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Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel by Joseph…
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Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel (edition 2015)

by Joseph Fink (Author)

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1,238629,397 (3.82)48
Member:NiftyLefty
Title:Welcome to Night Vale: A Novel
Authors:Joseph Fink (Author)
Info:Harper Perennial (2015), Edition: First Edition, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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Welcome to Night Vale by Joseph Fink (Author)

  1. 20
    This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It by David Wong (ShelfMonkey)
  2. 10
    Discovering Scarfolk by Richard Littler (catfantastic)
  3. 00
    Slice of Cherry by Dia Reeves (Aula)
    Aula: Similarly odd town in America, where weird things happen. The two sister protagonists are younger (mid-teens), there is more of a horror element rather than fantasy, but there's a similar sense of oddness as in the Nightvale books.
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» See also 48 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
OK, so on a really basic level, this book is about two women trying to understand recent troubling things happening to them, discovering they have a lot more in common than they think, and forming a part-blood, part-choice family in light of fighting through some dark times together.

On another level, this is happy Lovecraftian fiction. There are dark gods, time that does not work properly, sacrifices that must be made, and unspoken things that everyone knows. The weird thing is that I am a die-hard listener of the podcast and a moderate fan of fantasy in the neo-Lovecraftian mode but until reading the novel I didn't realize how much Night Vale is happy/comic Lovecraft that nonetheless refuses to ignore the fact that Lovecraftian fantasy requires lots of blood and death to be successful. So enjoy that pile of dead interns and poison-spewing librarians and the City Council.

I also just realized that this is American Haruki Murakami fiction. Jackie Fierro is like every wiser than her years Murakami teen (she is remarkably like May Kasahara from The Wind Up Bird Chronicle) and Diane is the faceless, slightly unpleasant but partially sympathetic everyman that Murakami uses in his fiction. There are iconic callouts to American culture, fractured time and space that has its own internal logic that simply must be accepted. OK, there are dozens if not infinite Troy Walshes. A'ight. You have to accept that and move on.

On a third level, this is fan candy - though for people who wanted Carlos and Cecil outside of the radio format, it was probably a disappointment. I'm not hating on that, though.

Overall, I think this book is better than you'd think on first read if you are the type of person who likes Lovecraft or Haruki Murakami. Someone who digs on Murakami and listens to the podcast and thinks about the Lovecraft style? Oh, you will love it. ( )
  jeninmotion | Sep 24, 2018 |
I try not to warn people away from books--even the worst book I've read has its passionate defenders, and tastes differ--and this book has apparently hit a chord with lots of readers ... but not me, and perhaps not you.

I haven't listened to the podcast that inspired this (maybe it would all make more sense if I had). This novel is a slow-moving account of two women's life in a small town that is weird and nonsensical to an irritating extreme, weird in ways that seem motivated by an easy joke, but not in a way that holds together to create a convincing environment. Librarians are evil, a son can assume any shape he likes, coffee is ground by hammering beans on the countertop, city council eats people, etc. This is a very small sample of the strangeness to be encountered, as a new strangeness is introduced about once a paragraph.

I will make up something in the same style so you get the effect: "Martha wanted to cross the street, but was wary, because the last time she crossed the street it got its revenge. Instead, she continued down the block until the street ended at Fayette Park, a happy place (or at least she assumed it was happy, because it never cried torrents of tears like LaSalle Park on the west side of town)." And you can read as long as you like, but you will never find out why parks and streets have emotions--in fact, this made-up example is more consistent that Night Vale because I've established that places behave like people. In the actual book the weirdness is very random.

And it's such a disappointment because I love weird, and I love nonsense. I'm a huge fan of Lewis Caroll and Catherynne Valente's Fairyland series, but in both cases they take an unusual notion and then develop it.

You know those stand-up comics who deliver one punch line after another, rather than setting up jokes with characters and situations? It's like that. For me, a little is fun, but a lot is wearying. So I kept at the book for about 40% of its length (I'm reading on Kindle) until I realised my life and happiness would be ameliorated if I just moved on to book 2 of the Riyiria Revelations, so that's what I did.

And I'll quote Goodreads review N.K. Layne, because they summed it up best: "Reading this book was like when a friend tells you about their wild trippy dream and you have to nod to be polite, but in actuality you just want them to shut up because nothing could be more boring than someone else's weird dreams."

Two stars rather than one because at least it's inventive, even if it's virtually unreadable. ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3083408.html

Two women protagonists go in search of a secret which takes them out of Night vale to California; meanwhile we have interjected commentary from Cecil's radio show which isn't really connected to the plot, such as it is. I thought that the Cecil sections were funny and sinister and kept the spirit of the podcast. I was less impressed by the main plot, which started promisingly, faffed around a lot in the middle and finally reached something like a conclusion. I didn't get a strong feel for the main characters' motivations. It is a decent enough read but not as epic as the original medium. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 2, 2018 |
A really great, enjoyable read. As a fan of the podcast it truly lived up to, and exceeded my expectations, by not only encompassing everything mystic and wondrous about Night Vale, but expanding and adding to the universe at hand. On top of the general atmospheric particulars, it also featured a great story, with positive female friendships and engaging, nuanced characters, especially the female ones. Overall I'd recommend this to anybody who's a fan of the podcast, but also anyone who loves the mystical and weird. ( )
  marie2830 | Sep 2, 2018 |
Stellar. Just, stellar. Great plot, well written, weird but not unmanageable, deep but not dense or pretentious. I like the podcast but I loved this book! My only complaint is that once or twice in the book I felt like I was listening to a comedian who has toured so many times they just reword their most popular jokes, but this is a super minor complaint and only happened once or twice. ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 62 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Fink, JosephAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cranor, JeffreyAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldwin, CecilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bittner, DanReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freund, WielandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plummer, ThereseReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
RettaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wandel, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, RobCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Meg Bashwiner
and to Jillian Sweeney.
First words
The history of the town of Night Vale is long and complicated, reaching back thousands of years to the earliest indigenous people in the desert. We will cover none of it here.
Pawnshops in Night Vale work like this.
Quotations
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062351427, Hardcover)

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast 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.

"Hypnotic and darkly funny. . . . Belongs to a particular strain of American gothic that encompasses The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Twin Peaks, with a bit of Tremors thrown in."--The Guardian

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:21:07 -0400)

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.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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