In response to my last post, I can assuredly say that my optimism was rewarded! But to what measure, I must ask. For “Welcome to Night Vale” (a typo from my last post as Night Vale is two words) is by no means the “Citizen Kane” of literature. “Welcome to Night Vale” is entirely a book for its fans. The production already having a base of listeners, the book does an amazing job of emulating the tone and oddities of the bi monthly radio show, from the strange occurrences, to the nonchalant characters, to references to previous happenings on podcasts, to even interjections of the radio show itself throughout the book. Fans of Cecil Palmer’s narration of the everyday comings and goings of the secluded desert town will absolutely find something to love with this book.
Beyond that however, while there isn’t nothing here for the average reader, the use of language is at times enjoyably unique, and reading the supernatural ailments of the characters as literal manifestations of life’s problems can create interesting characterizations, it can be easy to be put off by the overall style and setting that the novel encompasses. I struggle to say anything is necessarily bad about the book, at it’s worst it is at least average, and overall issues will generally be with a lack of a connection to the style.
In the end, I would recommend the podcast before I recommend the book. The podcast is free online and a couple episodes will be more than enough to decide if it is something you would like more of, and in less time than a full length novel too.