Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle


This book was very strange. I’ve never read anything like it. I tend to stay away from non-fiction for the exact reason that this book highlighted – the world is a fucked up enough place for us to live in, you have to lose yourself in non-reality to stay sane. Or is that even considered sane? Who knows.

As someone who plays World of Warcraft, reads, and writes to escape reality this book had two sides. On the one hand, it was very personal for me.

I have been there, as Sean was, in the hospital, after being inches away from death by my own hand, and though I was not permanently disfigured (not on the outside, anyway) it has changed the way I live in ways unimaginable.

His parents acted much like mine did. The why always hovered over us like a dark cloud as they sat at my bedside in the hospital room. Except mine knew the why the same way his parents, deep down, also knew.

When my mind gets to thinking about death now and my heart beats fast and I can’t breathe I just flip a switch and think about what my characters will do next. It calms me. It keeps me sane.

On the other hand, saying I ‘enjoyed’ this book would be the wrong way to put it. I read it and I felt it. It was written really well. Even with the different timelines I very rarely got confused. The imagery was vivid. Even though it was very dated, I trusted in it. I would believe this as non-fiction if no one told me it wasn’t.

I also don’t want to read another book like it. It took me into the deep dark corners that I fight every day to stay out of. If you want to read something for fun, this isn’t it.  Would I still recommend it? Absolutely.


3 thoughts on “Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

  1. Haha love this. I’ve wanted to read this for a while, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I’d argue that those dark corners are oftentimes beneficially revealing. Either way, thanks for sharing the great review!

    If you’re ever interested in some other great book reviews and musings, be sure to follow! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Suicide Notes by Michael Thomas Ford | Words Matter

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