Welcome to Night Vale ~ Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

IMG_0675.JPGDate Completed: 1/8/2016

Rating: 10/10

Even as I’m writing this, I’m listening to the Epilogue (again). I absolutely devoured this book, and it met my expectations. In fact, I went into this book with very high expectations but very little understanding of how this book would meet my expectations.

As you may know, or you may not know, Welcome to Night Vale has been a story podcast since 2012 written by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, produced by Jeffrey Cranor. The narrator, Cecil Baldwin has a lovely, soothing voice, and as such I had a hard time not reading the whole book with his voice in my head. It was hard. I’d love to hear the audiobook sometime, as I’m sure that would relieve my poor mind from wondering, would Cecil put the inflection here? or here?  

When I wasn’t working to perceive Cecil’s voice in my head, I was working to make sure I didn’t zone out. This is not a beach read. This book will keep your mind active. Welcome to Night Vale connects smart (or should I say smart-aleck?) writing with science fiction for a beautiful blend that can only be described as Night Valian. For example, “Jackie ordered coffee. Eventually coffee was given to her. These moments were related.” May I remind you that this is a tame sample? This book will keep you on the edge of your toes.

I was quite impressed with the story line, as I’ve felt that the podcast story line has been a little bit lacking lately (sorry guys). The plot maintained its trajectory and picked up speed as it went on, including high speed chases, grand theft, company deception, and perhaps a run-in with librarians (of course, keep in mind that this description is in laymen’s terms and not how events would be described by Cecil or other residents of Night Vale).

I can imagine people jumping into the world of Night Vale without prior introduction may find the writing distracting. I would recommend listening to the podcast. I recently got my brother hooked on it, and he doesn’t enjoy podcasts or books. What I mean by that is that you should give the podcast a try, maybe four episodes or so. If you start at the beginning, you’re only investing about an hour’s worth of time, which is the drive to work and back, right? If you don’t like the writing style by that point, maybe this book isn’t for you.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Perennial in exchange for an honest review.


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