Friday, September 27, 2013

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Completion Date: September 24, 2013
Reason for Reading: Fun and RIP VIII
Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film is a superb literary thriller by The New York Times bestselling author of the blockbuster debut Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense until you turn the final page.

This book has been on my radar a lot lately. It seemed to be making the rounds and I saw people talking about it on Twitter and their blogs. It was also on lots of R.I.P. lists. I usually buy myself a few books for my birthday and I decided this would be one of them. It may have come a bit before my birthday... And, I didn't wait to read it. It just took me forever to read it because I had a hard time finding reading time when I was away for two weeks. It was nothing against the book itself! I had originally planned to go the audio route with this one because I heard good things about it on Audible. I am sure it would still be a good audio; but there is all sorts of interactive material that I am not sure would work well on audio. It's a really pretty book and I am glad that I went the hardcover route. I may reread it in the future by audio, though. I just think it is a book that should be read initially because you lose something otherwise. I would skip on the e-book also, but that's just me.

I have to admit I don't read a lot of thriller-type books. I have to limit my reading a bit or I would be completely overwhelmed. That's not to say I don't like thrillers, though. There have been many that I have read an enjoyed over the years. This book is also a mystery novel. Another genre I sort of neglect. For these reasons I am not sure if I would have read this book on my own. My interest was peaked by first seeing a mention on Audible, and then catching a conversation on Twitter, and then seeing it popping up on blogs when I actually took the time to do the rounds. There seemed to be overwhelming positive remarks for it and I knew I was going to have to see what the buzz was about. I think one of the main reasons I avoid thrillers/mysteries for the most part is because it is so easy to be predictable. I find myself reading just to find out if I am right and less because I love the book.

Night Film was different, though. You never really knew what was true or false. There were many twists and turns. And with this came surprises. I was very happy for the surprises. I read this book because I got caught up with the stories and the characters and wanted to know what was going to happen next. You can't help wanting to know how everything is going to play out. The novel mostly centres around Scott McGrath, but there are many secondary characters that come alive on the page. It was really well done. Throughout the whole novel there is essentially the ghost of Ashley Cordova. She seems very much alive throughout so that even though you never actually see her alive in the novel; she is alive on the page. You get to know her as Scott McGrath grows as a character. And then there is her father. We assume he is alive, but we don't necessarily have him as a character. We just get to know him as the novel progresses and we witness aspects of his mind. It leads to the books creepy aspects.

I find it harder and harder to write about books. I just don't blog enough any more, so I am all over the place and keep taking 'breaks'. I really should blog more and get back in a groove. Essentially I just want to say that I really like this book and hope others will check it out. It was out of my general reading zone and I am glad I took a chance on it. I am planing to read her other book because I think she has great talent. And, I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. I enjoy a book that takes many different elements to bring the story alive. It is original and sets the book above the rest. I really haven't read a lot of books this year, so this competition is small, but this definitely one of the best books I have read in a while. You should check it out if you haven't all ready.


  1. If you enjoyed this, I may give it a try. I know what you mean about not blogging often enough. It's so hard to start again.Glad to see you around. :-)

  2. I love thrillers, and you've convinced me that this should be on my list.

  3. I loved this one, and it affected me in ways a book hasn't in a long time. It kept me up late, it made me afraid of the dark, and it gave me strange dreams!

  4. Planning ti read this for RIP as well - skimmed your review but happy to see u were pleased by it.

  5. Yay! I read this and enjoyed it tremendously -- I'm delighted that Marisha Pessl didn't have any kind of sophomore slump, but just went for it all the way and produced another insane and individual novel.

  6. I myself do not read a lot of thrillers. However I believe that a book of almost every genre can be worthwhile if well done.

    Other then the fact that I like the idea of mysterious characters who have not appeared in years, it sounds as if the characters in this book are well crafted.

  7. I never did get around to her first book just because there was so much buzz about it and I felt like I already knew what it was about. I'd like to read both though. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  8. I am glad you liked this one so much. I have been on the fence about it, but you've convinced me to give it a try.


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