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NPR Review - WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor

Travel, travel and yet more travel have delayed my writing a bunch of neat things up — many of which happened while travelling! — but as I play catch-up, here’s a bit from my review of the Welcome to Night Vale novel I totally forgot to post about when it went up!

In Night Vale, people experience several realities at once — and so do I, writing this review with a strange sort of triple vision. On the one hand, I want to speak as a fan of the extraordinarily popular podcast, so beloved that its listeners catapulted the novel into Amazon’s #2 spot seven months before its release; on the other hand I want to explain Night Vale to people who may not have yet encountered it; on the third, vestigial hand I want to look at Welcome to Night Vale as a stand-alone novel, and try to see it from the perspective of someone who isn’t already in love with the recurring characters, locations, and spatio-temporal anomalies of the podcast.

I’ve since learned that there are to be more Night Vale novels, and am pleased to hear it! I got to attend one of their live shows in Glasgow back in September and it was great fun. I’m constantly awed by the achievement of Night Vale as a fan phenomenon (a … fanomenon?), and am still thinking about the ways in which the live shows function with the podcast, the merchandise, the novel, all swirling together into a mode of audience engagement that I’d like to better articulate.