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John Darnielle

Author of Wolf in White Van

6+ Works 3,269 Members 178 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

John Darnielle is a writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. He has also written several books including Black Sabbath's Master of Reality and Wolf in White Van: A Novel. (Bowker Author Biography)

Works by John Darnielle

Associated Works

Uncertainties Volume IV (2020) — Contributor — 7 copies


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Common Knowledge



Read this one as it is a nominee for this year’s Edgar award.

The structure is really interesting.all but one of the seven sections are broke into 7 chapters,
In keeping with the mention of devils and witches (7 being a lucky or sacred number)
It is basically a story about a true crime writer and two crimes that he writes about.
It can be a bit jarring as the author leaps from one to the other, including a full section in sort of medieval style language.

The author creates sympathy for the murderers and, to a lesser extent, the victims.
I think he is indicting the true crime genre, feeding ,as it does, off misery.

Anyway, an interesting if sometimes challenging read,
Likely, I think, to disappoint those attracted by the hunted at supernatural elements
… (more)
cspiwak | 20 other reviews | Mar 6, 2024 |
Another reviewer said it better but yes: this is absolutely some Where the Red Fern Grows but for crazy kids (or former crazy kids? unclear on how time factors into the being a crazy kid tbh) shit. Thank you, as ever, Mr. Darnielle. I'm 26 right now and was looking through my to-read list trying to pick a book a few days ago because I needed something, right now, about being unhinged, and this. This was a pretty good pick on my part, tbh. Good timing.
localgayangel | 14 other reviews | Mar 5, 2024 |
This book, much like its rural Iowa setting, is at once wide and, at points, empty. Darnielle has a story to tell, but from time to time, his story is muddied by a number of postmodern writing tricks and wandering descriptions of scenery. The story reads like a mystery, at times poking at the idea of horror, but I felt that Darnielle didn't allow for the intrigue and suspense to mature to a point that had me hungry for answers. Instead, he seemed to linger too long on clever images that detracted from the novel’s pace. Overall, Darnielle has a masterful control of words, even if a focus on what are powerful sentences and even paragraphs are not enough to bring me, as a reader, the emotional response that he brought me through his debut novel or the higher points of his songwriting. "Universal Harvester" is an enjoyable read, but I don't think it has the staying power that I had hoped for when I first cracked open the cover.… (more)
GDBrown | 60 other reviews | Feb 15, 2024 |
Not at all what I expected or wanted.
sweetimpact | 60 other reviews | Jan 18, 2024 |



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