Night Film



Rating: 5 Stars

Published: January 2013

Genre: Adult Fiction // Suspense – Thriller

Favorite Quote: 

“It’s what we chase but never find. It is the mystery of our lives, the understanding that even when we have everything we want it is one day to leave us. It’s the something unseen, the lurking devastation, the darkness that gives our lives dimension.”

So, it’s been a couple months since I finished this book. I think I needed the time to digest. The night I finished it, I couldn’t get it out of my head. It haunted me, in both a good way and scary way. I couldn’t stop thinking about the characters and what they had gone through at The Peak and their encounters with black magic. At the same time, I was marveling at the intricately woven story that Pessl told. I’m still not sure I have the words to convey what I thought about this novel. But I’m going to try anyway.

I read this book over the course of two 6 hour flights and a weekend in Portland, Oregon.  While I couldn’t read this continuously, except for on the plane, I think it was good to have a break for once.  It felt good to put down this book and remember the real world. Pessl is completely captivating and it’s entirely too easy to get caught up in her world. I loved this book. It may have unnerved me, confused me, and made me think but the best books do.  I was especially drawn to the multimedia aspect of it. That’s something that I’m drawn to, especially in journalism.  I didn’t utilize the app, mostly because I don’t like to check my phone while reading. (And also because I was on a plane for most of it) But the creation of the app was creative.  I should have immediately reread it but I had other things I wanted to read at the time.  There are so many things that I now know to look out for in the story. I never could have guessed the end. I am just very impressed with how everything turned out.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl is like no other.  The novel centers around Stanislas Cordova, the director, and his cult films. The detail that Pessl put into describing his character and films made me think for a minute that he was real and I somehow missed him in the media. What’s different about this style of writing is that it utilizes “media” in the text as well. Pictures of the (fictional) characters, made up pieces of journalism, and case files are placed throughout the text. All of this adds to the story of a journalist named Scott McGrath who plans on investigating the elusive Cordova.  McGrath had previously tried to expose Cordova for something sordid but instead lost his marriage and career. Now, Cordova’s daughter, Ashley, is found dead too soon in her life and McGrath is determined to get to the bottom of the enigma that is Cordova.

Stanislas Cordova is a recluse rumored to be living at his estate, The Peak, in Upstate New York. The Peak, itself, is as mysterious as the man. Through many different leads and dead-ends, McGrath finds himself drawn to The Peak in order to uncover the aura of mystery that surrounds the Cordova family.  Every time McGrath thinks he’s getting closer, there lies even more to uncover. Mind-bending, and slightly confusing at times, this book will take you on a journey. Be patient, and enjoy the ride.


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