#29 – Welcome to Night Vale, by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
- Read: 3/17/16 – 3/24/16
- Provenance: Library (hardcover)
- Challenge: BookRiot Read Harder 2016
- Task: A horror book
- Rating: 5/5 stars
The last time I went in to the library to pick up my requested books, I saw this beauty on the New Books display and it just fell into my hands, I swear!
I was introduced to the WTNV podcast last year by a friend on a car trip, and while I’m nowhere near current, I’ve enjoyed what I have heard. The blend of absurd, creepy, and hilarious is right up my alley.
While I wouldn’t call this the same brand of horror as most I’ve read before (notably Stephen King and Dean Koontz back in high school, and a smattering of Lovecraft in college,) it’s a pervasive, groundwater type of horror. There don’t need to be many incidents that are downright scary (though the library scene was pretty damn terrifying) because small touches of horror are built into everything about the world. Night Vale is a surveillance state of horror. It’s always there, and sometimes you can forget about it for a while, then a detail pops up, out of place, and you’re staring horror right in the face again.
I loved it. This is the first library book in quite some time that’s going on my wish list, because I absolutely must have my own copy. And I think it will be even more rewarding to reread, because I’m sure there’s foreshadowing aplenty that I missed, even going slow.
(Yeah, it’s 400 pages and it took me a week to read. This is not a story for speed reading. This is a story to be savored slowly, like sipping the best bourbon, in order to get fully drunk off all the creepy.)
While I know this book isn’t going to be for everyone, I’m going to go ahead and insist everyone read it, whether or not you’re a podcast listener. You don’t need to be to appreciate the book, it’s complete unto itself. (Though I’m sure there are Easter eggs for more dedicated listeners than I am.)
And if you’ve read it already, tell me what you think. Do you suffer from migraines? Are you ever going to look at your library the same way again?