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Welcome to Night Vale

Cover of Welcome to Night Vale

Welcome to Night Vale

A Novel

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves...no matter where we live.

"Hypnotic and darkly funny. . . . Belongs to a particular strain of American gothic that encompasses The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Twin Peaks, with a bit of Tremors thrown in."—The Guardian

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. 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 holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer 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, when they were both teenagers. 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.

From the creators of the wildly popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is also a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves...no matter where we live.

"Hypnotic and darkly funny. . . . Belongs to a particular strain of American gothic that encompasses The Twilight Zone, Stephen King and Twin Peaks, with a bit of Tremors thrown in."—The Guardian

Located in a nameless desert somewhere in the great American Southwest, Night Vale is a small town where ghosts, angels, aliens, and government conspiracies are all commonplace parts of everyday life. 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 holding a deer skin suitcase. Everything about him and his paper unsettles her, especially the fact that she can't seem to get the paper to leave her hand, and that no one who meets this man can remember anything about him. Jackie is determined to uncover the mystery of King City and the man in the tan jacket before she herself unravels.

Night Vale PTA treasurer 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, when they were both teenagers. 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.

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About the Author-
  • Joseph Fink created the Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn't Dead podcasts. He lives with his wife in New York.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    April 27, 2015
    Fink and Cranor, co-creators of the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast, successfully expand the mythology of their strange desert town. The novel follows Diane Crayton, whose shapeshifting son’s absentee father has just come back to town, and Jackie Fierro, who’s been the 19-year-old proprietor of Night Vale’s pawnshop for the last several decades. After peculiar, half-remembered encounters with a man in a tan jacket, both women keep coming back to the same phrase: King City. Diane and Jackie have to work together to peel back the mysteries surrounding King City while trying to protect their loved ones. Though the book meanders a bit in the middle, the end is satisfying, with a surprising origin story for one of the characters. Fans will find it refreshing to see Night Vale from different perspectives and to meet characters who have only been mentioned before in passing, but knowledge of the podcast isn’t required to follow the story. This unusual experiment in format-shifting works surprisingly well.

  • Los Angeles Times "Fink and Cranor's prose hints there's an empathetic humanity underscoring their well of darkly fantastic situations. . . . the book builds toward a satisfyingly strange exploration of the strange town's intersection with an unsuspecting real world."
  • Washington Post ""The book is charming and absurd - think "This American Life" meets "Alice in Wonderland."
  • The Guardian "The hit podcast is absurd and hilarious, and as a book it's similarly entertaining..."
  • Austin Chronicle "Longtime listeners and newcomers alike are likely to appreciate the ways in which Night Vale, as Fink puts it, "treats the absurd as normal and treats the normal as absurd." What they might not foresee is the emotional wallop the novel delivers in its climactic chapters."
  • Detroit Free Press "As a companion piece, "Welcome to Night Vale" will be hard to resist. Though the book builds toward a satisfyingly strange exploration of the strange town's intersection with an unsuspecting real world, its mysteries - like the richest conspiracy theories - don't exist to be explained. They just provide a welcome escape."
  • Minneapolis Star Tribune "The charms of 'Welcome to Night Vale' are nearly impossible to quantify. That applies to the podcast, structured as community radio dispatches from a particularly surreal desert town, as well as this novel, written by the podcast's co-creators, Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor."
  • Glen David Gold, author of Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside "This is the novel of your dreams. . . . A story of misfit family life that unfolds along the side streets, back alleys and spring-loaded trap doors of the small town home you'll realize you've always missed living in. When it says 'welcome,' it's mandatory. You belong here."
  • Wil Wheaton "Welcome To Night Vale brings its eponymous desert town to to vivid life. . . . It is as weird and surreal as I hoped it would be, and a surprisingly existential meditation on the nature of time, reality, and the glow cloud that watches over us."
  • John Darnielle, author of Wolf in White Van "Take Conan's Hyborea, teleport it to the American Southwest, dress all the warriors in business casual and hide their swords under the floorboards — that's Night Vale: absurd, magical, wholly engrossing, and always harboring some hidden menace."
  • Ransom Riggs, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children "Brilliant, hilarious, and wondrously strange. I'm packing up and moving to Night Vale!"
  • Maureen Johnson, author of 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Name of the Star "This small town full of hooded figures, glowing clouds, cryptically terrifying public policies, and flickering realities quickly feels more like home than home. . . . There is nothing like Night Vale, in the best possible way."
  • Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and co-editor of Boing Boing "They've done the unthinkable: merged the high weirdness and intense drama of Night Vale to the pages of a novel that is even weirder, even more intense than the podcast."
  • Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution and Vacation "Emotionally compelling and superbly realized. This seductive, hilarious book unfolds at the moment when certain quiet responsible people find they must risk everything on behalf of love, hope, and understanding. Not a single person who reads this book will be disappointed."
  • Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind "As a fan of Welcome to Night Vale, Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink have delighted me with stories that are clever, twisted, beautiful, strange, wonderful, and sweet. This book does all of that and more. I think this might be the best book I've read in years."
  • Publishers Weekly "Co-creators of the popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast, successfully expand the mythology of their strange desert town. Fans will find it refreshing to see Night Vale from different perspectives . . . but knowledge of the podcast isn't required to follow the story."
  • Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "All hail the glow cloud as the weird and wonderful town of Night Vale brings itself to fine literature. . . . A fantastic addition with a
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Welcome to Night Vale
A Novel
Joseph Fink
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