Saturday, September 28, 2013

Joint Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Author: Marisha Pessl
Publisher: Random House
Date of publication: August 2013

On a damp October night, beautiful young Ashley Cordova is found dead in an abandoned warehouse in lower Manhattan. Though her death is ruled a suicide, veteran investigative journalist Scott McGrath suspects otherwise. As he probes the strange circumstances surrounding Ashley’s life and death, McGrath comes face-to-face with the legacy of her father: the legendary, reclusive cult-horror-film director Stanislas Cordova—a man who hasn’t been seen in public for more than thirty years.

Let me start by saying that the audiobook was very well done.  I loved listening to narrator, Jake Weber. He is the husband from the TV show Medium.  I hope he narrates more books in the future.  I found his voice very soothing. 

That being said, Night Film ended up being a disappointment for me.  It's a long book with not enough payoff in the end to be wowed by the story.  I was engrossed through the first half of the book.  The mystery was engaging with lots of twists.  I liked the characters.  Hopper and Nora added some comic relief to Scott's pursuit of the truth about Ashley Cordova. I liked Scott's character.  He was intelligent, funny and determined.  

So why the disappointment?  The book has one of those open to interpretation endings.  You know, where the reader has to decide where the truth lies.  I hate that type of ending.  I feel like if I am going to invest so much time in a book, I want a clean ending.  I should have seen it coming though as there was enough foreshadowing in the constant discussions of the Cordova movie endings.  

Kari and I listened to this audiobook at the same time, so we had a lot of back and forth about Night Film.  I agree with Kari that Jake Weber did a great job with the narration.  I particularly liked when he did Hopper's voice.

Marisha Pessl made me wish Stanislas Cordova was a real person so I could seek out his movies.  Although, in today's world I don't think finding a movie would be as hard as it seemed in the book.  You can find anything posted somewhere on the internet.  I did like a lot of the interplay between the characters and some of the witchcraft and voodoo aspects that were brought into the story.

However, like Kari, ultimately, I was disappointed in the open ending.  Night Film is really long and I felt like I had invested a lot of time in a big question mark.  I don't like that.  Some people do, but I'm not that person, I want the answer so I'm wondering what the heck I just read.

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