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Night Film

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  40,489 ratings  ·  6,063 reviews
Everybody has a Cordova story. Cult horror director Stanislas Cordova hasn't been seen in public since 1977. To his fans he is an engima. To journalist Scott McGrath he is the enemy. To Ashley he was a father.

On a damp October night the body of young, beautiful Ashley Cordova is found in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Her suicide appears to be the latest traged
Hardcover, First Edition, First Printing, 602 pages
Published August 20th 2013 by Random House (first published July 16th 2013)
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M Jessica, me too! :) In addition to the Lynch, Kubrick and von Trier suggested below, I'd also suggest Dario Argento's 'Suspiria.' It ends in a silly…moreJessica, me too! :) In addition to the Lynch, Kubrick and von Trier suggested below, I'd also suggest Dario Argento's 'Suspiria.' It ends in a silly way but up until then it's very eerie, with a nice, creepy score, and amazing visuals/production design.(less)
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2nd out of 10 books — 245 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
HOLY MOLY THIS BOOK WAS FANTASTIC. F A N T A S T I C. The only reason I'm giving it a 4.5 is because it felt unnecessarily long. Even though I flew through this sucker, I feel like it could have been condensed a bit. Other than that this was SO SO SO GOOD. AHHH.
good lord, remember marisha pessl?? she of Special Topics in Calamity Physics fame?? remember the immense fawning hordes of fans and the praise surrounding that book?? you might not, it was 7 years ago and all. but it was a Very Big Deal at the time.

and it was a book that i personally thought was just okay. i am a tough judge of books that claim to be like The Secret History. i might have said this once or twice or a dozen times on the internet. and i thought special topics was fine, just a litt
Raeleen Lemay
Sovereign. Deadly. Perfect.

A failure on nearly every level. The characters are paper-flat, they all speak in exactly the same (preposterous) voice, and none of them develop an inch. "But that's okay," you might argue; "Pessl's writing a thriller, and plot is her main concern." Fine, but the plot of this novel is deeply, deeply boring. Night Film reads like a would-be thriller by someone who's never actually read a thriller or a mystery. The protagonist stumps around from obvious clue to obvious clue, talking to a host of ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
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Has it happened yet? Have the oh-so-annoying cover notations calling every new release the “new Gone Girl” ceased and “the new Night Film” labels taken over?. If so, the loud bang you will soon hear will be my head exploding.

If Kubrick, Polanski, Hitchock, and Tarantino had a twisted little baby, his name would most likely have been Stanislas Cordova. A genius who gained fame immediately after his first horror film release – Cordova has spent his life in exile on his private estate (hmmmmm, ma
Today is the day Night Film hits the shelves!

I received a copy of this book from first reads giveaway. :) :) :)

May I just say WOW!

This was a case of love at first sight. I fell in love with NIGHT FILM before I even knew what it was about.

I was trolling through the Goodreads giveaways and spotted the cover and I thought "I must have this book!" Then I read the blurb, and I said to myself " I reeeeeeeeeeally must have this book!" So I watched and I waited for what seemed like a really looooong
It is often the roll your eye moments of books or movies that weaken the reading/viewing experience for me, but I have to be honest in saying that I cannot always define what exactly triggers those eye rolls. I think sometimes it is the predictability of the plot, other times the outrageousness of coincidence or lack of plausibility. If I get the impression I am being manipulated to feel a certain way, I bristle and balk. But what happens when a book commits one or more of these grave errors and ...more
well uh, this was a mind f*cker

"to the edge of the end" - yup sums it up I would say
Dan Schwent
Sep 29, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Dan by: Edward Lorn
Shelves: 2015
When the daughter of a legendary reclusive film director commits suicide, disgraced investigative reporter Scott McGrath sees his chance for redemption, for he crossed paths with the director, Stanislas Cordova, years before, costing him his family and his career. What will McGrath find when he begins tugging at the strands of Cordova's web?

When I interviewed Edward Lorn for my book blog, he mentioned this among his favorite books. At the time, I saw that it had some post-modern aspects and dism
Sep 11, 2013 Scarlet rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who prefer the chase, not the treasure.

