Welcome to Night Vale | Book Review

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Welcome to Night Vale (2015) by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor Review

My Rating: stars-3-5

Fink and Cranor walk the thin line between mystery and satire that it’s as audacious and valiant as followers of the podcast claim it to be. This isn’t the horror novel that Audible staunchly advertises it to be, but is more of a mysterious disappearance with a neon coating of news issues and radio announcements as interludes to glorify the inherent enigma of Night Vale. Welcome to Night Vale examines substantiated themes and bedecks the exterior with a strip of irony and wicked humor. It isn’t as chuckle-worthy as I thought it would be, but the vision encapsulated by the novel translates into something worthwhile to read.

Fink and Cranor certainly take their time in pushing the story to its alleged disappearance, dropping subtle hints of riddling occurrences that provide a wider angle to the perplexity of Night Vale, as it certainly isn’t ordinary. A man who spordically appears unnoticed with characters having zero memory of him, a paper that says “King City”, an unnerving familial connection, all of these make up the titillating mystery of the novel. The first 80% of the read is radical in its strange beauty, intriguing enough to have me listen to more without stopping; however, the end is quite underwhelming as it never lives up to the wonders it identified in the first place. Again, the jokes fell flat on me, though behind the tantrums of half-hearted jokes, there is an interesting social commentary within the novel. It talks about family relationships, social awakenings, and youthful corruption. Behind the dazzling identity of trashy humor, it does not shy away from a path filled with parabolic morale.

It is honestly very impressive to see the two develop from small-time podcasters to a worldwide phenomena. Not only is it inspiring, but it also paints an image of allegiant companionship. Welcome to Night Valedid get lukewarm at times, but reaching to the end is artful gratification. It may get narcissistic at times with its egoistic dialogue, but the faculty that the authors and series currently have promises some thrills, mystery, and jokes that will either be a hit-or-miss for me. It is entertaining. It is artful. It is trash at times, but is a gratifying experience in the end.

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7 thoughts on “Welcome to Night Vale | Book Review

  1. Trust me when I tell you that the Podcast is a million times better than the book, because the book does NO JUSTICE to the podcast at all. It’s relatively bland and uninteresting, considering how amazing the writing in the podcast is!

    I’ve got a review of this sitting in my queue right now, actually (I read too many books to write one a week, so I write them and schedule them). I just saw the live “Welcome to Night Vale” show on Monday! I love the podcast, but this book doesn’t do it justice. Not that I’ve learned my lesson; I’ve already preordered their second novel, “It Devours!”

    I ended up giving this a 3/5 stars. A read for those who love the podcast (but prepare to be disappointed by it), and a probable skip for those who don’t.

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    1. I did have some flaws with the read, but I personally found it to be really entertaining hehe. I’m STOKED for the podcast. I’ll listen to it ASAP. Thanks for the heads up! 🙂

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      1. I feel like it could go either way! If you’re into the kinda weirdness that is Night Vale, and you read it without listening to the podcast first, you might be entertained by it! If you’re a fan of the podcast in the first place then you might be disappointed.

        It’s a relatively good book, I agree, but it could have been so much better. I guess I was expecting the podcast in written form (which they’ve actually released, in the form of the first two “seasons” of Night Vale scripts!), and when I didn’t get that, I got moody.

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      2. Do you have any idea if they’ll complete the podcast in written form for all the seasons? I want to buy myself a physical copy of Mostly Void, Partially Stars and The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe, but I’m hesitating because I’d want the complete set if that’s the case hehe.

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      3. I want the complete set, too! I feel like there’s such a demand (because they’ve got a really rabid/protective fanbase) they’ll probably release them later. I’m really hoping they do, because otherwise my physical copies of the first two seasons will sit all alone.

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