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review 2017-10-04 06:26
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel (audiobook) by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor, narrated by Cecil Baldwin, guest starring Dylan Marron, Retta, Thérèse Plummer, & Dan Bittner
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Dylan Marron,Jeffrey Cranor,Cecil Baldwin,Retta Andresen,Joseph Fink,Harper Audio,Dan Bittner,Therese Plummer

I’ve been a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast for a while (although I’m woefully behind at the moment), so I was very excited when this book was first announced. I’ve owned it in two different formats since it first came out in 2015, but I kept putting off reading it because I couldn’t decide which format to start with, audio or paper. I finally settled on audio, figuring that something that started as a podcast would be better that way. Now that I’ve finished it, I feel like I made the right decision.

Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel stars Jackie Fierro, a nineteen-year-old pawn shop owner, and Diane Crayton, a single mom with a shapeshifting teenage son named Josh. As far as Jackie knows, she’s been nineteen forever and has owned her pawn shop forever. She doesn’t really think too hard about any of that until a strange customer, the Man in the Tan Jacket, comes in and gives her a slip of paper she literally can’t put down. Whenever she tries to get rid of it, it ends up right back in her hand. All it says is “King City.” Even worse, Jackie suddenly can’t write anything except “King City,” making it impossible for her to do her job.

Meanwhile, Diane’s life seems perfectly normal until one of her coworkers disappears. No one but her even remembers he existed, and it’s a mystery she can’t bring herself to leave alone. Her situation is further complicated by her son’s sudden desire to talk to his father. Diane would rather never talk about Josh’s father. Unfortunately, she keeps seeing him everywhere she goes. It gradually becomes apparent that the solution to both Jackie and Diane’s problems lies in the mysterious and possibly unreachable King City.

I vaguely recall one of the announcements about this book stating that it was written to be Night Vale newbie-friendly. Although, according to the Welcome to Night Vale wiki, Jackie, Diane, and Josh had all previously been mentioned in the podcast, I didn’t remember a thing about them and was still able to follow their stories just fine. That said, I don’t agree that this book is newbie-friendly, and I’d advise newbies to listen to at least a few episodes of the podcast before giving the book a try.

I went into this expecting it to be more like a normal genre novel. Instead, what I got was something that felt exactly like the podcast, except without weather reports, separate narrators for all the characters, and Cecil Palmer keeping the whole thing anchored. It took a long time for the connection between Jackie and Diane’s stories to become apparent. If I felt somewhat adrift and confused, I can only imagine how newbies who knew nothing the Glow Cloud, Tamika Flynn, the ban on wheat and wheat by-products and other Night Vale characters and events felt. This isn’t the kind of book you could jump into cold, unless your tolerance for the strange and surreal is extremely high.

I could only take this book in small chunks, at first. It got better as Jackie and Diane’s paths crossed more, and in the end I’d call this a “must listen” for Night Vale fans, although I still think the podcast is way better. I loved the scene in the Night Vale Public Library, the creepy Night Vale community radio ads, and the various peeks at what daily life is like in Night Vale. After many podcast episodes worth of wondering, I finally got to find out the Man in the Tan Jacket’s identity and goals. I laughed when I realized how the Erikas had helped Jackie and Diane out, and I cringed in arachnophobic horror whenever the tarantula got an appearance (that said, I

hated the way it died).

(spoiler show)


When I saw that this was narrated by four different people, I assumed it would be like other audiobooks with multiple narrators: one narrator handling the narrative parts and the others doing the dialogue, or each narrator handling a different POV. Instead, it was primarily Cecil Baldwin, with the other three narrators coming in about three quarters into the book to voice Cecil Palmer’s special radio guests, Old Woman Josie and two of the Erikas.

So there you have it: it wasn’t exactly bad, but it also wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped it would be. I’m glad I listened to it because it gave me more of the overall Night Vale story and let me get a better look at more locations in the town. I’ll probably relisten to it at some point, because I enjoy Cecil Baldwin’s voice and might like the book better now that I know how long it takes for the multiple strange and seemingly separate storylines to come together. That said, I’d hesitate to recommend it to anyone who wasn’t already a big Welcome to Night Vale fan.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2016-09-30 05:10
Rezension | Willkommen in Night Vale von Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
Willkommen in Night Vale - Joseph Fink,Jeffrey Cranor,Wieland Freund,Andrea Wandel

Beschreibung

 

Das kleine Städtchen Night Vale liegt irgendwo in der Wüste Amerikas und hat jede Menge an Skurilitäten zu bieten. Die neunzehnjährige Jackie Fierro, die einfach nicht zwanzig werden will, führt seit sie denken kann ein Pfandhaus. Eines Tages betritt ein völlig Fremder in braunen Hosen mit Hirschlederkoffer das Pfandhaus und verpfändet Jackie einen Zettel mit den zwei Worten „King City“. Dieser Vorfall stellt Jackies Leben auf den Kopf, denn sie wird, egal was sie auch versucht, den Zettel einfach nicht mehr los.

 

Diane Crayton ist alleinerziehenden Mutter eines jugendlichen Gestaltwandlers und begegnet ständig und überall ihrem Ex-Mann Troy. Irgendwie scheint es einen Zusammenhang zwischen dem Zettel mit den Worten „King City“ und Troy zu geben. Zusammen begeben sich Jackie und Diane auf die Suche nach des Rätsels Lösung.

