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Night Film Paperback – 30 Jan 2014

59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Windmill Books (30 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099559242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099559245
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 3.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Deliciously spine-tingling... all-consuming and mind-altering. Nothing else matters while there are pages to turn and, once the book is over, the world seems an emptier place." (Daily Telegraph)

"This month’s smartest (and creepiest) new novel is a hell of a read . . . An intensely writerly project that doesn’t jettison the reader . . . It explores how stories seep from texts into the world; not only in that it follows a journalist investigating a cult horror-film director whose life is entangled in his fictions, but also because the pages are peppered with fake news article and websites. A narrative signifying narratives, this novel echoes . . . The action bullet-trains through an artfully plotted world of secret screenings and suspicious deaths." (GQ (Book of the Month))

"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." (Stylist)

"When Cordova’s beautiful daughter is found dead in a warehouse, McGrath can’t help but pick up the trail. His pacy narrative voice is interrupted by magazine interviews, text messages, Facebook pages; a Cordova fan forum even pops up on the printed page . . . The result is multiple narratives that read like real life (or a more exciting version of it) . . . Night Film doesn’t cease to be with its last full stop. [Pessl] has developed a phone app and a website with extra material – a savvy move." (Vogue)

"The real and the imaginary, life and art, are dizzyingly distorted not only in a Cordova night film – which a fictional Time article calls “a spellbinding and emotionally harrowing experience” – but in Pessl’s own Night Film as well. McGrath’s prologue opens with a dictum “Everyone has a Cordova story, whether they like it or not.” This book is ours." (Vanity Fair)

Book Description

Night Film is a breathtakingly suspenseful literary thriller that makes you question how you decide what is real and what isn't from the critically acclaimed author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carol on 31 Dec. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's an anecdote in this novel about a journalist chasing a story who describes it as a tapeworm eating its own tail. That's how I felt about this book - the moment I finished it I wanted to start again and discover exactly where Pessl had taken me, as the whole novel has a filmic, dreamlike quality that disorientates you. I don't know if she wrote it with an eye on a future screenplay adaptation but it would make an amazing film. If you like mysteries and cinema, this is the book for you. The elusive Cordova is a cross between Orson Welles, Stanley Kubrick and Lars von Trier. The relationships between the investigative trio of McGrath, Nora and Hopper are intriguing and well drawn. The extra content - excerpts from web pages and newspapers - is brilliant although I have heard people say it's impossible to read on a bog standard Kindle. I read it on an iPad and it was fine. I also downloaded the app that supposedly reveals even more content, but couldn't work out how this functioned without a hard copy book to scan with a mobile device camera. My one minor gripe is that the novel is quite long - it could have benefited from another edit that shaved maybe 25% off. However I was gripped from page one to the very end, and then bought Pessl's first novel on the basis of the standard of the writing in this one. As the devotees of Cordova would say: deadly, sovereign, perfect!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved Marisha Pessl's first novel, "Special Topics in Calamity Physics" and pre-ordered this many months ago - in fact, before it even had a title. It has been a while before books, but I am delighted to say that I was certainly not disappointed in this excellent read. The story begins in New York with journalist Scott McGrath, having an odd encounter with a young woman while jogging in the early hours. Before long, Ashley Cordova, the twenty four year old daughter of Academy Award winnning director Stanislas Cordova, is found dead in a vacant warehouse. Why would such a wealthy, attractive and talented young woman commit suicide?

Scott McGrath is particularly interested in the story, as his own career came to an abrupt standstill after he attempted to write a story about her father, the reclusive horror director, Cordova himself. Cleverly, throughout this book, Pessl uses 'web pages' and news articles to justapose modern responses to news stories and total exposure, with the reclusiveness of Cordova himself, who hasn't appeared in public or given interviews since 1977. There is also a nod to her first novel, when the name of a film class about Cordova is entitled, "Special Topics in Cordova." After some pretty injudicious remarks on air, McGrath found himself faced with a lawsuit, disgraced, out of work and divorced, seeing his five year old daughter only at the odd weekend. Now, Ashley's death prompts him to reopen his investigation into Cordova, in the hope he could get his career, reputation and life back.

Along with Nora, the young coat check girl who was the last to see Ashley, and Hopper, who knew Ashley as a girl, he begins to track down anyone who may have spoken to Ashley before her death.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kat on 7 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes I discover books in the most random of ways. One of my personal challenges for 2014 is to read more chunksters – any book over 500 pages. And I picked Night Film randomly because I find crime-mysteries one of the fastest genres to read. What I didn’t know when I ordered my copy is that Night Film also uses multimedia to enrich the story.

Scott McGrath is a man who pretty much self-destructed via his own career – he’s an investigative journalist who took things one step too far in an attempt to expose one of the most reclusive men on the planet in Stanislas Cordova. And it’s only by accident that he ends up being pulled back into the Cordova story after the apparent suicide of Cordova’s daughter, Ashley.

Finding himself, rather unwillingly, with two young sidekicks, he sets out on a journey to find out the truth both about Ashley Cordova’s death, and Cordova himself. I found it rather difficult to get a handle on McGrath as a character – he’s obviously driven by the fact that Cordova turned his life upside down. He’s also a father, still in love with his ex wife, and rather lost in his own life. He’s a real example of how obsession can drive people to the brink of madness – and at times his obsession was actually rather overwhelming for me, too.

The irony, perhaps, of Night Film is that for huge chunks of this rather substantial book very little happens plot-wise. There are moments of heart-pounding addictive reading, but for me it was definitely the excitement of pulling apart the layers in slow-motion. There wasn’t really a point where I felt bored or that I didn’t want to keep reading, it was more when I’d finished that I realised for over 600 pages not a great deal had actually happened.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lady Fancifull TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The adjectives above could apply equally to the cultish figure this book is about as it could to Marisha Pessl's stylish, risk-taking, occasionally over-blown book.

Just as she was on the edge of losing me in its last hundred pages, through becoming a bit too fantastical for belief, she did yet another, effortless, audacious, utterly credible, didn't-see-it-coming volte-face, tipping her book into a direction I hadn't seen would be there, and leaving me shaking my head in admiring amazement.

Enough with the adjectives; just what is it about, and why is it so fabulously original and worth reading.?

The narrator and almost central character, Scott McGrath is an almost washed-up middle-aged man, an investigative journalist with an obsession. His obsession is the reclusive, dark cult, noirish auteur film-maker Stanislas Cordova, whose queasily shocking films, full of investigations into the dark side of the human soul, have become cult classics, banned from mainstream showing. An underground legion of Cordova fans, world-wide, arrange hidden showings of his movies (he has not made a new one for years) using social media and deeply hidden, protected-from-prying-eyes websites which you must know about to even find, let alone get access to.

Rumours escalated about Cordova over the years. He has always eschewed publicity, whilst his films gained notoriety through dark hints and rumours. Some of these are that his films, dealing with death, sex, violence, hidden and shameful desires, were `for real'. Many of the actors and crew who worked on Cordova films appeared to have had strange epiphanies as a result of the experience, and have vanished off the radar. Those that are still around refuse to talk about Cordova and the film they worked on.
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