Customer Review

16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Everyone has a Cordova story', 21 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Night Film (Kindle Edition)
`Everyone has a Cordova story, whether they like it or not' so starts this very unusual literary thriller `Night Film'. At the heart of the novel are 2 characters, the cult horror director Stanislas Cordova who hasn't been seen in public since 1971 and his 24 year old daughter Ashley, whose death at the start of the novel sets the story in motion, did she commit suicide or was she murdered. Like `Rebecca', Cordova and his daughter haunt this novel, Ashley we know is dead but what about the man himself? The protagonist of `Night Film' is Scott McGrath, a journalist whose career was destroyed by Cordova. He becomes drawn back into this dark and very strange world.

Cordova directed horror films, said to be the most terrifying films ever made, people were never the same after watching them. It reached a stage where they no longer received certificates for general release and so they went underground with illicit showings organised by his fans `the Cordovites'.

The book starts with a very creepy prologue, signs of what is to come. Before the narrative starts there are several pages of web pages giving details about Cordova and Ashley. Throughout the book the author uses web pages and other documents to add depth and realism to the story including the `Blackboards', the hidden website. When I first flipped through the book I was expecting it to be a difficult read because of this but it wasn't, the documents drew me deeper into the lives of the characters and the narrative is compelling and fast moving.

I have to admit that the book did creep me out though, rather like watching a good horror film. The storyline suggests occult practices, are they going on or not. Also I often stopped to question `what' I was reading, is it the story of Scott McGrath investigating Ashley's death? Does McGrath really exist or is this a plot for another one of Cordova's `Night Films'. Cordova was known to merge realism with his fiction, so maybe McGrath is being unwittingly drawn into a film!

Overall it is a very strange experience, Marisha Pesl has written a fiction yet she merges it with realism, characters we all recognise from the film industry exist alongside her fictional creations. I could believe that Cordova existed and that this story happened, parts of it anyway. The novel is like Cordova's films, where does fiction end and reality begin?

As I have a physical proof copy of this book I decided to go for the Kindle version for the finished article. This was when I discovered about the enhanced features. You need to download the `Night Film Decoder' app (details given at the beginning of the book) onto your smart phone or tablet. Some of the images in the book have a bird symbol and if you scan over these images you will unlock extra video or audio features which enhance the experience of the novel. This works for e-book and the print copy. I will add that the images, documents, webpages, etc are easier to read in the print copy as you can't increase the font size like you can for the rest of the book.

`Everyone has a Cordova story' and I think that a lot of people are going to have a `Night Film' story. Definitely a book that will get people talking.

Since posting this review I have discovered that the size of the images can be increased to larger than screen size by touching and holding the centre of the image to bring up the magnifier, tapping that and then touching the screen with two fingers and moving them apart like you do on phones and tablets. Okay you can't see the whole image like you can in the print version but it does make the text readable.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 27 Aug 2013 07:43:24 BDT
S Riaz says:
I loved this too. With a new Pessl and a new Donna Tartt next month, we readers are spoilt indeed!

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Aug 2013 18:17:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 27 Aug 2013 18:18:13 BDT
I Readalot says:
We definitely are. Had a customer in the shop today who loved it as well. And people say there is nothing 'different' being published nowadays!'
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