Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film is a superb literary thriller by the New York Times best-selling author of the "blockbuster debut" (People) 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 30 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 to the final minute.
©2013 Marisha Pessl (P)2013 Random House Audio
Hi. Grad Student. Love thrillers: crime noir and even horror. I want to be really creeped out by authors with insight into the humans psyche
Buy it. Pessl and Webber take the reader/listener on meandering trail of a plot. Scott, the protagonist and narrator can't trust anyone, but neither can you. The narrator is a disgraced journalist, after all. He may be imaging his allegations against the Kubrick-Polanski-Romero-inspired Stanislas Cordova. He's a horror film director who is as available to the public as the late J. D. Salinger. Ashley, the enigmatic (to make an understatement) daughter of Cordova and apparent suicide victim who sets the story in motion is cloaked in as much mystery as her father. Along with the intricately crafted mystery and the vocal performance of Jake Weber, you also get bonus material. Pessl went so far as to create mock newspaper articles, social media pages for Ashley, police reports, and online forums dedicated to the work of Stanislas Cordova. Audible offers them in the form of downloadable PDF files.
When the supernatural element breeches the boundary of mere superstition and begins to affect Scott's daughter.
He captured the tone of the book. It is a somber, borderline paranoid story told by a narrator who has become obsessed with the man who represents the ruination of his career. Whether or not his suspicion is justified, the narrator is obsessed, and Weber captures that in his performance. His various character voices are decent also.
It creeped me out, which is pretty much what I want out of every novel I read for pleasure.
Its a lengthy book that will keep you enthralled for every hour you listen. The bonus material is just cool. It's worth the money.
It would have been nice to see some of the special images and pics, but the spoken story was electrifying!!!
Nora, she just seemed innocent but gritty at the same time!
Not that I know of
Interesting I found myself laughing quite often... I loved the little snide remarks thoughout!
This started out as your standard "mystery" story about a girl who committs sucide. But soon the twists and turns and dark magic come into play. Just about the time you think you have it "figured out" (and maybe you do in a sense) the whole thing collapases. What is real is real what isn't is (sorta') ... I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it ....
“‘Anyway,’ he added softly, ‘a man’s ghoulish shadow is not the man.’” –Night Film, Marisha Pessl
Night Film by Marisha Pessl is a big, bold statement of a book; released at the perfect time, right before Halloween when everyone is craving a scary story told in the dark. Pessl brings us “a myth, a monster, a mortal man” in Stanislas Cordova, the film producer at the core of the novel. He’s described as “a crevice, a black hole, an unspecified danger, a relentless outbreak of the unknown in our overexposed world.” Cordova’s films are outlawed (an inspired copycat killed a girl in imitation of one film), and bootlegged “black tapes” are passed among obsessive Cordovites. Renegade underground screenings of Cordova’s films take place, and fans flock to a secret website where they post their darkest secrets as well as the most mundane bits Cordova trivia. The film producer’s beautiful but haunted daughter Ashley commits suicide, and a ragged journalist past his prime, Scott McGrath, decides to look into the death. McGrath reluctantly picks up a few delightful sidekicks, and they begin to unravel the mystery surrounding Cordova, his family, and his films.
I was originally listening to Night Film from Audible, and I realized I must be missing something as at times the narrator seemed to be reading captions from photos and newspaper articles. I discovered a used copy of Night Film at Diesel Books for $8 (score!) and was glad I did. The book features photos of Ashley before her death, articles and pictures from the New York Times on Cordova and his films, and other pieces of evidence displayed as they are discovered. Until they add a .pdf to the audiobook, I’d recommend grabbing an actual copy of the book to avoid missing out on the full story. There is additional media built around the book, including an app called the Night Film Decoder and Night Film found footage on the web. I’m sure cynics will see this as too much hype, but I saw it all as a great addition to the story.
