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
Reader. Wannabe writer. That's a picture of me standing in line to see Stephen King!
I’m reading the negative reviews wondering how anyone could not have enjoyed this book, and I see a theme here. It seems that those who didn’t like the book were looking for a straightforward, linear genre novel. That’s not what this is, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you should do as one reviewer suggested and go for the latest Lee Child or Robert Crais.
Night Film is a psychological drama with “mystery” and “thriller” elements. There is a mystery and there are thrills (I found myself gasping out loud at some of the events), but from start to end this story is no simple mystery. It is as intricate and fine as a well-crafted puzzle box. And consider that of the two contrasting characters one is a reporter who’s job is to find the truth, the other is a film director who’s job is to create fiction, and you can imagine the labyrinthine rabbit hole the director leads the reporter down. It’s dark and deceptive. Our rational hero must question everything he sees and experiences – was that real or was that the Primrose Path he’s expected to follow? And even the object he seeks, The Truth, must also be questioned.
One reviewer said that at the end of the book she wanted to start it all over again armed with a new perspective. I felt the same way! And I imagine that like a good puzzle box this story doesn’t have one way in but many, and those entry points can only be found after subsequent readings.
I love these long, chewy novels you can really sink your teeth into. Let Jake Weber’s narration wrap around you like a warm blanket and snuggle in for an amazing ride.
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.
I want to feel good when I complete a story & am a little harsh on depressing ones. There are a few sad ones that I love but not many.
I found the story, characters and narrator all fascinating. I didn't know what to expect when I bought it but I was immediately wrapped 100% into the story.
I thought it was so good that I have already purchased another Pessl story.
Probably. Everyone deserves a second chance. Jake Weber was great. He did a very good job of distinguishing each character.
None. They were all good.
I really enjoyed the book and the characters, but the story went nowhere.
Yes, I would recommend this book. The book is an intelligent witty thriller. Why did Ashley Cordova commit suicide? What secrets does her family hold? What is the truth behind her father's notorious films? With humor and horror, Marisha Pessi lets her tale unfold. The books main characters, an unlikely trio allied to find the truth of Ashley's suicide, traverse a dark landscape littered with witchcraft, dangerous films, curses, cancers, and secrets.
Nora, the coat check girl and would be actress, gives the story its heart.
My favorite scene is when our chief detective and investigative reporter makes a journey through Cordova's films via the warehouse and green house on the palatial estate of the filmmaker. It's a nightmare journey. Did it really happen? Draw your own conclusions.
Hopper's revelations about a drowning at a camp for troubled youth.
This was a very good thriller/mystery. The characters were interesting and there was a lot of eerie atmosphere and intriguing characters. i especially liked the plot twists at the end.
I'm a singer, songwriter, musician, producer and music educator. I've spent the majority of my life wearing headphones . . .
Hallelujah!!! Jake Weber's narration has cured my insomnia. It might not have been all that bad had this tale not become less interesting as it went on . . . and, trust me, it went on and on and on . . .
I've seen stories survive bad narrators before but, unfortunately, Night Film isn't one of those!
I like spooky stories, the multimedia attempt, the various references. That said, this book felt, as did the author's previous work, like a bit of a "tryhard" attempt at newness, rawness, "hipness." I don't like feeling the author working away at her cleverness- I want to forget her while I'm involved in the story, and stand back and marvel afterwards.
I suppose the mystery kept me interested- I wanted to see where she was going with all of this- whether it would be a realistic narrative or would veer into the supernatural.
I don't know, but I do know this- Weber has a great, deep voice that worked for the main character, but when he tried to do women or just about anyone else, he veered into some awful territory. It seems his idea of "other man" is "very slow-speaking southerner" and his idea of "woman" is "weirdly breathy slow speaker." Seriously. The SLOWNESS. At first I thought the characters were supposed to be disabled in some way. And why so many Southern accents in New York?
I did a lot of walking while listening to it, so that was pretty great, fitness-wise.
I would love to know if others felt like I did about Weber's performance. It drove me nuts.
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