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
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
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?
Not really, but it wants to be.
I shouldn't ridicule, because I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. But I was able to forgive the author her melodramatic writing. I don't know if you will be.
Also, this is a book which requires the reading of multiple PDFs. Fake newspaper articles and such. I was annoyed by this factor and it almost turned me off, but I persevered and found myself sucked in quickly.
Crazy ending may infuriate you, or you may love it. I don't like to give away things.
Warning: narrator is annoying, and so are the characters. Somehow I enjoyed it anyway.
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.
As several reviewers mentioned (read their reviews way too far into my listening) this book suffers from a lethal lack of editing. What could have been an average but entertaining 6-10 hour story is a 22 hour monstrosity of mediocrity. I sufffer from a stupid need to find out "how it ends" and so I listened to this entire rambling, shambling, shuffling concept of a mystery, and was so irritated by the experience I am writing my first review. I have no idea how this book got the positive ratings it did. The author spends a huge amount of time trying to build this sense of dark, intense intrigue about this film maker character and his eccentric and possibly evilly disturbed actions. I found I really didn't care about any of these characters-the film maker, his tragedy of a daughter whom the entire quest revolves around, or any of the "detectives" that assist the protaganist on his baffling quest for I am not sure what, even at the end of the 22 hours. Seriously. I do not know what he was looking for. A story? That's how poorly this thing is pieced together. Several points of sublime irritation came when the author summarily dumps a couple main characters after their adventure to the spooky mansion/estate. I was never quite sure why these characters were interested in this guy to begin with, but the author insisted they were so I accepted them in our little story world. And then apparently they got bored or tired or disenfranchised in some way and bailed, to be seen only in a brief reunion where none of the information they were so passionately seeking was even a topic of discussion. Wow.
I suppose it is a positive thing to say this woman makes me want to write a mystery, because if this is what gets rave reviews, I'm a Pulitzer winner in the making.
Save yourself the headache, the money and the 22 hours and grab a Stephen King or a Jack Reacher or the new JK Rowling under whatever name. Infinitely more satisfying on every level.
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