 

Meine Meinung

 

So ein verrücktes Buch habe ich noch nie gelesen! Das ist spontan der erste Satz, der mir zu dem Fantasy Roman „Willkommen in Night Vale“ des Autoren-Duos Joseph Fink und Jeffrey Cranor einfällt. Nun wird es schwierig, denn wie bewertet man ein so außergewöhnlich schräges Buch nur?!?

 

Es ist kaum in Worte zu fassen, was in dem scheinbar normalen südamerikanischen Kleinstädtchen „Night Vale“ vor sich geht. Denn rein gar nichts ist dort normal! Ein Besuch der Bibliothek ist äußerst gefährlich, denn es hat bisher noch keiner die Begegnung mit einem Bibliothekar überlebt, der Glaube an Engel, die sich in Night Vale ausschließlich Erika nennen steht unter Strafe und im Dinner Moonlite All-Nite wird der Genuss unsichtbaren Essens groß geschrieben. Alle geltenden Gesetzte scheinen in Night Vale außer Kraft gesetzt zu sein und so ist es nur logisch, dass alles was ein klares Bekenntnis zu Bergen darstellt verboten ist, da die Regierung die Existenzs von Bergen bestreitet.

 

Joseph Finks und Jeffrey Cranors Geschichte um das kleine Städtchen Night Vale sprüht vor Kreativität und Einfallsreichtum. Jeder Satz, jedes neue Kapitel birgt Überraschungen und man fragt sich ständig wohin das alles führen mag. Lange ist mir nicht bewusst, wie und ob die Handlungsstränge zueinander passen, und ob ich die Geschichte überhaupt richtig vestehe. Aber wenn man sich auf das Buch einlässt, sein logisches denken ausschaltet und alles einfach auf sich wirken lässt, wird man schon bald gefesselt an den Seiten kleben und sich an dem wundersamen Leben der Bewohner von Night Vale erfreuen!

 

Über die Autoren

 

Joseph Fink ist der Erfinder der Story „Welcome to Night Vale“. Gemeinsam mit Jeffrey Cranor schuf er er dazu einen Podcast der es zu Kultstatus brachte. Später wurde die Geschichte in einer Zwei-Mann-Theatershow im Jahr 2011 in’s New Yorker East Village gebracht.

 

Fazit

 

„Willkommen in Night Vale“ wird allen lesenden Kuriositäten-Liebhabern viel Freude bereiten!

Source: www.bellaswonderworld.de/rezensionen/rezension-willkommen-in-night-vale-von-joseph-fink-jeffrey-cranor
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review 2016-09-17 23:06
Welcome to Night Vale
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Jeffrey Cranor,Joseph Fink

WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE is about two residents of the titular strange town of Night Vale wind up in the middle of a city-wide mystery. Jackie is a perpetually nineteen-year-old pawnshop owner whose life is turned upside down by a piece of paper, while Diane is a single mother dealing with her teenage shapeshifting son’s father reappearing in her life. At first, these events seem completely unrelated to one another, but nothing is ever as it seems in the town where aliens, angels, Secret Police, and mad scientists all peacefully co-exist under a Glow Cloud.

 

The book’s biggest problem is that it’s too much like the podcast it’s based on. The podcast often takes a disinterested tone as the narrator describes a series of horrific or humorous local events of Night Vale, a clear parody of old community radio newscasts. When transplanted into printed media, much of its charm is lost because the interesting premise turns into a series of annoying tangents. Similarly, the narrative prefers to tell rather than show most of the action—a necessity for a podcast, yes, but a huge detriment for a book. There’s very little to invest the reader into the story early on, to the point that the book lives and dies on strengths of its two leads instead.

 

The pacing of the first half of the book is slower than molasses. The podcast usually avoids this problem by not having a strict plotline, instead placing little snippets and reoccurring characters of a particular arc being spread out over dozens of episodes at a time. The book, on the other hand, is limited to a linear narrative, meaning that the constant tangents interrupt the flow and characters themselves take forever to do anything of significance. Any attempts to build suspense, such as the terror of the library, are wrecked they literally take hundreds of pages to deliver to the payoff. It isn’t helped by transcripts of Night Vale Radio broadcasts randomly inserted into the narrative to minimal effect, and the book frequently recaps the same scene over and over again from a different character’s perspective.

 

On the plus side, the second half of the book is much better in both tone and delivery. Most of the plot twists are well foreshadowed without being completely obvious, and many of the earlier tangents are tied together in a satisfactory matter. While it’s not laugh-out-loud funny, I did find myself chuckling every few pages, too. A little humor goes a long way to rectify an otherwise miserably slow read.  

 

If it weren’t for the two leads, however, I would not have finished WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE. The difference between age, time, and maturity is one of the strongest themes of the book, and the characters’ circumstances lend to it well. I may not have given two shits about the mystery surrounding King City, but I certainly cared about whether or not Jackie—at this point, a centuries-old teenager—would finally let herself grow up a little and accept change. The bizarre nature of Night Vale itself presents creative, but still relatable, intergeneration conflicts for both women to overcome. The show’s younger fanbase may find the message a bit patronizing, though. 

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text 2016-09-11 16:55
Reading progress update: I've read 185 out of 416 pages.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Jeffrey Cranor,Joseph Fink

Did the authors seriously just write a mutli-page conversation from one POV, only to repeat the exact same conversation from the other person? 

 

Goddamn, I want to like this book, but it moves slower than molasses. 

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text 2016-09-08 06:10
And now for the weather.
Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel - Jeffrey Cranor,Joseph Fink

The sheer number of people that have tagged this some variation of DNF on Goodreads makes me laugh.

 

Is the Young Adult Horror book allowed to be funny? Because it should be allowed to be funny. I will make it funny. >:C

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