Wolf In White Van by John Darnielle
Welcome to Trace Italian, a game of strategy and survival! You may now make your first move. A terrible event leaves Sean Phillips disfigured when he is only seventeen. In the weeks that follow he creates an adventure game he calls the 'Trace Italian', where players awake in an apocalyptic America and make their way to safety across an irradiated landscape, decision by difficult decision. The years pass and Sean lives a quiet life enriched by the growing popularity of his games. But when a pair of teenage sweethearts try to seek the Trace in the real world their actions prove fatal, and everything changes.
Confronted with the Trace's dangers, Sean finds himself questioning the safety of the world he has conjured and its origins in his own life-changing tragedy many years before; how strong are the walls between reality and fantasy? How can a single choice determine us? How great are the dangers in our own minds? A beguiling story of contingency, solitude and escape, Wolf in White Van is a heart-stopping debut from a musician and songwriter known for the transcendent power of his words.