Night Film is reminiscent of the post-modern masterpiece House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and the terrifying European hit Syndrome E by Frack Thilliez. All of these books are built around creepy (and nonexistent) films; in House of Leaves, a documentary about a house with shifting boundaries is studied, and in Syndrome E, a terrifying old film is found and blinds a man who watches it. I’m not sure why reading imagined documentation is so irresistable and terrifying. In Night Film, Pessl takes care to blend Cordova and his horrors into our current culture, pointing out details of the films in which fans have found meaning. This careful interweaving of fiction and reality heightens fear by making stories feel real. All these imagined dark films are made all the more terrifying by people’s reactions to watching them, which in the real world we just don’t see or experience. A man begins to lose his mind when reading about the documentary in House of Leaves; Cordova’s films are “so horrifying, audience members are known to pass out in terror.”
I haven’t read Pessl’s first book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, even though it was highly praised. It is now at the top of my list of books to get next. The plot of Night Film is fantastic, but being able to place the looming figure of Cordova believably at the center of our world took some serious writing talent. Pessl has wit, and displays it Night Film‘s moments of much-needed comic relief. The Night Film Quotes page on Goodreads is full of memorable gems. Night Film is the best kind of horror novel, with just the right amount of brains and brawn on board.
This is not normally the type of book I'd use a credit on. The synopsis alone would not have grabbed me, in fact, it may have pushed me away. I don't enjoy horror films at all (or horror fiction for that matter). But, thanks to NPR, I heard the first chapter of the book for free and was hooked. I finished this book in 3 days, and would even read it again. Pessl's way with words is beautiful, her characters are flawed but memorable, her twists and turns are unexpected. I don't want to give too much away here, but let's just say the ending had me yelling on the metro, which is generally frowned upon in the D.C. area. It was just that good. I'd love spin off books for each of these characters: that's how invested the author gets you. This is a credit worthy listen, but if you don't have a credit, just spend cash on it. You won't regret it.
Another Audible Addict
Each bit of beautifully written information, you get while listening to this book is one more jeweled puzzle piece that you think will fit to make what you think is the whole picture, but if you are like me, you'll find the piece doesn't fit no matter where you think it may belong. It goes somewhere else.
I loved this book and wish I could paint, like Marisha writes. It's a real life mystery. The performance was right on and the story one of my favorites. I will definitely be looking up more titles from Ms. Pessl in the future.
Love scary stories and thrillers.
Pessi has written a fascinating mystery with many twists and turns. The characters are very rich and layered, so much so you can clearly see them in your mind's eye. As soon as you think you know where the story's going, BAM-it changes again. I love creepy mysteries, and this one definitely fits the bill. Film actor Jake Weber does a fabulous job as narrator, and could be even pictured as our protagonist.
I raced my way to the end, so excited to see where this roller coaster of a ride would take me. With that said, I can't help but feel ripped off by the ending. After so many ups and downs, the ending seemed too easy and not well thought out. After listening for 23 hours and becoming so immersed in the world Pessi created, I needed an ending that fit the story. It just wasn't there.
This story takes you on a wild ride through the investigation of the young woman's death. The author did such an amazing job, the characters felt so real. It read like a true crime book, not a work of fiction.
Let me start by saying that I'm a Marisha Pessl fan but I understand why some people might not be. She has written what I think are two stunning books but they are books that require the reader to wander through complex plots among characters with lives that are out of whack, away from the norm, until we reach the end of the book when we have to decide what just happened. All questions are not answered at the end of her books and I can see how that could bother some people. In Night Films Pessl creates a disturbing mystery involving a legendary but unseen horror movie maker, a diverse set of people connected to those movies, and an odd group of investigators who are thrown together to solve the mystery. Jake Weber's reading brings all the tension, anger and uncertainty of the plot through to the listeners.
I liked this sound of this story, and was able to bear through the first half. But I found it melodramatic, overwritten, conscious, and a bit immature. It was a bit of an eye-roller for me. When I realized there was a part three, I gave up on it-- 18 hours of writing reminiscent of a melodramatic teenager was enough, and I wasn't even curious enough to find out how it ends. Oh well.
Narration was fine, though I found it a bit breathy and (third time's a charm!): melodramatic.
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