Wolf in White Van

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: John Darnielle

Narrated By: Carol Burnett, Amy Poehler

Publisher: Harper Collins Publisher Canada

Date: September 2014

Duration: 5 hours 23 minutes


Winner of a 2015 ALA Alex AwardFinalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First FictionLonglisted for the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction An A.V. Club Best Book of 2014A Gawker Best Book of 2014A Boston Globe Best Book of 2014Welcome 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, 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.Praise for Wolf in White Van"[A] strange and involving novel . . . about alienation and despair and the search for meaning. . . . What drives Wolf in White Vanis Mr. Darnielle's uncanny sense of what it's like to feel marginalized, an outsider, a freak." -The New York Times"[Wolf in White Van] explores isolation, creativity and the permeable membrane between outer and inner worlds; how childhood dreams and teenage obsessions colour the infinite expanses of the mind; and how far we can share our interior journeys. . . . The prose is spare yet fervent, both distant and rawly exposed, making for an eerie, awkward and compelling novel that immediately demands a second read." -The Guardian"A quietly devastating book that's not easily forgotten." -Winnipeg Free Press"In Darnielle's novel, as in his songs, the monstrously true and unbelievably beautiful press up against one another. Together, they begin to dance." -NPR.org"A novel is the next logical step for someone who's filled 14 studio albums, 23 EPs, and four compilations with relatable characters, dramatic situations, and recognizably literary themes like spirituality, drug addiction, and more. . . . [The reading is] compelling, and leaves little doubt that Wolf in White Vanis the work of a real writer, not a well-connected blog star." -Pitchfork"An electric debut novel with the sweetest ruminations on Conan the Barbarian ever written." -O Magazine"[Wolf in White Van] will back you onto your heels with its capacity for inventiveness in structure, story, and line-writing." -GQ"Sean's life of minutiae, from simple charcoal drawings hung on the wall to terrible, Conan-inspired cassette tapes, makes his character come to animated, imperfectly perfect life. This attention to detail, this humanity, makes the book a joy." -Paste"The prose is often cryptic and then stunningly clear, microscopically specific and then audaciously grand. The words soothe for sentences at a time, then strike with blunt force." -Slate"A pop culture-infused novel that thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally considers the dark side of nerddom." -Kirkus(Starred Review)"A delicately written first novel, poignant and sinister, that probes the creative and destructive potential of the imagination." -Sydney Morning Herald"In a very fine novel full of darkness, sudden moments of true and good light are as rare as they are welcome, even wondrous." -Financial Times"Right up to its tense closing scene, Wolf in White Vanis a quietly bracing novel about the power-but also the isolation-of an overactive imagination. Without becoming sentimental or excessively bleak, Darnielle has created an empathetic character study: sustained eye contact with a person from whom most would avert their glance." -Bookforum"One of the year's most captivating character studies." -A.V. Club"The best rock novel of the year." -Rolling Stone"Brilliant." -Chicago Tribune"Excellent." -Vulture"Incantatory." -Publishers Weekly"Possibly the best novel of the year." -Chicagoist"A tremendous literary achievement." -Zyzzyva"A dark, nerdy delight." -The Stranger"A novel that unspools rather than reads. . . . Darnielle has a masterful way of putting the reader in the position of reverse engineer. . . [His] is an art that spins pain into gold." -The Hairpin"[Wolf in White Van] unfolds like a labyrinthine treasure map, one in which the treasure chest keeps moving but you're careening toward it regardless, and also you're a little scared of what you'll find when you get there." -The San Francisco Bay-Guardian"One of the most intense reads of the year . . . surreal, emotionally explosive, and often weirdly funny. . . . Nothing is more terrifying, and more honest, than a story that acknowledges that there is no bright line between guilt and innocence." -io9"Wolf in White Van will provoke you, and interest you, and move you." -Open Letters Monthly"This puzzle-like book, riddled with pulp allusions, proves Darnielle's narrative skill." -Time Out New York (Four Stars)"[A] powerful novel . . . Darnielle layers invisible causation, or mechanisms of denial, or signs of an unstable personality, into the narrative with enviable subtlety. . . . An impressive achievement." -Full Stop"Beautifully written psychological fiction for sophisticated readers, with not much else like it out there." -Library Journal"If ever a first novel landed with a joyful noise, it's Wolf in White Van, by John Darnielle." -Publishers Weekly"Although if anyone can evoke literary elegance over three minutes of chords, it's Darnielle, there is a slow-building circuity here that even the most introspective pop song would be hard pressed to sustain." -The Quietus (UK)"Through deft construction and well-earned empathy, Darnielle has crafted a memorable character who is guided through the darkest patches of his life by an inner intensity that burns like a magnesium flare." -The Masters Review