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
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
I had no idea if I would like this audiobook--but the description, the idea of an accompanying pdf file, and the reviews made it difficult to resist. I found it truly a fun and engrossing listen, unlike anything I have come across before.
Firstly, the pdf. It added a great deal to my enjoyment of the book but it is by no means a necessary component. This file is used mainly in the beginning of the story and basically, the narrator reads the documents as part of the book. While they are fun to follow along with, they are not necessary. So if you listen only on the go, don't worry about not being able to follow along. But when you have more time, do look at the realistic accompanying documents. Pure fun!
I found this book extremely well written. Pessl has a gift for intriguing descriptions and this makes the book an easy candidate for a second listen. However, the story was what really grabbed me. I would think about it before falling asleep and before I got out of bed in the morning. The characters were well-developed and believable in their motivations and behaviors and were all interesting and mostly likeable. While this audiobook could be described as very dark, it was not TOO dark, I am thankful to report. While at times it seemed to veer off into a fantasy-like state, it always came back to believable reality which I appreciated. Reading this book was more like an "experience" for me, almost like a trip in the dark. I really loved it and would recommend it to mystery fans who enjoy the unusual.
As for the narrator, I loved him immediately. There is something unique about his voice and he put in a great performance. He is ideal for this type of strange, quirky book. I was so surprised to realize I knew him from the television show, Medium, which I watched years back. At that time, I was not so fond of the character he portrayed. I think, however, he was in his element with Night Film. He definitely added to the listening enjoyment for me.
So there it is! Will you or won't you?
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
The characters are beautifully drawn, as is the world they live in. The history behind the puzzles they need to solve is created so believably that I found myself referring to Wikipedia for collaboration on certain points.
I fell in love with the characters and was completely mesmerized by the layers of mystery unfolding before them, faced as they were with the prospect of living in a Cordova film where reality is uncertain and endings do not wrap up neatly.
When I started listening I had the sense that I was hearing the voice of an old friend. Then I realized that this was the voice of the wonderful actor who played Joe DuBois on Medium. I LOVE his understated, yet fully dramatic reading of this book and couldn't resist picturing him in the role of the central character. So happy that he's become a reader - will look for other titles he's read.
Scott. Intelligent, flawed, moral, indomitable, ultimately heroic.
I loved the book overall. The provided PDF files are wonderful, and reinforced my vision of the world the author created. I was so swept away, and so wanted a neat, traditional ending, but should have realized that this was not a world where neat endings happen, not in this particular dark film world that we explore through the eyes of Scott M..
This is one of those audio books that I hated to put down. In fact, when I was traveling and didn't have my iPod, I downloaded the e-book so I could read it on my laptop. It's that good. Haunting, beautiful, deadly. For days afterward I was still thinking about it.
I don't want to say too much because I don't want to give anything away. The characters are fascinating. If you like good, dark mysteries, you'll love this. And make sure you download the accompanying PDF - the pictures there add to the story. I LOVED this book!
Dental hygienist, runner, avid reader, and best of all....a lover of music :)
I generally have a difficult time ranking books even one as original as Marisha Pessl's novel. All I can say is it's definitely well worth the 20+ hours of audio.
I don't want to spoil it for anyone, so I will just say that every character in this story helps bring the novel to life. After completing the final chapter, it's important to keep any favoritism to oneself...you can never be too sure you know the characters ;)
The ending. Sorry, that's all you get.
Stanislas Cordova. This mysterious character is the center of everyone's attention. Although the main characters are attempting to discover the cause of Ashley Cordova's death, the fixation remains on Stanislas throughout the story. This is extremely important in expanding on the novel's theme....perception.
Night Film is definitely well worth the extended play. The story is original, engaging, and superbly performed by Jake Weber (for those who remember the Dawn of the Dead remake by Zack Snyder). My only gripe with the story was its overuse of metaphors. At times, I felt it got a little out of hand. But this is simply a matter of preference and opinion. Marisha Pessl is a gifted author who succeeded at writing one hell of a book. Enjoy!
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of suspense films or novels. The author crafts a story that immerses the reader into a universe that is so vivid that you can literally see the entire story as it's being narrated.
Night Film is very original and you would be hard to find a similar story. While it falls into a modern noir category the writing and incorporation of the digital material makes it very unique.
