Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Welcome to Night Vale

What if every X-Files conspiracy theory, the crazier the better, was real? How do you feel about jokes? Do you like combining the two? Well, then Welcome to Night Vale is the book for you. Imaging the joke-y X-Files episodes, you know the ones I mean, where there is a lot of playful clarinet passages like a musical wink? Based on a podcast, Welcome to the Night Vale has a cast of characters that live in this crazy town. For example, if they need the police they just whisper "secret police" near their refrigerators and sure enough someone is there to help. Where everyone listens to public radio but City Council is full of supernatural creatures. You know, a cool town.

The reviews said I wouldn't like it if I didn't follow the podcast but that's not true. I love surreal jokes. In fact, I get sad playing Cards Against Humanity for that reason.  Everyone always plays the obvious "naughty card" not the weird card. I wish there were more cards like Self Immolating Flamingo (this card does not exist as far as I know). I always lose. I don't care about losing but I'm like, c'mon people--think outside the box. By the way, I made this joke to a friend before I finished this book and flamingos become a plot point.  Granted they are the plastic lawn variety but nevertheless they are magical objects that bend space and time. As they should be.

If you like audio books this is better on audio (I did a mix of the two). I would give this book full marks but it meanders a bit. Probably a result of the authors writing for the podcast rather than a organized plot novel kind of thing. I didn't want it to bother me, but it did just a little. I like the jokes though, and they aren't Dad jokes nor or they offensive. I guess if you were a monster they might be offensive. Maybe on Monster Twitter the authors might get blasted. I feel like monsters wouldn't waste time on Twitter though.  More like wreck someone's crops of haunt someone IRL. Monsters are very IRL. 

Why not read (or listen to this) with a Fox Mulder Cocktail (it's a whiskey sour with a bizarre look--but sounds delicious): Add to a shaker with ice, 1 &1/2 ounce rye whiskey, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 1/4 ounce pineapple juice, 1/2 ounce simple syrup. Shake and strain and fill in rocks glass with ice. "Float" (or top) with a 1/2 ounce of Green Chartreuse.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Shriek and Finch

Shriek and Finch are not an obscure comedy troupe from the 40's.That's good because they sound like they would be awful. No, Shriek is book two and Finch is book three in the City of Saints and Madmen trilogy. There are plenty of creatures and monsters in these books but the scariest of all might be the monster of exposition in Shriek. He will bore you to death!

Shriek is written memoir style with the narrator and her brother who makes post script annotations. But if I wanted to deal with two snarky siblings making passive aggressive comments to each other I could just go to Thanksgiving. Granted they went through a lot of more drama than my family. I did have a brother that went though a eat your own spit phase. You know where you lay on the edge of a table and spit, it makes a long string then you suck it back up? Yeah, but we are all in agreement that he is weird as hell.

Finch is written in the style of detective novel. Very noir style. There are some exciting fun fantasy scenes in both books but the first book, City of Saints and Madmen is far superior. You'd be fine with just reading that book. I just struggled a little with these two.

In this series there is city built on the ruins of a civilization of well, I'll just say it...mushroom people. There is some debate on whether they still live underground....(they do, that's not a spoiler). I think I have some in my basement. What I think is weird is while mushroom people sound funky and maybe a little scary but to me, defeating them could be a squirt-gun full of bleach. Barring that, I would just kick 'em. Hey scary dude, what to you think if I just drop kick your head? Ba-dang. Sounds like a comedy from the 40's. They could be little Nazi mushroom people. I'm picturing little tiny jackets.

These speculative fiction fantasy novels just scream absinthe to me. Also, this one has a spooky name which is also appropriate. Death in the Afternoon: Pour 1 & 1/2 ounces absinthe into a champagne flute. Top with 4-6 ounces of champagne.  It should form this milky cloud which sounds freaky!  (I've seen variations of this cocktail with Pernod and also an addition of a sugar cube).