Night Film opens with one hell of a prologue - easily the best I have ever come across. Those opening pages exude such authentic creepiness that it becomes impossible to not keep turning the pages, to not want to know more about the enigma of the reclusive legendary Hollywood director, Stanislas Cordova. This, I believe, is Pessl's greatest achievement here. With multimedia inclusions and some tight writing, she manages to do in a handful of pages what so many authors spend entire books tryin
Dec 22, 2013 Oriana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Oriana by: Greg
Oh la, I have the greatest friends: Karen Queen of Goodreads and Greg King of B&N conspired to help me get my hot little hands on an ARC of this a bunch of months before it's published.

But of course, I now find myself in a very precarious position. I mean, I want to jump and shout and tell you all about this crazy amazing book and how brilliant and sprawling and incredible it is! But that would be irresponsible and cruel, because this book is just loaded with spoiler-traps, and it would be
If in Vegas there were futures bets available on authors I would have imagine that Marisha Pessl would have been a pretty sure thing on hitting the sophomore slump. I could picture the odds being something like -1400, or somewhere around +1200 for surpassing her first book.

She was the 'it' writer for a season. Some people loved her book (I would be in that camp). Some thought it was overly derivative (I'm in that camp, too!) and some turned their noses up at it, but it got a lot of attention. I
Night Film received a lot of hype even before its publication, being the sophomore effort of Marisha Pessl, who came to fame with her 2006 debut Special Topics in Calamity Physics . I haven't read it but remember it being well-received by the critics and gaining some popularity with the readers, which wasn't bad for a first try. Ms. Pessl's second book was surrounded by quite a lot of hype even before its publication, with readers impatiently awaiting the day of its release. Well, now the book ...more

I'm not one to look a gift ARC in the mouth (particularly one that I was REALLY looking forward to reading) but, sadly, I just can't embrace the lumbering, sprawling, epic-in-length (though hardly -in-content) "thriller", Marisha Pessl's Night Film. I'd heard so many good things about Ms. Pessl's first novel, Special Topics In Calamity Physics, and the premise for this novel sounded can't-miss, but ultimately I was pretty disappointed, wondering why the hell the book was 600 pages long (and felt
Moira Russell
I have absolutely no idea why this has so many FIVE-STAR reviews. Y'all are tripping. And all that ranting about OMG SPOILERS SUCH AN INTRICATE STRUCTURE SPOILERS? Bullshit. I will lay this book out for you:

(view spoiler)
Laura Stone Johnson
Disappointing. The woo-woo spookiness was captivating for about 200 pages, but then it just went on and on and my eyes began to roll with boredom. Wasn’t intrigued by Cordova; never fully believed McGrath would team up with two amateurs; thought it was oh-so-convenient how one clue always seemed to lead directly to another; scoffed when I learned who now runs The Peak (and McGrath never discovered that when he apparently could discover what someone ate for breakfast?); and double scoffed when ma ...more
Night Film is Marisha Pessl's second novel and, in a nutshell, it is stunning. I hope I still have plenty of excellent reads to come in 2013, but they're going to have a hell of a hard time living up to this.

The protagonist of this epic, ambitious tale is Scott McGrath, formerly an extremely successful investigative journalist, whose professional reputation was destroyed when he was found to have made false allegations against Stanislas Cordova, an infamously reclusive film director. He lost his
Shelby *wants some flying monkeys*
I started this book Friday and my whole weekend involved it. I'm a nosy bit so I kept leaving it to Google things that come up in the story. The author did an amazing job of her research. She was spot on everything that I had questions about. This book is so very dark though. I had several times that I had to leave it alone because I honestly felt so creeped out that I felt like I was being watched.
I'm not going to go into the story line because really you should read this book. Dark magic, witc
I feel like I’ve just had my brain matter sucked from my skull through a straw, whipped vigorously by a whisk, baked into a quiche, and then returned to my head. Like six times.

