Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

2 Stars

I am so happy to finally be finished with this book!

Firstly, I need to state that I am a big Night Vale fan. I listen to the podcast, I go to the live shows, and I love the weird unique oddness that comes with this wonderful creation. However, in book format, Night Vale did not work for me.

The story is extremely slow, it takes nearly half of the book before you get an idea of what the plot is about. There are continual stop offs and references to favourite characters and things from the podcast that seem to serve no purpose to the overall plot. The disjointed rambling that works so well in the podcast only served to divert my attention away from the plot, put the book down and forget about why I wanted to read it in the first place.

I did like the overall plot, the underlying story was good. We know these guys can create a good story, I wouldn’t expect any less from Fink and Cranor. The story would have worked well for a podcast, or even a two-parter. However, fitting this story into 400+ pages of novel by fleshing it out with throwbacks to known favourite podcast characters and rambling monologues was extremely disappointing and at times boring. In the final third of the book we really start to get a flow, a feel for the characters and a grip in the plot. If the more of the novel had felt like this final section it would have worked a lot better for me.

The transition of Night Vale’s wonderful weirdness from podcast to novel was not successful in this attempt, however I would not rule out a second attempt at bringing Night Vale to this medium judging on the potential seen in the final sections of the book.

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