To launch his first novel Wolf In White Van, John Darnielle (lead singer and songwriter, the Mountain Goats) sits down with author, actor, and comedian John Hodgman for an evening of conversation, short readings, Q&A, and book signing. Books for sale courtesy of McNally Jackson.
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John Darnielle: “Wolf in White Van” reading/discussion
“Surely I cannot be the only bookish devotee of The Mountain Goats who has yearned for whatever alchemy would be released if one of their taut, baleful American anthems had room to completely unfurl. Wolf in White Van is that fantasy put to papyrus and pixel: John Darnielle’s savage genius gone free range. A meditation on monstrosity, isolation, escape and transformation, this trance of a novel lures us deep into the labyrinth of one young man’s imagination. What we find there is alluring and feral, raw, unflinching and exquisite. John Darnielle adds ‘novelist’ to the long list of artistic undertakings at which he happens to be absolutely fucking brilliant.”
—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn
“John Darnielle’s novel moves through the mind like a dark-windowed car through a sleepy neighborhood: quiet, mysterious, menacing, taking you places you will never, never get out of your head.”
“Wolf in White Van is utterly magnificent. I was surprised and moved and amazed page after page after page. I am talking about audible gasp type stuff, and also deeper, interior gasps of reflection and astonishment and gratitude. This story is a hard and beautiful human puzzle that will be a pleasure to solve and resolve over many readings. And you can quote me on that. Every day. That is all.”
“I can’t remember the last time I so willingly followed a narrator into a frame of mind this splintered. (It helps that he’s mostly wry about it.) As you read you waver between suspicions that the world itself is ill-made, and concern that the fundamental fault lies within our very brains. As for the writing, I’d go for anything else Darnielle writes like a shot.”
—Helen Oyeyemi, author of Boy, Snow, Bird
“I loved everything about this book. Blisteringly authentic—like a garage-made bomb on a slow-burning fuse, or like Darnielle set out to adapt an old Iron Maiden T-shirt as a literary novel and succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.”
—Austin Grossman, author of Soon I Will Be Invincible and You
“Wolf in White Van is a testament to the ways in which all of us use imagination to survive, and the ways in which that same imagination can take over our lives until there’s little else left. It brings us inside both the reality and the fantasy of day-to-day life in the way that only John Darnielle can. Read this book. You’ll never hold another one like it.”
—Joseph Fink, creator of Welcome to Night Vale
“Wolf in White Van is beautiful, enigmatic, and sad, and like every other brilliant thing John Darnielle has ever done, it seems to come from some fully imagined universe, of which we only get to see this haunting, enticing sliver. I utterly love it.”
—J. Robert Lennon
Wolf in White Van on FSG
Mountain Goats on Twitter
The Mountain Goats official site
special guest John Hodgman
John Hodgman has served as the resident expert and deranged millionaire for “The Daily Show” since 2006. He and his mustache have appeared in several TV shows and motion pictures, including FX’s “Married,” HBO’s “Bored to Death,” Cinemax’s “The Knick” and “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015). As a writer, his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review, This American Life and Mad Magazine.
John Hodgman official site
John Hodgman on Twitter