John Darnielle

The terms ‘brainy,’ ‘erudite,’ and ‘literary’ get thrown around a lot when it comes to describing cerebral songwriters, but The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle is truly in a league of his own — a nerd above all other rock nerds.

When he’s not writing concept albums for The Mountain Goats about old-school wrestling icons or esoteric religious texts, Darnielle is a budding novelist. His debut book, Wolf in a White Van, was released in 2014 to commendable critical reviews, and next February he’s set to produce his second novel, Universal Harvester.

According to the synopsis on Amazon, the books will focus on Jeremy, a clerk at a Video Hut movie store located in Nevada, Iowa. The novel takes place in the 1990s, and centers around mysterious recordings embedded into a couple of movie rentals returned to Jeremy. Apparently, things get creepy and foreboding in this once-quiet small town.

To promote his latest novel, Darnielle will embark on a nationwide reading tour, which includes a stop at The Booksmith in San Francisco on February 22. The reading will begin at 7:30pm at the Haight Street book store.

As evidenced in his many cherished albums, Darnielle is a masterful storyteller, and he’s always a witty, funny and graceful presence during his live performances with The Mountain Goats. It makes complete sense for him to try his hand as a novelist, and he’ll be wholly in his element during his book reading session in San Francisco.

John Darnielle
The Booksmith
February 22, 2017