My criteria for music is based almost solely on the lyrics. Even if the tune is catchy, I won’t listen if I can’t stand the lyrics. And I have listened to songs where the music was subpar because the lyrics spoke to me. Someone who’s lyrics I appreciate consistently is John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats, so my friend suggested I read his novel, Wolf in White Van.
Since this friend is one who has an exquisite taste in books (and she actually gave me a copy), I had no reason not to read it.
Darnielle brings the same level of poetry to his novel-writing as he does to his lyric-writing, and the character he develops here is rich and unique. Sean is a game designer, having created a company that actually mails people their options and waits for their letters to advance their play. When disaster strikes for two players, Sean has to account for it. But embedded within this conflict is his personal history and why he began designing the games at all. By the time he tells you about the life-changing event in its entirety, the astute reader has already worked the details out for themselves. And yet, reading the description is just as powerful as everything else in the book.
I really liked this one. It’s like nothing I’ve ever read (and I’ve read a lot). It’s a moving story with a real and developed main character/narrator, and even though it’s told backwards (maybe because it is) the stakes and consequences are striking.
My most favorite thing about this book: I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one thing. I just thought it was incredibly well-done overall.
My least favorite thing about this book:
Who I would most like to recommend this book to:
Which item in the challenge it fulfilled: Book a friend recommended.
Where this book sits on my bookshelf: After The Cat Ate My Gymsuit and before The Frog King.