Book Review | Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle


wolfEvery time the Mountain Goats come on in my car (which is often – I may be a little bit of an obsessive person, whoops) Sam pats my dashboard and says, “Oh, John!” He’s trying to make fun of me because if you pay attention to pretty much any song in their catalog at some point you’ll find yourself saying the same thing – and I’ve been known to do it without even realizing it.

John is great. John is emotional. John is always fucking things up. John’s a mess! I love John!

I wasn’t sure he could pull off a novel though. I’ve had limited experiences with lyricists I love writing novels – really just Jost Ritter‘s Bright’s Passage, which I actively disliked. I love John and I love his lyrics but I just wasn’t sure I wanted to spend hours and hours in his head.

As it turns out, I do! As it turns out, John has got some serious chops all around. Wolf in a White Van wasn’t a “Mountain Goats Novel,” in which everyone is drunk all the time and making terrible decisions and feeling sad and defeated about it. Don’t get me wrong – all of those things happened but there was also a very rich, unique, and affecting storyline underneath it all. This book astounded me.

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