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Night Film: A Novel | [Marisha Pessl]

Night Film: A Novel

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 thirty years.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2013 - I don’t often find myself interested in literary psychological thrillers, but the early buzz on Night Film – a dark novel by Marisha Pressl (of Special Topics in Calamity Physics fame) – was enough to pique my interest. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that’s legitimately creeped me out, and this novel opens with a ghost story that set the tone. I’ve only just started reading the book, and it already feels like something bad is lurking on the every page. Scott McGrath is a shamed journalist who takes a new interest in an old case when his former subject’s daughter turns up dead at the bottom of an abandoned building’s elevator shaft. The book hinges on Scott’s investigation into the victim’s family, particularly her reclusive filmmaking father, who put Scott out of business in the first place. It’s an absolutely chilling page-turner and will be even more frightening in audio. —Chris, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2013 Marisha Pessl (P)2013 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1088 )
5 star
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3.9 (981 )
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4.2 (963 )
5 star
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4 star
 (334)
3 star
 (107)
2 star
 (47)
1 star
 (24)
Performance
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  •  
    Sarah United States 09-05-13
    Sarah United States 09-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    11
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    Story
    "Kept me entertained but did not wrap up neatly"

    This book was very interesting but also very disturbing. The whole story drew me in and I was never quite sure what was about to happen... then I realized that probably the author doesn't know what was going to happen... then it got back on track... kind of. If you want a book that gives you a definitive ending with all the answers, this is not the book for you. This book is scary in the way that makes you question the human mind and wonder how people can think this stuff up. The concept of the story is really really good but
    I think a lot of fluff was added to try to make you scared, if you are uncomfortable with any black magic themes I would not listen to this book. I feel like it got lost a little bit toward then end when the author realized that there was no good way to end the mystery without it becoming lame. Instead he opts to just confuse you more and hope that the mystery keeps you intrigued. It kept me intrigued but I didn't think too hard about it and just enjoyed the story without questioning the things that didn't wrap up neatly.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Hong Kong, Hong Kong 09-04-13
    Mr. Hong Kong, Hong Kong 09-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    27
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    Story
    "Very worthwhile, echoes of The Magus"
    What made the experience of listening to Night Film the most enjoyable?

    Excellent and twisting story, good narration


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes. I like the echoes from the Magus ... is there a conspiracy, what and who can you trust, and what does that mean about life ...


    What about Jake Weber’s performance did you like?

    Well down for both male and female voices, though shaky sometimes on accents


    If you could rename Night Film, what would you call it?

    The Collective


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wobbly WNC USA 09-02-13
    wobbly WNC USA 09-02-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    25
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    Story
    "Creepy story overwhelmed by details"

    Very creepy story that kept me interested during the first 2/3 of the book. Like others have suggested, I think the story could have been much better with editing. Loved her first book, but this one was a disappointment. Maybe less research that needs to be shared next time?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn United States 09-02-13
    Evelyn United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow"
    Where does Night Film rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10


    What other book might you compare Night Film to and why?

    Girl Gone because it keeps you guessing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    To many to have just one.


    Who was the most memorable character of Night Film and why?

    Scott...It's his view


    Any additional comments?

    Great story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-01-13
    loix Pittsburgh, PA, United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    314
    ratings
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    10
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    Performance
    Story
    "Literary, this ain't. Psycho, yes. Thriller, no."

    If the measure of literary fiction is abusing participial clauses and opting for the word "indicate" when "point (out)" would do just as well--both marks of stilted prose--then this would be literary fiction. The story also suffered from a very flimsy plot entirely grounded on a stalker of a protagonist (definitely not a hero) so paranoid and egocentric that he sees connections where they are none and who is ready to go to any length for the sake of a story that he has largely made up in his deranged mind (so it does delve deep into the psyche of the protagonist and as such qualifies as psychological fiction, I suppose). The title also needs far better character development to qualify as good fiction, literary or otherwise. Coyote's impressive vocabulary was completely at odds with her background and thick accent.
    The only redeeming factor of this title was the narrator (who was so perfect as Mr. DuBois!). Had it not been for Mr. Weber's soothing voice, I could have never finished this overhyped mess of a story.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jackie LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-01-13
    jackie LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 09-01-13 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    ""THOUGHT IT WOULD - BUT LEAD NOWHERE.""
    What disappointed you about Night Film?

    Being lead on for so long.


    Has Night Film turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Don't know


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narrator was good.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Stupidity, plus, going through the property, Booooring. If you got to meet some of the characters the story revolved around "Somewhere" along the way it might have been more tolerable. You were just lead on a wild goose chase to "nowhere."


    Any additional comments?

    A grown man hanging with two kids was dumb. A guy wasting his time trying to redeem himself for What??? An ex-wife that had no purpose in the story, and a daughter who, as well, served no purpose. I'd think he was a bad father too.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Essex, MD, United States 08-30-13
    Robert Essex, MD, United States 08-30-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "THIS BOOK IS SUCH A WASTE OF MONEY."
    What disappointed you about Night Film?

    THE ONLY REASON WHY I WANT TO WRITE A REVIEW TO LET KNOW HOW BAD IT WAS.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Marisha Pessl again?

    I DOUBT IT.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Jake Weber’s performances?

    NO I DON'T LIKE HIM.


    What character would you cut from Night Film?

    THE NARRATOR IS A HORRIBLE READER. HE MAKES YOU WANT TO SLEEP.


    Any additional comments?

    NO.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexis Fox Glendale, AZ 08-28-13
    Alexis Fox Glendale, AZ 08-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    23
    2
    FOLLOWERS
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    1
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    Story
    "It was OK"
    What did you like best about Night Film? What did you like least?

    The performance was very good.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Didn't like it


    What does Jake Weber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Beautiful characterizations. He did a grat job.


    Did Night Film inspire you to do anything?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't see what all the fuss is about. It was an OK book...I've heard better.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Jane Powers Tennessee 08-25-13
    Margaret Jane Powers Tennessee 08-25-13 Member Since 2002

    Jane Powers

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    "Brilliant, witty, and enthralling."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Night Film to be better than the print version?

    I do not know.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist.


    What does Jake Weber bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wit and delivery.


    If you could take any character from Night Film out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The protagonist, due to his wit, intellect, and humanity.


    Any additional comments?

    The best I have experienced in years.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beth Palm Harbor, FL, United States 01-04-14
    beth Palm Harbor, FL, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
    28
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pray Santa Clause is NOT coming to town"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, the narration was excellent. In the beginning I was skeptical as I usually prefer (or thought I did) men over women nattaters. She did an amazing job with keeping each charactor in play and it was easy to identify who was who


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, it had a way of going around and around but never bore or loose me


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the phone calls started


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was actually upset when the main character was nasty to the women on he other side of the bridge. Without spoiling I will leave it at that but you will know who I mean. The end of the relationship was sad too!


    Any additional comments?

    A must read! A very dark but fantasy like tale. Offers suspense, happy-sad anger and all the supernatural criteria I need but done in a unique and excellent way. Refreshing!!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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