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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 (1620 )
5 star
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3.8 (1470 )
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Story
4.2 (1447 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Valerie A Hawkins Charlotte, NC USA 05-27-14
    Valerie A Hawkins Charlotte, NC USA 05-27-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    50
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable Listen"

    I was hanging on to every word. The ending was a little bit of a letdown, but all in all, very engaging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaime CA, United States 04-15-14
    Jaime CA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    75
    27
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    "Addicting"
    What did you love best about Night Film?

    I never really knew where the story was going to take me. I found it to be highly addicting!


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

    I have no idea.


    What about Jake Weber’s performance did you like?

    Jake Weber was brilliant! He made the book very enjoyable.


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

    Nora. I'd love to get to know her better.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish I hadn't waiting so long to listen and now I am sad it's over.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 04-14-14
    melissa Norwich, CT, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2014

    An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Stand Out in Thrillers!"

    This was one of the more engaging stories I've listened to in a long, long time. Pessl delivers a great storyline that grabs you, shakes you by the roots and takes you a fast paced thrill ride. The writing is superb and the characters are so engaging and unique and they are brought into vivid color by a plot that will make you cringe, cheer, laugh and keep you up at night. Witchcraft and voodoo mix almost sensibly into a story about a family legacy, a mysterious compound and a young girl's untimely death. There are passages that blend the reality with the fantasy so artifully that even now, having finished the book, I'm at a loss to explain them. This book delivers in a way many others try and fail. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie 04-10-14
    Angie 04-10-14
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    1
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    Story
    "Didn't want it to end"
    What made the experience of listening to Night Film the most enjoyable?

    Perfect reading by the narrator Jake Weber, in addition to the constant doubt you have as a listener between science and magic, as the book phrases it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nora Halliday!


    Which character – as performed by Jake Weber – was your favorite?

    His own.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Do you dare?


    Any additional comments?

    A great listening experience! A very long audiobook that feels like it flies by. I would recommend it to anyone!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald PLYMOUTH, MA, United States 02-24-14
    Donald PLYMOUTH, MA, United States 02-24-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Worth The Time"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a long book, but it is well written and not overly descriptive. Keeps you on your toes and the performance is top notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 02-22-14
    Greg OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States 02-22-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "I tried to like it."
    What disappointed you about Night Film?

    The overall story was atmospheric but didn't really have anything else going for it. I mean, you sensed the dread but nothing really came out of it.


    What could Marisha Pessl have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More action to the story, the characters did a lot, I guess, but didn't truly drive the story forward.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jake Weber?

    Michael Page, just because I think he is the best ever.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Night Film?

    Don't know.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristy Rodsho 01-20-14

    .

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unbelievable Performance!"
    What did you love best about Night Film?

    The performance. I wish I could give more than 5 stars. Where the story got a little lengthy and lost me the narrator kept me completely gripped. Very talented.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    McGrath is the key player and easiest to become emotionally attached to. But, Nora and Hopper were right there. Ashley was my favorite as far as favorites go. I think she probably steals the show for a lot of people.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Nora realizes it's good bye for good, but nobody else does.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexander Aker Norway 01-10-14
    Alexander Aker Norway 01-10-14 Member Since 2012

    Alex

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    "Intense and exciting listen - in retrospect: meh"

    I finished this 23 hour long audiobook in 2 days, which reveals how riveted I was. The prose is, to my ears/eyes, wildly fluctuating in quality - sometimes succumbing to cliches, dullness and awkward missteps, other times imaginative, suspenseful and engaging. The book does however have a strong narrative drive, and I was compelled to keep listening. As this is considered a postmodern crime/horror novel, it leans heavily on using stereotypes and archetypes from these genres. To me, this takes away a lot of the potential horror this book could've conveyed. I liked the ending, although I understand how it might disappoint some listeners. I would've gone into more depth as to why I think so, but doing so will reveal too much of the story. If the premise of the book excites you I recommend you give it a listen, just keep your mind open. The part standing out the most to me is the chase towards the end and the events following.

    The narrator does a wonderful job, giving just the right cadence and richness to each character. The narrator alone gives this an extra star.

    The printouts of websites etc did nothing for me and felt gimmicky.

    All in all a good but flawed listen. Kept me at the edge of my seat most of the time, many interesting choices but as I'm finished not particularly rewarding or memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CastleofJules MAGNOLIA, TX, United States 01-07-14
    CastleofJules MAGNOLIA, TX, United States 01-07-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    61
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful Thrill Ride!"
    What did you love best about Night Film?

    The main character, Scott McGrath was great. You become drawn into his life and begin to feel all the emotions he is relaying.


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

    None, this was by far the best one I've read.


    What about Jake Weber’s performance did you like?

    He did an excellent job changing voices for each character. I will be looking for other books that he is narrating.


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

    Ashley Cordova - she is the mystery that everyone is trying to solve throughout the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Boca Raton, FL, United States 01-05-14
    Katherine Boca Raton, FL, United States 01-05-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    8
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    "Elegantly Composed With Intriguing Detail"
    If you could sum up Night Film in three words, what would they be?

    Intelligent, Amusing, Gripping


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love Hopper, he is very funny, and unexpectedly dynamic. That being said, I all but fell in love with Scott McGrath. I adore his attention to detail and insights, his regrets, frailty, and guilt over his own state of affairs, and, of course, his sense of humor.


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

    I cannot imagine this story read by any other voice. Perfect changes in tempo and pitch in adjusting to different characters, never overdone.


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

    Several. Too many to name. I am dying for my friend to finish this book so we can discuss it, but I can't give anything away.


    Any additional comments?

    I could literally feel McGrath's torturous obsession as though it was a part of me, but not in a negative way. It was in a way which made me want to be on his team and contribute. I was cheering him on the entire way. I am lucky that I have a job which permits for me to listen almost uninterrupted for 12 hours at a time, because once I started I could not stop. There did not seem to be any point in which I felt bored or like there was wasted detail. I truly did not want this story to end, but I loved how it did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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