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Pulsating at the core of John Darnielle’s debut novel is a subtle mystery: how did our mangled protagonist end up the way he did? But behind and around all that is a more profound pursuit of the meaning inside the current American experience. What is it in this modern life that produces such a deep and profound stricture on existence and promotes such longing and angst? Why do we want so much for and need such a clear definition of ourselves and the truth that is embedded inside of that struggle? A tale that presents itself as the story of one recluse and his coping mechanism for the tragedy of his own life turns out to be a statement about life itself. Wolf in White Van is the best book I’ve read all year, and maybe the best I will read for several years to come.
Full article here.— Mark (For the Courier-Journal Best of 2014 List)
“Darnielle is an outstanding storyteller writing about lives on the outside edges of society and the extreme moments in those lives. Sean, the narrator of Wolf in White Van, has had an isolated existence since he was disfigured at the age of 17. As the creator of a mail-based role-playing game called Trace Italian, Sean influences the lives of others in unexpected, unintended ways. Wolf in White Van is captivating, haunting, and powerful. Highly recommended!”
— Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI