REVIEW: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

I don’t know when exactly I’ll post a negative review and that is to say that this one will not be one. This book is amazing and I adored it! I always pick books not knowing what they’ll be about but I always rely on reviews from trusted bloggers or people in my surroundings which is probably why I rarely find a book that I don’t like. Although I can say that I’ve been trying to get out of my comfort zone lately! If you’re looking for a very mysterious and creepy book to which you’ll be hooked, you should definitely pick this one up and if you’d like to know more about it, you’re welcome to tag along!


Published August 20th 2013 by Random House

SYNOPSIS: Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn’t been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an enigma. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. On a damp October night the body of Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse. Her suicide appears to be the latest tragedy to hit a cursed dynasty. For McGrath, another death connected to the legendary director seems more than a coincidence. Driven by revenge, he finds himself pulled into a hypnotic, disorientating world, where almost everyone seems afraid. (more on Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS: First of all, the cover! The edition pictured above, more precisely! I don’t know if you’ve seen videos on Youtube about this book before but the lettering on the cover are metallic/shimmery silver and it is all shiny and in contrast with the really dark and mysterious background and … Perfect. I know that I’ve never seen the book or held it in real life but I suppose Youtube could count for a very sad me who lives in a place with little to no books in english. I couldn’t get my hands on it in Morocco so I had to suffice myself with the ebook.

 Just when you think you’ve hit rock bottom, you realize you’re standing on another trapdoor. 

I think I first heard of this book while looking for book recommendations on Youtube. I don’t know what exactly I was looking for but it was in one of PeruseProject’s videos because I remember that she was very enthusiastic about the book and it has been proven before that lots of the books she likes, I do too so I naturally had to get it.I’ve heard some people felt like they were misled by thinking it was a horrific psychological thriller while it is more of a mystery than a thriller because it doesn’t really contain elements that would scare you a lot apart from certain scenes that would probably make 1% of the book and the other 99% would be just mystery. Personally I didn’t really care about the way it was advertised and what I ended up reading since I like both types and when I’ve picked this up, I was in the mood for both. So that is just a “warning” for those of you who might be bothered by this.

First thing you get to notice is the format. Or at least, I did. I love and adore investigative, mystery books (or just books, in general) that contain pictures complementing the text. You can see in it newspaper clippings, screenshots of websites the characters have visited and pictures or files they get to find throughout the investigation which makes everything seem so interactive and also very realistic to the point where you start to think that you’re also part of McGrath’s team and that you’re trying to find the mystery behind it all. Also, this book has an app/scanner which is pretty awesome. I haven’t seen this before but if you have, please tell me which are the books concerned because I really loved this detail. What it does is that you use the scanner whenever you see a certain symbol with a bird on it and you get even more information than you would in the book, so: interactive!

I hate how the people who really get you are the ones you can never hold on to for very long. And the ones who don’t understand you at all stick around.

As far as the characters go, I liked none of them when I’ve first started the book. McGrath was just a very bad person to me: a bad husband, a bad father, a workaholic who goes to extremes to prove a point but fails miserably. Not my kind of person at all. And there are also other characters who only catch your interest after you’ve been reading for quite a while. That is not to say that our protagonist will be any better than what I’ve described. I still think he’s pretty awful but he made me laugh out loud during so many scenes. SO MANY. I haven’t seen anyone mention that in their reviews so I’m not sure if I just really like lame sarcastic jokes or…? Anyhow, I really thought that he was hilarious at times but he should’ve been better to his daughter to gain my sympathy.

I will not give any more details about this but I’m just going to say that the characters are very hard to like at first but there’s a certain build up to things in this book. I wouldn’t say that there’s a character that I really love, perhaps some details about them but not them as a whole, but I wanted to know more and more about them. Especially the characters that don’t really appear in the book and are just spoken about, for example: Ashley Cordova, the girl who has commited suicideand her father: Stanislas Cordova. I don’t know how horrible would I be to say that I wished Cordova was a real person and that his movies were real. I’m very curious about how that would turn out to be: movies that not everyone could get to see and only very dedicated followers. I also liked to know what people thought about his movies and him in general. Oh, and The Blackboards actually exists! How cool is that? You can check the website here. Also, I just kept thinking about Stanley Kubrick when reading this book, if any of you are fans here.

With her writing, Marisha Pessl really managed to lure in the reader, intrigue him and grab his attention throughout the whole book which is really hard to do. I liked the use of the itallic also even though it was unnecessary in some places. She also clearly did her research but I won’t say about what so you have to figure it out yourself. I’ve left out lots of details mainly because I think that once you go into a mystery novel, you’re not really supposed to know anything.

She told me her father taught her to live life way beyond the cusp of it, way out in the outer reaches where most people never had the guts to go, where you got hurt. Where there was unimaginable beauty and pain … They were always reminding themselves to stop measuring life in coffee spoons, mornings and afternoons, to keep swimming way, way down to the bottom of the ocean to find where the mermaids sang, each to each. Where there was danger and beauty and light. Only the now.

There are some things that I did not enjoy about this book, hence the four stars instead of 5. Apart from the fact that I didn’t really feel close to the characters, there’s the ending. I do not think that it was the best ending of all really but I can’t say that it made the experience of this book less worth it. Also, the book is pretty long for what it is. I don’t know but I felt like there could’ve been way less pages and that way, it would’ve helped the pace a little bit. There was lots of build up and perhaps lots of build up kills the build up?

All in all though, Night Film was a very enjoyable read. I would really recommend this book if you’re looking for a very absorbing read, something to keep you at the edge of your seat and that will manage to give you the creeps at times. I hope that you’ll like it and if you’ve already read it, don’t hesitate to share what you thought of it and if you liked the ending or if you thought it could’ve been better if executed another way.

That’s it for today, I hope you enjoyed this review. You can also find me here, where it looks like a bird chose Goodreads over Instagram, attaboy:

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3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

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