Monday, August 5, 2013

ARC Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Publisher: Random House
Publishing Date: August 20th, 2013
Genre: Adult, Mystery
Pages: 624 pgs
ISBN: 9781400067886
Source: Borrowed from a fellow blogger for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

My Review: 

I was very excited when Kathy from A Glass of Wine brought this book back from BEA.  There has been a lot of hype around this novel and I have to say that the hype is warranted.  It is a great story about a journalist named Scott McGrath. McGrath is trying to figure out what happened to Ashley Cordova.  Ashley shows up dead and it is deemed a suicide but what makes this even more interesting is that Ashley is the daughter of a very famous, eccentric horror film director.  As you can imagine things get pretty quirky pretty fast in this novel and the twists just keep on coming.  This is one book that I never had figured out and even at the conclusion of the story I was scratching my head a little.

This book is also very visually pleasing.  It not only has the text but it also contains many different forms of writing.  It has photographs, screen shots from websites, newspaper articles and interviews, and little notes/letters.  I really like when an author goes the extra mile in their work and adds little touches like these.

The writing in this story is exceptional. Pessl really knows how to draw readers in and also keep them questioning things.  One theme throughout this novel is that of belief.  There are some paranormal/occult elements to this novel that are never really answered and I think the reason for this is that Pessl wants the reader to make up his/her mind on whether or not these things happened. It's about what you believe and what the characters believe.  What you believe can be very powerful and it can even determine your actions.  In fact, many of the characters in this novel react very bizarrely based on what they thing is happening. 

The entire time I was reading this book I kept wanting to see the films that they described in the storyline.  I love scary movies and these movies seemed so dark and twisted that I couldn't help but want to see them all.  I think that this would make a good book to movie adaptation as well.  I guess we will wait and see what happens. 

I really enjoyed this novel and I think that most of you will as well.  I would suggest going out to get this as soon as you can or even pre-ordering it.  It will definitely be a bestseller.


  1. On the movies - I read an interview with Pessl that she actually crafted plots and details for each film to make them feel more real. I'm only halfway through but I can definitely see that, and it makes the films feel like something real rather than just a device in her plot. I'm loving this so far!

  2. I have seen a lot of hype for this book. I can't wait to read it myself. I'm glad it wasn't a disappointment to you! Great review!