The popular podcast Welcome to Night Vale has ventured into the literary world with its first novel. Authors Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor present a story that follows two of Night Vale’s residents – Diane, an unassuming office worker with a shape-shifter for a son, and Jackie, a 19 year old pawn shop owner. As the narrative alternates between the two leads, the authors injected short excerpts from the local community radio host Cecil detailing the events happening in the tumultuous town. Unfortunately, this is where the story sort of lost me.
While I love that Fink and Cramer are keen to expand their universe outside of the podcast, there’s a certain charm that’s lost when moving from the delightfully creepy audio presentation to the written word. It was an oddly jarring experience absorbing Cecil’s information without his trademark voice and delivery.
Outside of a few quotable lines, I found the plot quite boring and struggled to see my way through to the end. This might have something to do with the fact I’ve only listened to the first twenty odd episodes of the podcast (I’m very behind), so perhaps a few references may have been lost on me.
For fans of the podcast, it might be worth your while to seek out the audiobook version for an experience closer to the original format.