Night Film: A Novel

Hardcover | October 18, 2016

byMarisha Pessl

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On a damp October night, the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. By all appearances her death is a suicide--but investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. Though much has been written about the dark and unsettling films of Ashley's father, Stanislas Cordova, very little is known about the man himself. As McGrath pieces together the mystery of Ashley's death, he is drawn deeper and deeper into the dark underbelly of New York City and the twisted world of Stanislas Cordova, and he begins to wonder--is he the next victim? In this novel, the dazzlingly inventive writer Marisha Pessl offers a breathtaking mystery that will hold you in suspense until the last page is turned.

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From the Publisher

On a damp October night, the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. By all appearances her death is a suicide--but investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. Though much has been written about the dark and unsettling films of Ashley's father, Stanislas Cordova, ver...

MARISHA PESSL grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, her debut novel, was a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. It won the 2006 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction's Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 1...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:624 pages, 9.37 × 6.33 × 1.44 inPublished:October 18, 2016Publisher:Doubleday CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385667655

ISBN - 13:9780385667654

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Customer Reviews of Night Film: A Novel

Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from Excellently mediocre I thought I would love this. I've been meaning to read it for years and I've only ever heard amazing things about it. When I finally got around to reading it, I found it mildly boring 90% of the time. I truly have no idea why people would call this a "psychological thriller". It's a pretty standard mystery. There were a couple great scenes and chapters, but most of this was just... dull. The writing style isn't anything special, the humour is sometimes painfully unfunny, and the protagonist is incredibly unlikable.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from must read this book kept me on the edge of my seat!
Date published: 2016-11-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thrilling This book is great! A mix of thriller and mystery and action. It is a slow beginning, although tghe action starts soon, it has a slow pace that really picks up towards the middle of the book. I personally flew through the last 100 pages.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved IT! This book can confuse you. Send your mind wandering. It is gripping, dense, dark, and dramatic. I love it. I never thought chilling books were for me, but this book really did entertain me. i finished it in a week, after working a full day. Great read.
Date published: 2016-02-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Don't bother I did not enjoy this book at all. I read a review that called it a spine-tingling thriller. It wasn't, it was just weird in my opinion. I finished it anyway, but it was definitely not for me.
Date published: 2015-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dense, scary story This was an excellent and unusual thriller. Pessl creates her fictitious filmmaker so completely, you'll find yourself looking him up on IMDB just to make sure he's not real. Worth downloading the free Night Film app to unlock bonus content you'll find as you read (but not necessary to enjoy the story).
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Uncanny Horror Novel Night Film is an uncanny psychological thriller that delves into the secretive world of underground filmmaker Stanislas Cordova to explore the relationship between the constructs of truth and fantasy. I enjoyed the transmedia element of this book - scattered throughout are newspaper and website mockups that function as "evidence" in the case, and there's a cool Night Film decoder app that unlocks secret content. Night Film delivered a strong, strange story that kept me eagerly reading from start to finish.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Uncanny Horror Novel Very different book! Slow to get started but captures u about 1-4 of the way through. Very different ending which left me wanting Loved Nora's character! Danny
Date published: 2014-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Night Film Dark, suspense-filled and thematically full of easter eggs. Really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2014-01-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Suspenseful but unevenly paced Disclaimer: I don't usually read new fiction, so my expectations are perhaps different from readers who usually read recent bestsellers and the like. I was very excited to finally get some time over the holidays to read this book; unfortunately it was ultimately a disappointing read. I found descriptions of Cordova's films and his methods more interesting than the main plot.  Pros. The novel has a compelling premise and good use of fictional web pages (gimmicky, but so what?). I also appreciate the allusions to real-life films.  Cons. The creepy atmosphere that is built up in the first third or so of the novel all but dissipates by the time of the main crisis. Pessl italicizes multiple words, phrases, and entire sentences per page. It's very distracting and lends an unnatural emphasis to the most trivial words/statements. 
