BOOK REVIEW: Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

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author: Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
title: Welcome to Night Vale
publisher: Harper Perennial
publication date: October 20th, 2015


From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Valepodcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves…no matter where we live. Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. It is here that the lives of two women, with two mysteries, will converge. Nineteen-year-old Night Vale pawn shop owner Jackie Fierro is given a paper marked „King City“ by a mysterious man in a tan jacket holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can’t seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels. Night Vale PTA treasurer Diane Crayton’s son, Josh, is moody and also a shape shifter. And lately Diane’s started to see her son’s father everywhere she goes, looking the same as the day he left years earlier, when they were both teenagers. Josh, looking different every time Diane sees him, shows a stronger and stronger interest in his estranged father, leading to a disaster Diane can see coming, even as she is helpless to prevent it. Diane’s search to reconnect with her son and Jackie’s search for her former routine life collide as they find themselves coming back to two words: „King City“. It is King City that holds the key to both of their mysteries, and their futures…if they can ever find it.

[source: http://www.goodreads.com]

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Okay so – where to start? Well, Welcome to Night Vale definitely is the weirdest book I’ve ever read in my entire life. I’ve never heard of the podcast to be honest so when I saw people posting photos of this book on Instagram I got all excited because I loved that cover. It absolutely reminded me of aliens and I do have a thing for aliens ever since Roswell. When I read the synopsis I realized that it wasn’t about aliens but it sounded interesting anyway, really interesting to be honest. It sounded weird and fun and mysterious – everything I love in a book. So I picked it up immediately and started reading it as soon as it arrived on my doorstep.

I’m going to be honest – it’s actually not that good, right? I mean it took me over a month to finish it and it’s not like it’s a really thick book. It only has like 400 pages and still it took me so long to finish it. It was so freaking hard to get through it; to even get into it. I mean good lord that book is a total mess. It’s weird and confusing and even though I’ve now finished the book I could not tell you what it is about. I mean it’s about weird people and weird things that keep happening but everyone goes on like it’s business as usual. It’s just one weird thing happening after another without a real story. I didn’t connect to any of the character which I found pretty sad. Reading this book was exhausting.

But there were some things I enjoyed, the library thing for example, also I found Cecil’s radio show pretty funny but that was basically it. Pretty much every character annoyed the hell out of me, I still don’t understand what was up with Josh and Jacky and the Troy thing was the weirdest thing ever.

It was so difficult to understand what the plot was and I have no idea what was important and what wasn’t. It’s like the authors are just saying whatever comes to their mind. I have no idea if I would have enjoyed the book more if I had listened to the podcast before. I really think that this kind of story works much better as a podcast. I’ve heard people say that the podcast is like the best thing ever and I kind of want to listen to it (even though I didn’t enjoy the book that much) just to find out if it really is better than the book. I also believe that the show is also great; I mean that would make a great show to be honest and now that I’ve found out that they are coming to Germany I’m thinking about going.

Well anyway, I’m not a fan of this book. If someone would ask me what this book is about I couldn’t answer them because I have absolutely no idea. I’m really disappointed to be honest, the synopsis sounded so good but the book wasn’t.

Has anyone of you guys listened to the podcast, then read the book and disliked it? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are.

zwei

 

4 thoughts

  1. I have been trying to get through this one for ages. I actually love the podcast, so I went and got the audiobook when I was having trouble with the ebook, thinking that the narration being by the guy who did the podcast would make it better and I’m still having trouble getting through it!

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  2. I absolutely adore Night Vale and also this novel. You never know what is happening and are constantly confused but you know beforehand that you will be. „I mean it’s about weird people and weird things that keep happening but everyone goes on like it’s business as usual.“ You put the spirit of Night Vale into one perfect sentence! To them it is business as usual. The book was not the weirdest thing that happened in Night Vale …
    Ok, so now that I rambled a bit … I totally get why you didn’t like the book as much. It’s confusing and weird and the characters are all even weirder. Perhaps it would have been easier if you had been familiar with the podcast – you get used to the weirdness. It took me about 4 episodes of the podcast to finally like it. And now that I do, I am in love with it. ❤ I even went to the live show in Munich last year.
    If you ever find yourself in need of an absolutely weird, peculiar, strange, odd show, listen to Night Vale.
    Nerd out.

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    1. this book was way too weird for me haha I just couldn’t make out a real plot so a lot of things happened but nothing really made sense, I guess that’s why I didn’t like it that much. and yes I’ve heard about the live Show though and I almost bought tickets myself but that was before I read the book and after I wasn’t really interested in going anymore haha ❤ but I'm so glad you liked it! It is an interesting read for sure and very different from anything I've read before but sadly it just wasn't my Cup of tea <33

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