Night Film

Night Film

A Novel

Book - 2013
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When the daughter of a cult horror film director is found dead in an abandoned Manhattan warehouse, investigative journalist Scott McGrath, disbelieving the official suicide ruling, probes into the strange circumstances of the young woman's death.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2013
ISBN: 9781400067886
Characteristics: xv, 602 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jul 14, 2019

I never thought about not finishing this book, and for quite a tome I read it quickly in not many sittings. Cetainly a different premise and I appreciated the fresh plot and setting. But... too many times I was up, then down, then up again in my enjoyment. Didn't really buy into its reality. Too many breadcrumbs scattered around. A thriller that really wasn't. One too many "here's the big reveal" moments. But... really liked the two secondary characters. Was a sucker for the articles, websites, etc. sprinkled throughout. Appreciated the mirror ending. Have enough respect to want to try Pessl's first, highly acclaimed novel.

Feb 21, 2019

4 Stars - I recommend if you enjoy mysteries or thrillers.

When Ashley Cordova, daughter of mysterious and reclusive cult director Stanislas Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse her death is ruled a suicide. However, investigative journalist Scott McGrath thinks that her father's twisted films might reveal a very twisted family. As he sets off to solve the mystery he is aided by two moorless young adults.

If you know me, you know that I do not love thrillers or mysteries. They are usually slow, and not that complex... if I don't figure out what will happen, I get very very bored along the way. However, that was NOT the case with this book. It is very long (640 pages), and I found myself wondering how the pieces would fit together, and which wouldn't be related at all. I loved the setting, you can have such diversity within your book when it's set in NYC. I really loved the multi-format novel! Reading emails, transcripts, news pages, etc. etc. within the normal text is super fun. It made me feel more invested in the mystery. I also loved Pessl's writing style. Everything was very descriptive. I love it when the characters notice every little thing, and the comparisons are really interesting. In the end I didn't quite know what would happen, and I was not bored up until maybe the last 30-40 pages. Which is pretty good, but still a bit disappointing. I am not sure how I feel about the ending.

Oct 29, 2018

A good book for October reading. Complex and creepy. Can make your nerves a little jumpy. I wasn't crazy about the ending but it was basically a great book.

Beatricksy Jul 25, 2018

It's too long and too rambling and events stretch themselves thin (like butter over too much bread, if you will), and the characters, especially Scott, are slimy. Scott makes flippant observations that begin unpleasant and then swerve into racist and social stereotypes best left in the 70s. He's deeply unlikable and hard to root for as stuff gets wacky.

But at the same time the plot has a fun (if not a little linear) mystery. The settings in particular stand out, with creative crumbling landscapes in urban cities and rural haunts and cluttered Wiccan shops and cruddy diners--glitz and glamour and filth and decay all intermingled. The book is steeped in the magic of film, and the (cliche but entertaining) in-jokes and references are terrific. It feels like a celebration. A celebration of movies. A love letter to the scummy horror films of the '70s and all that came after. It has a LOT of flaws, and needs to be read with a cautious grain of salt. But for mystery fans, horror fans, and movie fans alike there's a lot here to enjoy.

Oct 02, 2017

The only reason I didn't rate this title "Very Good" or higher is because the author's overutilization of italics was annoying to the point that it detracted from the story. Kudos to Ms. Pessl, however, for not confusing "faze" with "phase" and "loath" with "loathe." (It's a sad commentary on today's literature that an author's use of the correct word is an occasion for celebration. It is, indeed, tragic being hopelessly "Hooked on Phonics," not to mention needing to use Facebook as one's style manual rather than, e.g., Strunk and White.)

Aug 08, 2017

Did not like this book

Apr 03, 2017

I was so excited to read this book after reading all the positive reviews online but it looks like I'm the only one who didn't enjoy it! At nearly 600 pages long, this book was extremely drawn out and failed to captivate me. The story had so much potential but left me confused and feeling like I wasted my time reading it! The ending was confusing and I'm not exactly sure what happened with the lost me completely. I'm glad I persisted with the book because I know it's not something I enjoyed or would recommend.

Dec 09, 2016

A disgraced journalist gets caught up in a convoluted investigation of a reclusive film producer and the suicide of his daughter. The well-thought out plot involves so many twists and turns, a less adept author would have been left with a pot of spaghetti that had spilled on the floor. Pessl, however knows what she is doing and the goosebumps will crawl up your back as you read this novel.

Nov 24, 2015

This book had such an interesting premise and I really wanted to like it, but it kind of got lost somewhere in the middle and all the aura of mystery just fizzled in an ending that I found disappointing. It could have been so much better.

Aug 27, 2015

I have never reviewed a book until now. I absolutely could not put this book down. I was surprised at the ending though, a bit drawn out, Just when I thought it had ended there'd be another chapter, and then another and another. But so twisty and went in unexpected directions. A perfect cabin vacation read! And there's a free app that goes along with the book that lets you access additional material, but downloading it before you read so you can do it as you read, rather than after, would be beneficial.

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Apr 13, 2017

“It was at this time I learned that the human mind is a blackened overgrown place. Society tries to mow the lawn and trim back the plants, but every one of us is just days away from a wild jungle. And it's the jungle that interests me.”

Apr 13, 2017

“Life had been a suit I'd only put on for special occasions. Most of the time I kept it in the back of my closet, forgetting it was there. We were meant to die when it was barely stitched anymore, when the elbows and knees were stained with grass and mud, shoulder pads uneven from people hugging you all the time, downpours and blistering sun, the fabric faded, buttons gone.”

Apr 13, 2017

“It's not fair."
"It's not. But then, that's the game. It makes life great. The fact that it ends when we don't want it to. The ending gives it meaning.”

Apr 13, 2017

“People don’t realize how easy life is to change. You just get on the bus.”

Apr 13, 2017

“It’s easy to be yourself in the dark.”

Apr 13, 2017

“I hate how the people who really get you are the ones you can never hold on to for very long. And the ones who don’t understand you at all stick around.”

Apr 13, 2017

“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?”

Apr 13, 2017

“Just when you think you've hit rock bottom, you realize you're standing on another trapdoor.”


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