I've just forged my way through all 23+ hours, and I feel like at least half of that time was unnecessary to make the point (or lack of point) of this story. Calamity Physics gave me high hopes that this would be another exquisitely crafted volume with characters who grew with every new facet exposed. Wrong. The characters, even as unique and unusual as many of them are, are primarily two-dimensional. The main character, McGrath, does evolve, but it is never really clear what he has ultimately learned from his experiences and insights.
I can live with uncertain endings, and I relish the opportunity to craft different endings in my own mind. But with this book I felt cheated of even that opportunity, as it is never clear what is real or what is part of fiction in which all the characters are playing a part. All that said, it is lovely prose, and Pessl can create any atmosphere or mood with her words. I would read her books for that alone, and just hope that as she matures as a writer, she learns how to craft a tighter and less ambiguous plot.
Outstanding, flawless narration. Weber is a genius with his accents.
I was riveted the entire time, it pulled me right in and would not let go. When I reached the last few chapters, I didn't want it to end! The narration was absolutely stellar, I connected with each character's voice and will be looking for more works by this author and more books narrated by Jake Weber.
I read a lot and use audible often. I originally bought this book on my kindle (print version) after reading an article stating it was similar to House of leaves. I still hadn't read HOLs because I had to wait for it to ship but was excited to read it because all of the craziness I heard surrounding it. I started reading Night Film and did not put it down so much to the point that I ordered it here despite already having it so I could listen when I was unable to read. House of leaves had a good story potentials but it really was just a book of madness. NF is nothing like that. it is mystery that the reader gets to see what the main character sees, police reports, photos, handwritten notes.you are right there with him the entire time. The characters are strong and likable. It is also a thriller with borderline horror. I would not be suprised if this is made into a high budget film but a giid movie from a book like Silence of the lambs. Do yourself a favor if mystery/thriller is your favorite and get this before it goes Hollywood.
I've had enormous affection for this author ever since I read her book, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics".
If I wanted to listen to a book about black magic and witchcraft, then I would look for such a book in the appropriate section. I like thrillers, I like whodunits, I liked Marisha Pessl. I do not like witchcraft, black magic, spells, "soul barters", or ritualistic occult sacrifices. For goodness' sake, who does like reading about a fawn's eyes being carved out as part of a Satanic sacrificial ritual?!
I loved the writing style, vocabulary, most of the plot, and the characters. But I felt like I was reading a book written by Stephen King.
The narrator was flawless- he sounds like Lee Pace!
The summary for this book is, I feel, misleading. It is dark, brooding, dangerous- it sticks in your mind like the titled movies by the character Stanislas Cordova. This is not a happy book in any way. If you're a fan of the occult, you'll probably like this book. If not, you'll be as disgusted as I was.
I absolutely would not recommend this book.
I stumbled into this book almost by accident, while looking for something to listen over a long car trip. I knew it wasn't serious literature, but I wasn't expecting this. It is a novel with such an inept, cliché ridden prose, that it is difficult to understand how it made it beyond the very first editorial culling process. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that a student in a first year creative writing course could produce similar. if not better, results. Save your money and look elsewhere.
I found this overblown and frustrating. The end went on and on in a way that felt like a lot of filler for a long time, then purposefully obscure. Was there a point? Clever paradigm shifting...ok, but to what end? Did it reveal anything about anyone, advance the characters' situations? The author muddled up the supernatural and the natural, successfully did a number on the reader, and then...hid. I found this book hard to get into at first; the set up unlikely and stretching credulity; by the middle I was interested and involved, but the last 20% was a waste of time and made me regret the hours I spent on it.
When I read a good book I feel changed, elevated, intrigued or challenged in some way. After this one, I felt duped.
The narrator is exceptional. I loved how the author took us through logical to magical and back. Great anxiety points, excellent character development, really nice storytelling. Will be finding more from this author and definitely from this narrator.