Book Review #1: Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Welcome to Night Vale book cover
Welcome to Night Vale book cover (source: welcometonightvale.com)

This review is for the audiobook version of Welcome to Night Vale, read by Cecil Baldwin.

Title: Welcome to Night Vale – A Novel
Written by: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
Published by: Harper Perennial
Year: 2015

A man in a tan jacket carrying a deer-skin suitcase leaves pieces of paper accross Night Vale. Written is only this: “King City.” One you have the paper in your hand, you can’t  let go of it, no matter what you do. Most citizens of Night Vale are used to unexplainable things such as this happening. It is a fun phenomenon in the desert city were mountains don’t exist and the most dangerous thing is a librarian. When the man in the tan jacket leaves a piece of paper with the city’s pawn shop owner, her life is changed forever. Unable to continue with her job, she starts the investigation into “King City” and the Man in the Tan Jacket.

Very much like the podcast (that you all should listen to because it’s absolutely brilliant), this book’s tone is a little creepy, mysterious, funny, clever and horrifying at the same time. Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink take us on a journey what will leave us breathless. You will laugh, you will gasp, tear up and run away screaming. Welcome to Night Vale plays with what we consider “normal” while picturing things as normal that are simply unimaginable to us non-Night Vale residents. Nevertheless, we soon come to accept Night Vale as it is, and eagerly pick up all new information given to us.

Cecil Baldwin is the perfect voice for Night Vale – and I’m very happy to have picked up the audiobook version of this book. Cecil, or the voice of Night Vale, not only acts as the narrator of this story but also as the familiar and famous Night Vale Radio host we came to love from the podcast.

If you’re a Night Vale podcast fan, I don’t have to tell you how much you will love this book. If you aren’t familiar with the podcast, you will still enjoy this book very much. No previous knowledge is necessary in order to follow the story. Still, I suggest you listen to the podcast to get a feeling of what you’ll get when you pick up the novel. If you like mysterious fantasy novels that play with our perceptions of the world, that feature a wide range of diverse characters, you know you want to read this book.

My rating: 3/5

 

Podcast Welcome to Night Vale: Check out their website, itunes and youtube channel.

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