If you’ve spent enough time listening to the Mountain Goats, you know that frontman John Darnielle has a remarkable gift for short, economical, evocative fictions that come in the form of songs. He’s gone longer, too; his book in the 33 1/3 series, about Black Sabbath’s Master Of Reality, is structured as a novella about a troubled kid and the terrible ways that the world treats him, and it absolutely devastated me. So it’s amazing, wonderful news that Darnielle has just announced plans to publish his first novel, Wolf In White Van.
There are many things worth singling out for praise in Wolf in White Van :the unforgettable main character, Sean Phillips, who has been isolated by a disfiguring injury since age seventeen; Trace Italian, the intricate game within the novel that Sean created and runs; the interplay of real and imagined worlds, which is both complex and heartbreaking; the structure of the storytelling—audacious, brilliant, and never anything but convincing and unreasonably suspenseful; the prose itself, which is precise and beautiful and (forgive me) lyrical.
I am excited, and you should be too. Read more from McDonald about the book here.