pilules analgésiques, Sean s'enferme dans un monde imaginaire et crée un jeu qui, s'avère dangeureux pour des jeunes voulant le transposer dans la vraie vie. Après la mort de ces jeunes, leurs parents ont envoyé à l'auteur du jeu une lettre d'injure ce qui, réactive chez lui des souvenirs enfouis.
  ACParakou | May 25, 2018 |
"Backyard Conan, thrown together from half-understood comic books only, took several liberties with the particulars. The Conan that the world knew didn’t drink blood, wasn’t ruthless and cold. In his original form, he’d lived to follow a warrior’s code of honor: enemies met death at his sword, and fellow barbarians shared in the plunder, but they were all men who lived by a code. The code was cruel, but just, consistent: coherent. When I became Conan things were different; his new birth had left scars. I ruled a smoking, wrecked kingdom with a hard and deadly hand. It was dark and gory. No one liked living there, not even its king. It had a soundtrack. All screams.”

If Iain Banks had collaborated with the Strugatsky Brothers to reimagine the world of 𝘙𝘰𝘢𝘥𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘗𝘪𝘤𝘯𝘪𝘤, this novel may’ve sounded very similar. Not to take anything away from the originality of this work—it’s stunning and every bit as engaging as Banks’ early works or the Strugatskys’ sci-fi fare. All from the frontman of the Mountain Goats, who writes amazing lyrics, sometimes for concept albums, so it’s no surprise Mr. Darnielle can spin a yarn. However, to have a unique voice, not bore the shit out of me, and keep me guessing until the end (what the hell is Trace Italian, anyway?) is another feat usually reserved for novelists and novelists alone.

Also loved the packaging and layout of the thing, which I normally don’t bother mentioning in these mini-impressions. But, you know, a great job all around deserves, on all fronts—writing style, plot, book design—all possible accolades. ( )
1 vote ToddSherman | Apr 26, 2018 |
Sean's life is outlined in first person. He describes experiences from his past & his present. Comments or activities trigger memories for him to relay to the reader. As he brings the reader up to speed on what happened in the past, Sean usually finds a link back to the present.

Sean references a game similar to "Dungeons & Dragons". Sean's game is called Trace Italian. I never played "Dungeons & Dragons". Sean makes the concept clear & why it is important to the players. I could empathize with their interest. Sean's life wasn't just about gaming. He had his fair share of tragedy. We all have to decide how to cope; how to grow.

I heard great acclaim for this book & was excited to start it. I was very interested from a medical standpoint. If I was a gamer, I might have felt more of a thrill. I liked Wolf in White Van, but it wasn't the thrilling tale initially recommended to me. ( )
  godmotherx5 | Apr 5, 2018 |
This book was interesting, but I sometimes found my attention wandering. The style of the writing annoyed me a little because it jumped around in the timeline and made references to things that were never expanded upon.

The narrator wasn't all that compelling; he just seemed like a kid who had always been lost in his own head. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
But what drives “Wolf in White Van” is Mr. Darnielle’s uncanny sense of what it’s like to feel marginalized, an outsider, a freak. He has an instinctive understanding of fetid teenage emotional states and the “timelines of meaningless afternoons that ended somewhere big and terrible.”
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, DWIGHT GARNER (Sep 25, 2014)
 
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374292086, Hardcover)

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

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 seventeen, 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, role-playing 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, and are explorers of the Trace. But when they take their play into the real world, disaster strikes, and Sean is called on to account for it. In the process, he is pulled back through time, tracing back toward the moment of his own self-inflicted departure from the world in which most people live. 
     Brilliantly constructed, Wolf in White Van unfolds backward in time 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:04 -0400)

"A novel about an interactive game designer with no face by the singer-songwriter behind the Mountain Goats and the author of Black Sabbath's Master of Reality (33-1/3)"--

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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