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Interesting,
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4 reviews

Night Film: A Novel
by Marisha Pessl

Published: 2013-08-20
Hardcover : 624 pages
11 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
7 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 4 members
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the ...
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Introduction

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
NPR • Cosmopolitan • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage

A page-turning thriller for readers of Stephen King, Gillian Flynn, and Stieg Larsson, Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.
 
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.
 
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 until you turn the final page.

Praise for Night Film
 
Night Film has been precision-engineered to be read at high velocity, and its energy would be the envy of any summer blockbuster. Your average writer of thrillers should lust for Pessl’s deft touch with character.”—Joe Hill, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Mysterious and even a little head-spinning, an amazing act of imagination.”—Dean Baquet, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Maniacally clever . . . Cordova is a monomaniacal genius who creeps into the darkest crevices of the human psyche. . . . As a study of a great mythmaker, Night Film is an absorbing act of myth-making itself. . . . Dastardly fun . . . The plot feels like an M. C. Escher nightmare about Edgar Allan Poe. . . . You’ll miss your subway stop, let dinner burn and start sleeping with the lights on.”The Washington Post
 
“Haunting . . . a suspenseful, sprawling page-turner.”USA Today
 
“Entrancing and delightful . . . [a] whipsmart humdinger of a thriller . . . It feels, above all things, new.”The Boston Globe
 
“Gripping . . . a masterful puzzle . . . Pessl builds up real suspense.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“A very deeply imagined book . . . sprints to an ending that’s equal parts nagging and haunting: What lingers, beyond all the page-turning, is a density of possible clues that leaves you leafing backward, scanning fictional blog comments and newspaper clippings, positive there’s some secret detail that will snap everything into focus.”New York
 
“Hypnotic . . . The real and the imaginary, life and art, are dizzyingly distorted not only in a Cordova night film . . . but in Pessl’s own Night Film as well.”Vanity Fair

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2013: As she proved with her first book (Special Topics in Calamity Physics), Pessl is a sly, smart, sophisticated writer. What’s surprising about her elaborately plotted and addictive new novel is how it gets better as it grows more convoluted. I can envision a massive white board busy with diagrams and arrows to track the spider-webbed storyline. Once Pessl works past a few slow spots and finds her momentum, the story churns into a dark, propulsive, and insatiable mystery. The daughter of a reclusive horror film director is found dead, and a disgraced journalist and two sidekicks become obsessed with uncovering the truth of her death and the true identity of her infamous father, whose terrifying films (banned from theaters and found only via underground methods) depict what is “graphic and dark and gorgeous about life, thereby conquering the monsters of your mind.” Complex, shadowy, and a bit sad, Pessl’s riveting tale keeps us guessing until the final pages, along the way raising questions about reality, magic, art, fear, and celebrity. Sprinkled throughout are clever page props--website screenshots, news clippings, smudged police reports, and coffee-stained transcripts. It all holds together impressively, with a satisfying payoff that’ll leave you spent and sorry the ride is over. Special note to impatient readers (like me): stick with it, and savor it. You’ll be glad you did. --Neal Thompson

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

Have you ever been so fascinated by a popular/famous/infamous personality? Who? Why? Wat do?
If Scott & Cordova ever met, what would they talk about?
by philli2t (see profile) 09/11/13

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

Advance Praise:

“Beautifully imagined, beautifully written, and hypnotically suspenseful.”—Lee Child, author of A Wanted Man

“A testament to Marisha Pessl’s tremendous gifts as a storyteller.”—Scott Smith, author of The Ruins

“This summer’s Gone Girl: a completely absorbing literary thriller.”—Library Journal

“Get ready to talk about this book.”—Entertainment Weekly

“A literary mystery that’s also a page-turner . . . Night Film might be the most talked-about novel this summer.”—Time Out New York

“An inventive—if brooding, strange and creepy—adventure in literary terror. Think Edgar Allan Poe and Stephen King meet Guillermo del Toro as channeled by Klaus Kinski.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Expands from a seemingly straightforward mystery into a multifaceted, densely byzantine exploration of much larger issues . . . Into this mazelike world of dead ends and false leads, McGrath ventures with his two, much younger helpers, Nora and Hopper, brilliantly portrayed Holmesian ‘irregulars’ who may finally understand more about Ashley than their mentor, whose linear approach to fact finding might miss the point entirely.”—Booklist (starred review)

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Captivating"by cjendro (see profile) 03/30/15

This book was captivating and full of detail of such a mysterious, and maybe magical, world.

 
  "Mixed Reviews"by pattiwan (see profile) 02/21/14

Our Book Club was varied in our reactions to this book. Some liked it, some hated it, but most all thought the ending was lacking in some way. I thought the story was told in a unique way, and I would... (read more)

 
  "Night Film"by pch2boys (see profile) 01/31/14

Started out ok. Ended poorly. Too many unanswered questions and loose ends.

 
  "Keep the lights on when reading this!"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 12/06/13

At the end of this book I sighed with relief. I was glad the tension was over, The story, however, is unbelievably magnetic. You can’t let it go once you begin, even as it gets more and mo... (read more)

 
  "Night Film"by philli2t (see profile) 09/11/13

Loved this book. Couldn't put it down. It was captivating and mysterious. I found myself immersed in the characters more than I usually am. I could smell them. I would blurt out-loud while reading,... (read more)

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