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Download Wolf in White Van: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Wolf in White Van: A Novel, by Marie Rutkoski, John Darnielle Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marie Rutkoski, John Darnielle Narrator: Lorelei King, John Darnielle Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged edition Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 seventeen, 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, role-playing 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An electric debut novel.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “The best rock novel of the year.”

    Rolling Stone

  • “[Wolf in White Van] will back you onto your heels with its capacity for inventiveness in structure, story, and line writing.”

    GQ, The Three Big Novels of the Month, September 2014

  • “A stunning meditation on the power of escape, and on the cat-and-mouse contest the self plays to deflect its own guilt.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This puzzle-like book, riddled with pulp allusions, proves Darnielle’s narrative skill.”

    Time Out New York (4 stars)

  • “Darnielle specializes in impressionistic, highly literate lyrics delivered in a stark, declamatory voice…A pop culture infused novel that thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally considers the dark side of nerddom.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “If ever a first novel landed with a joyful noise, it’s Wolf in White Van.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Beautifully written psychological fiction for sophisticated readers, with not much else like it out there.”

    Library Journal

  • “Narrating one’s own novel can be tricky, especially if it’s a complex work, but John Darnielle does an excellent job…Darnielle’s performance can seem distant at times even though he keeps a steady pace and provides good projection. However, the distance makes much more sense as listeners learn more about the protagonist—a man who, it turns out, has survived a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the face who runs a role-playing game through the mail from the isolation of his small apartment. Darnielle’s narration strengthens the emotional complexity of the story, enhancing the listening experience.”


  • Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award
  • One of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2014
  • Winner of an 2015 YALSA Alex Award for the 10 Best Adult Books That Appeal to Teen Audiences
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A GQ Pick for One of Three Big Novels of the Month for September 2014
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