Wolf in White Van

  • by John Darnielle
  • Narrated by John Darnielle
  • 5 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's 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.


Audible Editor Reviews

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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Breathtaking, expected and unexpected.

Full disclosure; The Mountain Goats are my favorite band and I've been a fan of John Darnielle's lyrics since 2005.

I knew this book would be special. I didn't know if it would be good. Songwriters aren't always able to take that step from lyricist to novelist. I was totally prepared for this to be some quirky little vanity thing that John put out and would have found merit in it just because, but holy God. This book is a stunning character study in frailty, innocence, loss of innocence, the sacred, the profane, the imperfection of family and just life. Read the synopsis yourself if you want to know the plot.

If you ever lived under a roof where the people who made you created their own narrative to believe about you because they can't understand your music, your books or your games. This book is for you.

If the inside of your head and the fantastic world and role you created for yourself there has always been more home to you than home. This book is for you.

If you don't know why you've hurt the way you've hurt for years or why you just seem to makeit worse. This book is for you.

If you are looking for something that gives your answers or even clear cut questions, however, this book is NOT for you.

Whenever an author reads his or her own work, I'm always hesitant. Stephen King can spin a mean yarn, but hearing him read it aloud is like listening to a table saw read the bible. Neil Gaiman is a literary genius, but I literally want to put on PJs and drink warm milk when I hear him. John isn't like either. If you've ever seen The Mountain Goats in person, or heard John in interviews, you know he has a unique cadence and spins some words in odd directions pronunciation wise. Hearing him read this himself is comforting and unnerving at the same time. He knows just how this needs to hit you and hit you it does. I cannot recommend this haunting, beautiful thing enough. Get this. Now.
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- Steve

amazingly frightening book

This book was totally gripping and mysterious and horrifying. It is really well written and I could not stop listening even though the trajectory was a downer of massive proportions. I cannot / will not spoil the book by blathering about the plot. It is good/great and worth a second listening and I don't every listen again. Read by the author and he was great. Too bad he isn't a regular reader.
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- critical shopper

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-18-2014
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio