Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Oh my goodness guys, this novel is one that I still have not fully digested. It was incredibly confusing, yet such a hard read to put down.

That being said, I don’t really want to wait much longer to share my feelings about this novel, so let’s jump into the review!

Goodreads Rating: 3.79/518770398
Pages: 640 Pages
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Published: July 1st, 2014
Genre: Mystery, Fiction, Thriller, and Horror

On a damp October night, 24-year-old 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 Stanislaus Cordova–a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty 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.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Firstly, I’d like to just start by stating that this novel was deceivingly longer than I anticipated it being. The paperback copy that I got was a relatively average width for a paperback, but the pages were thinner than I thought they would be so this novel had quite a bit more information that I anticipated it having.

Not that I’m complaining about that, just be aware that you’re going to be reading this novel for a little while because it is a tome.

Moving on, this novel is one that I picked up because Reagan from PeruseProject on YouTube raved about it, and I thoroughly trust her opinion in relation to books because we seem to have the same taste in novels.

I finally picked this novel up because I was planning on reading Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl during the month of July for my Vancity Reads bookclub. Me, being a super weird reader, thought that I should read Night Film before picking that up, and I was so happy that I did.

The one thing that I wanted to really talk about in this book was the tone. Throughout this novel, no matter what is going on in the plot, you feel unease. Marisha Pessl did such a great job setting up the setting and tone of this novel to create a very uncomfortable experience for the reader, which just made the flow of the novel and the experience of reading it, so very much better.

I found that the characters in this novel weren’t really all that loveable. Sure they all had their redeeming moments or moments in which you found that you could learn to like them, but those were all evened out with moments in which you just despised their choices.

There was a point in the novel that really stood out to me as wonderful writing but also incredibly frustrating for me as a reader.

There was a point in which the characters were in a quite precarious situation and there was something that was going to happen, and you as a reader knew it was coming, but the characters were so very oblivious. Pessl wrote this scene as if it were a movie scene, where the camera is tracking one character, but you really wish you could watch what was going on with another character, but the camera just wouldn’t go there! I don’t really want to say more because I thought this was a huge plot point that had me screaming at my novel, and I really want everyone to experience that for themselves. Anyways, this scene was my favourite in terms of writing but not my favourite in terms of the plot and how stupid one of the characters was. Moving on.

I had such a fun experience going through this mystery with the characters, because whilst I didn’t know anything, they didn’t either, so when we found something out, I felt like we found it out all together.

In this novel we also get a couple pages here and there that are multimedia pages (website pages, newspaper articles, etc.) and I really loved having those thrown in. It broke the long novel up and helped the writer feel as though we were part of this investigation.

I really have to just rave about Pessl’s writing in this novel because I do think that’s the reason I was able to get through the novel so easily and enjoy it so much. She wrote in such a compelling way that you couldn’t help but believe everything that was going on and then she would give you another piece of information that would confuse you entirely.

All in all, this novel was such a delight to read. It was a fascinating story that you don’t understand throughout the novel or after you’re done. I think that you really have to read this novel more than once to really wrap your mind around it. Additionally, if you get a certain copy of the novel there are additional materials that were created to give the reader more information. I haven’t looked at the information yet, but I think that I might go and do that right after I finish this review.

Last thought: read this book now. 

That concludes my review for Night Film by Marisha Pessl.

Thank you so much for reading and don’t forget to follow my blog as well as my other social media sites!

Until next time,

Rimpy Toor

3 replies on “Night Film by Marisha Pessl”

I have to agree that the characters in this were not likable. I couldn’t connect with any of them! I’m glad you had a better time reading this book than I did


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