Welcome to Night Vale (novel)
|Audio read by||Cecil Baldwin|
|Genre||Science-fiction, fantasy, horror|
|Publisher||Harper Perennial (US)|
Orbit Books (UK)
|Media type||Print (hardback, large print paperback), e-book, audiobook|
Welcome to Night Vale is a 2015 novel based on the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast created by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor, who also wrote the book. The book was first released on October 20, 2015, through Harper Perennial in the United States and Orbit Books in the United Kingdom.
Unlike the podcast, the novel is narrated from an omniscient viewpoint that follows Jackie Fierro, the owner of Night Vale's pawn shop, and Diane Crayton, the treasurer of the town's PTA. The audiobook version of the story is narrated by Cecil Baldwin, Dylan Marron, Retta, Thérèse Plummer, and Dan Bittner.
The Man in the Tan Jacket is back in Night Vale and he has been leaving strange pieces of paper with people, all of which say "King City". While Night Vale is used to the strange and bizarre, the Man in the Tan Jacket's arrival puts the town at odds. Jackie Fierro, the owner of the town pawn shop, is determined to figure out the mystery behind both the man and the paper. Meanwhile, Diane Crayton has her own issues: her son has been changing and while this is average for most teenage boys, her son is literally a shape shifter and looks different each time she sees him. When she begins to see her son's father around town and Josh begins to show new interest in the man, Diane knows that this cannot end well.
Critical reception for Welcome to Night Vale has been positive and the novel was one of the Washington Post's top science-fiction and fantasy picks for October 2015. Cory Doctorow praised the novel in his review at Boing Boing, stating "Shot through it all is the love and integrity that made Night Vale a success from the beginning. After 400 pages, some of Night Vale's mysteries have been laid bare, we've been initiated into new ones, and most of all, we know that we're in the midst of some wonderful people." In contrast, The A.V. Club gave Welcome to Night Vale a grade of C+, criticizing Fink and Cranor for including too many references from the podcast, which they felt "reduces the plot’s progression to a crawl". They also wrote that the book improved in the later chapters, writing that it became "a wonderfully creepy tale filled with revelations about the nature of the town and its residents. Those tantalizing final few chapters provide a glimpse of what Fink and Cranor might be capable of when freed of the constraints of making references and allowed to just tell a story in their fascinating setting."
- Alter, Alexandra. "From the Ear to the Page, the 'Night Vale' Podcast Becomes a Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Hightower, Nancy. "Our top science-fiction and fantasy picks for October". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Carroll, Tobias. "Review: 'Welcome to Night Vale,' by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor". Star Tribune. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Barton, Chris. "Review 'Welcome to Night Vale' podcast becomes an equally weird, haunted yet humorous novel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Doctorow, Cory. "The Welcome to Night Vale novel dances a tightrope between weird humor and real pathos". Boing Boing. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
- Nelson, Samantha. "Welcome To Night Vale novel sticks too closely to the podcast's rambling format". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 21, 2015.