Date published: 2014-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Night Film I'm still digesting.... But that was fabulous
Date published: 2013-11-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Vastly Complex & Sadly Unsatisying This is a complicated story, woven by the author like a spider web, taking the reader on a wild and sometimes petrifying. Sadly, the ending left me highly unsatisfied. I feel the story should have ended in NYC or the epilogue should have come from the mind of the central character.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! Strange, compelling, edge-of-your-seat. I finished it quickly and I now wish there was more. I enjoyed the use of visuals such as clippings, notes, photos, magazine articles, etc., which enhanced the reading experience and complemented the story. There were still some unanswered questions in the end but I still thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Date published: 2013-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A dark and haunting read that stays with you I am so tired of hearing books compared to Gone Girl. Seriously. It’s getting to the point that as soon as I hear that book mentioned I back away slowly before anybody sees me. So fear not. I will not be referring to Gone Girl in this review. This book is not “like” Gone Girl or “better” than Gone Girl or anything like that. Instead, Night Film is a stand out unique and frightening novel that grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go, despite it’s 600+ pages. We follow the mystery of Ashley Cordova’s death with journalist Scott McGrath. I have to admit that right off the bat I didn’t like Scott McGrath as a person. As a character he’s very complex. But as a person? I just wanted to kick him sometimes. Especially when he talked about the women in his life. But I enjoyed that he wasn’t the most likeable protagonist. It kept things interesting and kept you more invested in the mystery than the players. And what a crazy mystery is was! Night Film is nothing like you would expect. It’s dark, twisted and will keep you on the edge of your seat. As you fall further and further into the mystery of “who is Cordova?” and “what happened to Ashley?” you soon learn that nothing is as it seems and nobody can be trusted. I love a mystery that can keep me on my toes and doesn’t fall back on traditional conventions or twists to keep the story moving. Night Film is a wholly original tale and it is guaranteed to surprise you. In addition to the mystery, one thing that really impressed me about Night Film was the amount of planning and research that must have gone into this book. Pessl leaves no detail out, no rock unturned. Even Cordova’s films. All completely fictional but she clearly has full plots and characters mapped out for each one. I don’t know how she kept everything straight, but she did. One final thing that really sets Night Film apart is the multimedia angle. The book is full of pictures, websites, newspaper articles etc. And there’s even an app you can get for more information. I was worried all these extras would seem gimmicky, but they had the opposite effect. They really made me feel like I was the one investigating the Cordova family. The unique format gave the whole book a really modern feel that might appeal to younger or more reluctant readers. Recommendation: Don’t be intimidated by its large size. Night Film is a dark and haunting read that stays with you. If you like mysteries, thrillers or spooky stories of any kind this is the book for you.
Date published: 2013-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Great! I bought this book the day it hit shelves, and I haven't been able to put it down since! I don't normally get caught up in suspense when I read, but I was on the edge of my seat for the last 250 pages. There was even one time that I was so nervous for McGrath that I had to put the book down and do something else for a few minutes. Pessl takes characters you care about and puts them in such vivid, dangerous situations that you can't help having an almost visceral reaction on their behalf.
Date published: 2013-08-29

Extra Content

Editorial Reviews

“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 “A sprawling but intricate thriller. . . .Pessl’s writing is confident and joyful.” —The Globe and Mail“Reading this book is like sitting in a movie theater in wraparound darkness, feeling a deep chill that's part air conditioning, part anticipation. A lovely, granular black-and-white quality haunts the novel.” —Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings “A testament to Marisha Pessl’s tremendous gifts as a storyteller.”—Scott Smith, author of The Ruins  “Beautifully imagined, beautifully written, and hypnotically suspenseful.”—Lee Child, author of A Wanted Man“A brilliant, haunting, and breathtakingly suspenseful literary thriller. . .”—The Fayetteville Observer “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.”—Bookish“Every year there is a “must read” book released. This year it is Marisha Pessl’s second novel, ‘Night Film.’ A complete and satisfying novel that plumbs the depths of our psyches and leads us through tunnels of darkness in search of light. Pessl is a brilliant new author who should be appreciated.”—The Florida Times-Union  “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. In her sophomore effort, Pessl hits the scary ground running.” —Kirkus Reviews