While Weber comes off as monotonous initially you eventually accept it and even embrace it. His performance as the other characters is acceptable but not great. I would listen to another book narrated by Weber.
The entire story is gripping and you will find yourself scrutinizing the details.
I really enjoyed this book - it captured my attention from the first, was far out and spooky without being stupid, and while not fine literature, was a cut above the average thriller. I love long books but expect some slow points, but this really was paced well. I can really recommend this to fans of many genres.
I thought the premise of the story was interesting and i liked the creepy tone. I was hooked for a while, but it went on way too long. Some of the sequences were tangents that didn't move the story forward. Also, she repeated some stories more than once. I think the author needed a better editor. The ending was disappointing and seemed lazy - like the author couldn't be bothered to resolve things, so she just ended the book. That cost the book a star or two for me. I thought the narrator was really good.
Myst/thrillers, some contemporary and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
Wow, what a ride. If I did not have to sleep I would have listened to this extraordinary mystery/thriller, (with a movie literature relation), without interruption.
Scott McGrath a disgraced journalist that can't help himself, reopens his investigation into the story that destroyed his career/ life years before. Scott must get to the bottom of an anonymous phone call that started the original investigation of Cordova, a snuff film producer, director. The caller insinuated that Cordova, a recluse, may be actually hurting children or worse for his films. Eight years, and two hundred and fifty thousand dollars retribution later the suicide of Cordova's daughter draws Scott back onto an almost deliberate path that leads him staight to a dark rabbit hole that he had luckily avoided the first time. Scott is pulled into a sinister mystery behind fame, excess, obsession, cult, private sex clubs, murder, witchcraft, black voodoo magic, etc..... Quoting the Cheshire Cat, "we're all mad here".
During his investigation he comes across two very unlikely characters that insist on taking the path with him: a drug and alcohol addicted charmer and a homeless young wannabe actress. As the story unfolds the circumstances leading up to the young girls suicide start to help them understand the whole big, inconceivable picture.
The narrator did an excellent job, I felt connected with the characters and did not get tired of his voice at all during the twenty three hour listen. This book is a great twisted thriller that has ups and downs galore. Just when you think..........? Don't.. Highly recommend.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
If you're planning to buy this book regardless of reviews, don't read this; I don't want to prejudice your listening experience. You may do just fine.
I was looking forward to this book so much; I loved Special Topics and really enjoyed Marisha Pessl's writing style. I've stopped halfway through this book, however, and can't go further (though I would like to know the ending). The story is good. The writing, however, is not. Because this is a detective noir novel, perhaps the author wrote this way on purpose, but the writing to me is hackneyed and cliched, with clunky dialogue. The characters take far too long to realize what is obvious to the reader, and when they do, Pessl tends to pound the nail in a few extra times in case we didn't get it. Many aspects of the investigation defy belief, and I'm not talking about the black magic elements. The action seems to arise from the author's need to get certain information across rather than from the nature of the characters; I had trouble believing in the characters and their reactions. The writing is clumsy. Does anyone edit anymore?
The narrator is a reasonable choice for a noir novel; he sounds the part, certainly. He has an irritating tendency. To break sentences into fragments. Rather than allowing them to flow. Which obstructs their meaning. And one has to think about what was just said. Then put it all together. I'm not sure anyone could have done a good job with this dialogue; it's just mediocre, but I felt the narrator overemphasized emotional moments; this coupled with the author's overemphasis made me feel like someone was pounding the novel into my head with a 2 x 4.
Life's good when I am listening to a great book.
Would I recommend this book? Hmmm...... How much time do you have to listen and how much does the ending matter to you? This book is over twenty hours long. The narration is perfectly done, no complaint there. The story drew me in and kept me fascinated and intrigued for about the first three-quarters of the many hours of listening. I enjoyed the mix of characters during that first three-quarters especially the three investigators; who were a quirky mix including two young adults; each of whom had an interest in helping Scott McGrath (the protagonist and investigative journalist) solve the mystery at-hand. The problem with this novel is that it is too long and during the last fourth of the novel, I just lost interest. The book is probably worth listening to for the many hours of intrigue and adventure that it provides but, ultimately, I found it disappointing as it moved towards a long and painfully unsatisfying finish. If you like gothic fiction, this book reads like one but fails to deliver towards the end. In the end, I would recommend listening to this novel for about the first fifteen hours..... but, after that, your imagination could probably do a better job.
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