To continue with Halloween Week here at Cat’s Shelf, I bring you a spooky review! Here’s Welcome to Night Vale, by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor.
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Welcome to Night Vale is a really popular podcast first released in 2012, by the same people who made this book. Throughout the years, the fanbase grew and grew, to something quite huge. Besides the podcast, they started doing live shows and other kind of events, in order to bring the public and the creators/actors together.
Both podcast and book focus in the town of Night Vale, where nothing is quite what it seems and things definitely aren’t like they are in our world. Time doesn’t work, the library is full of monsters and some foods are invisible. That world is surreal and definitely weird. In the book, we follow Jackie and Diane. The first receives a strange paper from a tall man wearing a tan jacket and holding a deerskin suitcase. The second has some trouble with her son Josh and the sudden re-apperence of her ex lover and father of her son. What matters is that both are drawn to the foreign place of King City and its mysteries.
I have to admit that I’m not a listener of the podcast. I mean, I tried to several times but I’m a really sensitive person when it comes to sounds and noises and the whole vibe of the podcast is too creepy for me to handle! It always sounded interesting enough and when I saw this title on NetGalley I knew definitely wanted to see how it would work in book form.
And I was totally not disappointed! This book is so fascinating! At first, all the weird stuff are really hard to put your mind around but after a while you just turn off your logic and accept pretty much anything. And that was the best point for me. I was excited to read the next paragrapher and discover another wacky thing about the strange life in Night Vale.
Another cool thing were all the characters. Some were ridiculous, physically or mentally, but so interesting in their own ways. The two main character drive the story forward but don’t completely steal the show, which isn’t that bad of a thing. I really liked how the authors builded something about two female characters that aren’t enemies but team members! That’s something that doesn’t happen all the time but it should be praised when it does! My favourite character was Josh, the son of Diane. As a normal teenager, he is able to change his shape! So metaphorical but also so much fun!
All of this book felt really metaphorical to me actually! All the nonsense doesn’t seem that random, if you think really deep maybe there’s a little logic in there. It all means something deep down. You can either discard it because it sounds silly or decide to give it a second thought and find some kind of deeper meaning. Anyway, that’s how I understood it. Maybe I’m reading into it too much and it’s just a story about a weird ass town!
The story had a really great pace and it never felt boring to me. I loved the twists and turns and even the little snippets of the town’s radio show (which is the main focus of the podcast). I was really captivated with all the details about everyday life in that place. You get my point, this was a terrific read!
So, I most obviously recommend this book. Don’t take it too seriously and just enjoy the ride. Otherwise you won’t make it past the first few pages. I know the reviews online are really different but listen to me on this, if you like nonsensical and funny books, get this one right now. You don’t need to know anything about the original podcast to enjoy it, so there’s really no excuses!
Are any Welcome to Night Vale fans out here? Tell me your favourite thing about the podcast and if you’re read this book! Book Depository is having a sale on the hardcover edition of it so treat yourself!
Here’s my favourite line from the book:
She understood the world and her place in it. She understood nothing. The world and her place in it were nothing and she understood that.
See you soon!