Friday Review: Welcome to Nightvale by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor

Imagine your favorite book but different. 
No. Try again. 
Okay, that's not even a book. 

Imagine if your favorite book were about a man in a tan jacket carrying a deerskin briefcase. 
That's good enough. 

Welcome to Nightvale is exactly the book you would expect from the widely popular podcast of the same name, only this book does not speak, it only is. 
Jackie is a perptually-19-year-old pawn shop owner who has her life turned upside down when a man in a tan jacket with a deerskin briefcase gives her a strange piece of paper with the words KING CITY on it. The paper never leaves her hand. 

Diane is a single mom going about her job or making an excel file of your life when a man no one can remember vanishes from her office. Her son's father is appearing all over town, and she knows there's only so much she can do to stop her son from finding out the truth of his father. (15-year olds do get into everything).

The two women's quests collide like a car crash (and with one too) that both are powerless to stop. The journey to KING CITY is on and the chase for the man who vanished. Ethan? Elrond? Elvis? Evan? Whatever. His name is something like all of those names, but different. He is not important. 


Alright, all Nightvale-esque attempts at rambling aside. This novel is like reading an episode of Welcome to Nightvale. Cecil and Carlos do make appearances but this isn't their story at all. This is the story of two Nightvale women who are trying to re-find their place in their strange home after it's rudely disrupted. 

It's told alternatively through Jackie and Diane's point of view (with an occasional chapter of Cecil on the radio) and criss-cosses through Nightvale, introducing the reader to characters that are familar to any listener of the show. It's strange, fun, and occasionally poignant. The book runs from being utterly bizzare to suddenly dark and all-too-real all within the span of a paragraph. 

If you've enjoyed listening to Nightvale you will be captivated by the novel which so perfectly captures that same one of a kind flavor that only the WTNV crew can produce.

Imagine your favorite podcast but as words. 
Yes, now you are almost entirely right. 


You can buy Welcome to Nightvale by rubbing the dreams of two flies together until they burst into flames then building the book from that smoke. Or you can buy it online here or from your local bookstore.