Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

night filmI finished this book earlier in the week, and I’m not sure that there’s anything I can write here that can do this book justice, or to accurately describe it to anyone who is unfamiliar. This book is as much visual as it is literal. There are photographs within, articles made to seem as if they were pulled from the Internet, or from Rolling Stone magazine, that make it seem like the characters are real, that this is a work of non-fiction. Which is all the more impressive on the part of author Pessl. Creating the legend of filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, making him seem like he and his work of films truly existed, makes this book splendidly spooky and real.

Along with the visuals is an app, downloadable, that scans a mysterious symbol in the book. On your smart phone you can then delve into additional features and background from the story. Pretty cool concept.

As for the book itself, with regard to all the things I look for in a successful novel such as plot, characterization and a climactic ending, it was hit and miss. The plot was like a roller coaster with a lot of little hills. Up, down. Up, down. Each chapter leading to something else. All contributing to the larger story of Ashley Cordova, daughter of filmmaker Stanislas, who has been found dead of an apparent suicide at the age of 22. Scott McGrath is an investigative reporter who has been burned by Cordova in the past, and now carries a black mark next to his name in the world of journalism thanks to the slanderous story and bad tip he reported on Cordova. He definitely has an ax to grind when he gets involved in finding out more about Ashley. He finds some sidekicks along the way, each with their own motivation at finding out the truth. And they get in a rather long line of predicaments, one right after the other. Creepy clues seem to hint at something sinister and supernatural, but what is really the truth?

Haunting. Engrossing. Entertaining. Definitely read this.

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