KN Reads

KN Reads: Welcome to Night Vale


Welcome to Night Vale

by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

One of the famous features of the WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE podcast is that the weather (always a song) interrupts the climax of the plot, meaning we see the lead up and hear the aftermath but rarely the conflict in the middle. It’s a device that works well on the podcast and it made me wonder how a book would work with our limited technology that does not allow a song to surge out from the paper at just the right moment.

Another thing I was worried (No. Not worried; concerned.) about was how it would feel to follow the characters of Night Vale without Cecil’s dulcet tones. The narrator is a huge part of the popularity of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast so it was unclear how it would carry across without his sinister enthusiasm.

Turns out neither of those worries (concerns) were rooted in reality, much like Night Vale itself.

Cecil makes an appearance between chapters, meaning the story never feels lacking his presence even if he is not directly embroiled in the drama. The story builds up and up without ever feeling deflated, and the aftermath is wonderful.

The story follows the separate and then not-so-separate lives of Diane and Jackie who become tied up in a mystery around an omnipresent man named Troy and, of course, the man with the deer-skin suitcase. As they both attempt to claw their way to some kind of sense in a nonsensical existence they grow and learn

Just like the podcast there are strange moments that make you want to crawl beneath your bed entwined with moments of poignancy which subtly shift the way you see your own world. If this seems too much for a silly drama about a time-confused town and its bizarre residents, you obviously haven’t been listening to the podcast. It’s the only fictional universe I’ve found that accurately represents that eerie, off-centre feeling of a bad dream and makes you enjoy it.

For those unlucky few who haven’t had the chance to listen to the WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE podcast, here is your chance to delve into the surreal world that has captured imaginations everywhere. If you are one of the many who has already discovered the podcast, the book is a wonderful companion piece. Either way you need to get this book.

Originally posted here on Goodreads.


4 thoughts on “KN Reads: Welcome to Night Vale

  1. I’ve only listened to a few Nightvale podcasts but my daughter is a HUGE fan. We went to Barnes & Noble the day the novel was released…it wasn’t on the shelf. Someone had to go in the back & get one out of the box for her. She’s purposefully reading the book slowly (as in not in one day) but so far loves it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, they should be displaying it front and centre, what were they thinking?! I read it relatively slowly which was difficult. Your daughter has good taste! 🙂 I can’t wait to get the physical copy too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Totally! We walked in & were like “Uhh, where is it?” I barely resisted the urge to burn all the copies of Twighlight & the like while we waited for someone to get The Novel. (Kidding of course. I would never burn a book unless my survival depended on it.)
        The physical copy is pretty cool. She liked that they printed the artwork directly on the cover instead of doing a slipcover. The girl does have great taste and I’m hoping to read the Nightvale novel (eventually).


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