John Darnielle set to release his first novel | Music

John Darnielle set to release his first novel

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The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle is known as a storyteller in song. But this October, he moves to printed fiction when Farrar, Straus and Giroux publishes his debut novel, Wolf in White Van. The story follows Sean Phillips, a man isolated from society since an injury at 17 left him disfigured. Broader plot points are scarce, but there are hints of shifts between real and imagined worlds and the sort of weird, dark, adventurous beauty we’ve come to expect from Darnielle.

“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,” declares a quote from Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) on the announcement.

The novel is a logical next undertaking for Darnielle, a trained poet who published his first book, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, as part of the 33⅓ series in 2008. He’s been a monthly columnist for Decibel Magazine and poetry editor of The Mays.

Darnielle’s success in each endeavor comes down to his bold sense of narrative, something FSG editor Sean McDonald points out in his release announcement. “Wolf in White Van emphatically proves that [Darnielle’s] imagination and voice are at least as at home on the page as they are in song,” McDonald writes.

That’s going to make a lot of Mountain Goats fans anxious for the fall.


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