That’s Night Film in a nutshell. It’s an engrossing read that is less of a book and more of an experience. Marisha Pessl is one of those rare authors who brings life not only to a story but to a world. Her world in Night Film is similar to our own, plus a single distortion: Stanislas Cordova, the enigmatic and acclaimed
Mercy me, why am I a masochist? Why do I pursue to suffer? To what do I atone? There was little doubt after Night Film's opening that it was crap, a crap larded with Sebaldean images and page freezes from Twitter and ominous blogs, sure, but I KNEW it was shit. Maybe we should return to the opening. It rained here all day Saturday; we had close to five inches. A friend and I were early for a holiday gathering and ducked into the library. I pulled Night Film off the shelf and quickly read the Wil ...more
Marisha Pessl is the literary equivalent of the Bachelor franchise. Despite harboring active dislike of and ideological objection to the preceding installment(s), I find myself consuming the next, somehow both numbingly bored and utterly transfixed. My ennui sends me into a state of torpor that itself becomes an addictive fascination, and I find myself reveling in it as though tripping on maudlin self-pity. Only my objections to Pessl’s work, like my objections to the Bachelor, have little to do ...more
The more books I read, the more difficult it becomes for me to decide which ones are actually good. Leveling that value judgement, you’d think, would become easier with practice. But books like this leave me paralyzed. How am I supposed to assign something as concrete as a star value to this thing I just read? Especially when that star value is the exact same metric I’m supposed to use to judge all the books I read?

The thing I have to remind myself each time I face this dilemma is that I’m not r
Nate D
Apr 20, 2014 Nate D rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: airport bookstores
Recommended to Nate D by: interior fascinations
This is a book about fascination. The fascination of an enigma, the fascination held by a mysterious director and his murky, under normal cirumstances even unseeable, body of work. EXCEPT----

The experience of reading this book is about fascination. The fascination of anticipation, of a plot unformed, of tantalizing suggestions just barely glimpsed. Of the thrill that took me over when I understood that this was a book about a secret filmography so insane as to leave anyone in contact with it cha
This stylish, psychological thriller captivated me, pulled me into the realm of spooky danger, and brought me back to earth with mysteries all solved in a neat package. I knew I was being treated to a cosmic joke and manipulated to relinquish disbelief in progressive stages, yet I submitted to being led down the garden path.

Our intrepid hero, hard-boiled investigative reporter Scott McGrath has a grudge against the reclusive horror movie director Stanislas Cordova. An anonymous tip convinced hi
Patrice Hoffman
**Won through a goodreads giveaway**

Hands down my favorite book so far of this year. It has everything that I love in a novel. Great plot, interesting characters, mystery, horror, suspense, thrills, and an ending I never saw coming.

Night Film is the sophomore effort written by Marisha Pessland after having much success with Special Topics in Calamity Physics I'm happy that her followup novel is worthy of the same success. Whenever I could steal away moments to read this novel, I couldn't help bu
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5 out of 5 Stars. Will post review soon.
Hannah  Messler
Reading this was like trying to watch Murder, She Wrote with the directive to receive it as high art except if Murder, She Wrote also had a lame fucking Jenny McCarthy-era style anti-woman prejudice. I can't. I couldn't. Did you? How did you do that?

I just felt totally crippled in trying to get into it by the 100% INSANE use of italics throughout. Am I missing something with this? How was that even tolerable? It was completely intolerable. Every other sentence just falls over backward like a dru
Julie Ehlers
This book has received an immense amount of prepub hype, and I can totally see how someone could get completely lost in it and love it. Unfortunately, that someone is not me. I was really disappointed in this. The premise is really great, but the writing style is grating--particularly the use of italics. I can understand that they're meant to add a little urgency to the tale, and it works, for about the first 200 pages. After that the book begins to read like a parody of itself. Even worse is th ...more
Deeply layered and introspective

At some point this book grabbed my attention and did not let go. It's subtle. The story seems to progress slowly, and when you think it is unraveling it becomes something else entirely. It seems to be a detective novel, then a horror story, then it becomes both and neither. The characters are likable and well crafted. When they exit the story the author made me actually miss their presence in the plot.
There are quotable lines throughout. The author is either extre
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Marisha Pessl grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and now lives in New York City. Special Topics in Calamity Physics, her debut novel, was a bestseller in both hardcover and paperback. It won the 2006 John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize (now the Center for Fiction’s Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize), and was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review. Her ...more
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Special Topics in Calamity Physics Extraits gratuits - Rentrée littéraire Gallimard 2015

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“Just when you think you've hit rock bottom, you realize you're standing on another trapdoor.” 108 likes
“Mortal fear is as crucial a thing to our lives as love. It cuts to the core of our being and shows us what we are. Will you step back and cover your eyes? Or will you have the strength to walk to the precipice and look out?” 78 likes
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