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Night Film
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Archive - Book Discussions > Night Film - July 2017

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message 1: by Chava (new) - added it

Chava | -1 comments Hi,
THis is the discussion thread for Night Film by Marisha Pessl by Marisha Pessl. Your moderator is Natasha


Juliet Farmer (writnkitten) | 2 comments SUCH a great book. I'm jealous of ppl who get to read it for the very first time. :)


Beth  (techeditor) | 1127 comments Juliet wrote: "SUCH a great book. I'm jealous of ppl who get to read it for the very first time. :)"

I read this a year or two ago, and I sure don't agree with you.

Although fiction can mean unlikely events, the reader must be able to accept them or the story isn't engaging. NIGHT FILM is mostly boring because the story is unacceptable.

There is only a little character development. So the three main characters seem to be Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy assisting the main main character who keeps the story going with one remarkable guess after another and who likes to call himself Woodward. All other characters are caricatures who spill their guts to complete strangers (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy, and Woodward) even when they have broken into or barged into the caricatures' homes.

Most unacceptable of all, though, is the black magic/devil's curse running throughout the story. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy, and Woodward follow leads that are based on guesses about black magic or about the caricatures' reactions to black magic. You would think that Woodward, because he has past experience as an investigative reporter and with this subject matter, would be sensible. He starts out that way, but next thing you know, he's running to a specialist in black magic for advice about his daughter.

How is an intelligent reader to take this seriously?

Back to Woodward's daughter and their relationship: obviously, the reader is meant to see some correlation with the two main caricatures, Ashley and her father. Yet, because most of their actions are explained by black magic, I never saw it until the end.

It is too easy for an author to use black magic/devil's curse as an explanation. Unless the reader believes in that, it makes the entire story unacceptable.


message 4: by Patricia (last edited Jun 28, 2017 09:06AM) (new)

Patricia Dusenbury | 83 comments I just ordered a used copy from Amazon, so I'm going to have to wait a week to start reading. Opinions are all over the place with this one - I'm looking forward to seeing where mine falls


Juliet Farmer (writnkitten) | 2 comments It's definitely a love it or hate it--I fell in the former camp, luckily. :)


message 6: by Icewineanne, New Releases & Awards (new)

Icewineanne | 335 comments Mod
I dislike fantasy & black magic in books, so i'm going to have to take a pass on this one. Although it has garnered some excellent reviews.


Natasha | 128 comments Greetings readers!
Welcome to July's BOTM...Night Film! I am especially tickled to be moderating this month as Night Film has been on my list to read for a long time aaaaand, from all I'm hearing about it, this book feels like its gunna be one of those creepy books that is going to crawl out of the dimensions of the pages and try to mess with you, like, say, Tom Riddle. So its best to be reading and sharing these possibilities with comrades.
With that said, I would like to give a brief summary of our author, Marisha Pessl. She is a 30 something from North Carolina (America) and Night Film is her second novel. She is most well-known for her debut novel Special Topics in Calamity Physics, which I also hear great things about (anyone read it?). I don't know much more about her other than she was an English Lit major (represent!).
Schedule wise, I was thinking we can cover about 3 or so chapters a week (at least) if that is possible for everyone (and so nothing gets spoiled during discussions). I will look at chapter count and length and we can go from there.
I'm excited to share this experience with you all.
Happy reading 🙂


Douglas Thornley (Thornleylv) | 15 comments This is an excellent book to be selected. There is a lot of thing to discuss afterwards and it's not so cut and dry.


 *・Mariposa・* (Btterflyznstars) | 2 comments I'll be sure to hunt this down


Pamela Mclaren | 754 comments Hi, all. I'm looking forward to your discussions of this book. I had been intrigued by the cover for a long time and finally purchased and read it back in March and I definitely have mixed feelings about the characters.

I think Juliet is right, this is a book where you either like it or you hate it. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either.


Natasha | 128 comments Icewineanne, I believe this book is more of a mystery and suspense type, not really a fantasy or black magic one. I'm sorry to hear you wont be joining discussions. Hope you change your mind to join us but I understand not every book is for everyone


message 12: by Icewineanne, New Releases & Awards (new)

Icewineanne | 335 comments Mod
Natasha wrote: "Icewineanne, I believe this book is more of a mystery and suspense type, not really a fantasy or black magic one. I'm sorry to hear you wont be joining discussions. Hope you change your mind to joi..."

I do enjoy a good mystery Natasha, but i checked out the specs on this one & it's 606pgs - wow. I just don't have the time to read this long of a book but i will continue to follow me discussion.
Happy reading all :)


Natasha | 128 comments Hi all, I flipped through the book and saw there are 118 mini-chapters throughout the book, not really any traditional parts or traditional chapters. This being the case, each week it seems we should cover about 30 mini-chapters a week. Thats about 150 pages a week more or less.

Heres the breakdown...

Week 1
Section 1-30

Week 2
Section 30-60

Week 3
Section 60-90

Week 4
Section 90-118

I know we all have busy lives but lets try to do our best :) Have a great weekend everyone!


Natasha | 128 comments Heres to week 1!
I love protagonists like Scott McGrath. Washed out, messed up, and still salty from being wronged and betrayed. Our poor friend Scott was a reporter at the pique of his career when it all turned south. He had a beautiful wife (although a very cheaty one), a newborn daughter, and a successful career where he was respected and well known. Then Stanislas Cordova happened to him.
Oh Stanislas, with your corrupting and evil ways.

What kind of man he is really?
A sinister filmmaker, an almost cult leader, infecting the minds of the youth- prompting the sick minded into carrying out their darkest most evil desires? There are copy cat killers, imitating the characters in his movies. His movies of horror and violence, unstomach-able, that make people have fits and anxiety attacks. And whats up with his night time visits to elementary schools? Why is he surrounded by darkness and death?
Is he the willing facilitator of this chaos and evil? Or just an artist, a filmmaker trying to push the boundaries of the mind- urging people to break out of their boundaries, real or imagined? The victim of all this horror, just misunderstood?

A lot happens in the first 30 chapters, I don't know how caught up everyone is. Let me know and then more discussion questions to come.


Natasha | 128 comments Weekly greetings all! How is everyone liking the book so far?
I have to admit- life happened- and I'm running a little behind on my reading but should be getting up to speed by this weekend. Would love to hear your thoughts on thus far now that we are pretty much halfway through the book.


Natasha | 128 comments Things are getting interesting yet weird, but I have to admit Pessl is doing a great job. This is not your typical mystery. Following the dream team around nyc, chasing lead after lead, uncovering one stranger thing after the next is really gripping but the WHAT of what their discovering is new territory. Its not was I expected. But my opinion of the cordovas is constantly changing. Especially after what Peg Martin said.


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