DUAL REVIEW - Welcome to Night Vale: The Book and The Podcast by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Title: Welcome to Night Vale

Author: Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Publisher: Orbit

Release Date: 20th October 2015

Source: Publisher ARC

If you are a regular reader to the blog you may have noticed my wittering about the Welcome to Night Vale podcast of late, I have been binge listening to the podcasts every night on my half hour drive home and they are totally amazing, they appeal to my crazy side.  

I have now read the book and listened to about thirty five podcasts so I thought I had better share why I freaking love Night Vale and just because I feel like it, I shall be interviewing myself as to exactly what this crazy ass town is about.

Heather, first tell me where is Night Vale?

Well Heather to be honest I have no idea exactly where, well I kinda do but I was threatened by the Sheriffs Secret Police, well I might have been....I'm kinda fuzzy on the details.

It could be roughly here.....

Sheriffs Secret Police, that sounds a bit crazy! 
Why are they secret, surely they have a big ass police station?

Mmmm, well the thing is that the police are secret, imagine ninjas.  They fly around the sky in one of the many types of helicopters that buzz the sky above the town.  Rumour has it that their police station is actually floating, hidden in the cloud above Night Vale.

What's with all the helicopters?

To be honest I don't know but I do know they come in a myriad of colours, there are black ones that may be a menacing government agency, yellow ones from who knows where and I believe the secret police have blue ones.  Occasionally a strange helicopter appears, this does not go unnoticed believe me as the residents of Night Vale are well informed by the silken voice Cecil of Night Vale Radio.

Cecil, sounds nice tell me about him!

Well he is the host of the radio show which I listen to on my daily travels in the form of a handy podcast, this saves me having to travel to Night Vale.  Cecil, dear Cecil, what a guy, I could listen to his voice all day long, imagine warm chocolate, rich velvet, smooth jazz, you get the idea. 

Cecil from his studio tell us about the latest happenings in town such as the most up to date sighting of the man in the tan jacket, reminders not to go in the dog park, news about the school board which is governed by the menacing glow cloud, any news he is on it like a car bonnet.  

His favourite subject has to be though the divine Carlos, a scientist who arrives in Night Vale and sets Cecil's heart a flutter with his smouldering looks and sciency ways.  Their Ross and Rachel love story is adorable and Cecil really gets a giddy as a school girl, it is so sweet.

Hold up, rewind, never the sweet love story, WTF is the glow cloud?

ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD, ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD......Sorry what was I saying, yes the glow cloud, well it is a cloud and it glows, it is very interested in education and is head of the PTA.

Ok, well that kinda makes no sense whatsoever, what about this dog park?

Well, it is best to avoid it, like stay away, BEWARE!, the hood less figures hang around there and your safety really cannot be guaranteed if you go in but if you want to know more ask radio intern Dana who has first hand experience.

You know what Night Vale sounds really really dangerous!

Ha, no of course not, well it is maybe best to lock your doors at night and be careful in the Desert Flower Bowling Alley as there is a big problem with an underground city under lane 5.   Also best to avoid the feral dogs that sneak around town too.  Apart from that it is so wonderfully safe, just don't visit on street cleaning day or when there is a sandstorm or possibly during the Summer Reading Programme.

Are you telling me reading is dangerous in Night Vale?

Not reading but the library should be avoided at all costs, the librarians are not to be messed with.  Entering the library may cost you more than book fines it may cost you your life.....

Okay so no browsing the library, is there anywhere safe to go?

Well possibly not but hey it is an experience, imagine the crazy love child of a Town Called Eureka, Twin Peaks and a shit load of crazy pills.

Well I love a Town Called Eureka.....

Well, I only use that reference because Eureka was totally bonkers and full of mad scientists, imagine a scale of 1 to 10 with Eureka about 5, Night Vale would be about 100 - also if you have visited Charlaine Harris in Midnight, Texas you will also appreciate the sheer bonkerness.  The residents really make this town, my favourites apart from obviously Cecil would have to be Old Woman Josie and her houseful of Erica's (they are angels, I know, awesome right!!) plus I do have a soft spot for that glow cloud.

So you mentioned a book? Is it safe to read?

Yes, it is perfectly safe it follows the story of Jackie who owns the pawn shop and what happens when she meets the man in the tan jacket, her visit to KING CITY and all sorts of stuff.  She is joined in her travels by Diane Clayton and her interesting son Josh who being a teenager is quite the handful.  It features all the wonderful weirdness from the podcast and happily Cecil appears too!  The publishing types say this about the book.....

Night Vale is a small desert town where all the conspiracy theories you've ever heard are actually true. 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. She can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City before she herself unravels.
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. 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.

It is a great read and if the Sheriffs Secret Police are reading this which I am sure they are I happily give it 5 out of 5!

Ok Heather I am sold, I love crazy plus the fact I can listen to it as well as read it seems awesome, anything else I should know?

If you view the world with a serious mind, then this is not for you, if you can happily deal with spider wolves, malevolent clouds, killer librarians and all manner of crazy shit then this is for you.

Night Vale of course has a website here and a whole host of amazing merch that you can buy here.  Also they go on tour too all over the world.

Visit Night Vale......ALL HAIL THE GLOW CLOUD......

Thank you to Orbit for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. I almost didn't comment on this because I heard strange helicopters over my house, hovering... but then they went away so maybe I'm okay. And there's some weird cloud down the street, but- I'm sure it's nothing. Anyway... shit load of crazy pills is right, I haven't caught the news in a while I need to get w/ the program.

    1. Crap, I don't blame you for nearly not commenting, those damn 'copters have that effect!!!

  2. Well, I'm sold. I'll start listening to the podcasts right away! I loved Twin Peaks! Have you watched the series Picket Fences? If you haven't you would probably like it. I wish I could catch up to you so we were listening to the same podcast. Maybe at some point I can. Thanks for this review. I needed the nudge to start getting into it. I will be linking it on my Sundsay Post. :)

    1. No, not watched picket fences, I shall google. Yes hurry up and catch up!!!

  3. OMG! Belle made me listen to this on the way to Chicago. That is so funny that you are reviewing this, I would have had NO IDEA what you are talking about. It is a bit complicated. The one we listened too had a stranger that was showing up everywhere, it was very creepy. Glad to see you like this stuff too!

    1. Brilliant Karen, Belle has excellent taste. It can be creepy but it can also be hysterical and cute!


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