Friday, October 11, 2013

The Night Film by Marisha Pessl

The true believers only come out at night, at least to watch the psychologically horrific films that Stanislas Cordova creates in Marisha Pessl's latest novel. The movies are screened in abandoned buildings at night and only the initiated know about them. Specifically, the devoted initiates know to look for a red bird on the doors or walls to tell them that this is the building in which the latest Cordova movie is to be screened. What makes the director even more curious is that he has become a recluse - mostly because people suspect that he has something to hide or has done something more unsavory than his movies. Scott McGrath is the protagonist and definitely has a vendetta - a few years before we meet him as he's jogging around Central Park at 2 in the morning, he got sued for libel, lost and was disgraced for writing a story about Cordova. When Cordova's daughter, Ashley, who is talented beyond belief, suffers from an untimely death, he sees the opportunity that he's been hoping for. He is absolutely her death was caused by some of the awful things she suffered at her father's hands and sets out to investigate.

The book is not only a trove of thriller but it also includes fake webpages, marked up pictures and other multimedia forms that make this book more than the normal book. You can download the app from the ITunes App Store and use it on certain pages in the book to unlock the extras. It makes for a multilayered and fascinating reading experience. What made this book even more fascinating to me was that she kept Cordova tantalizingly just beyond the page that I was reading - it was as if I looked hard enough into the shadows at the edge of the light, I could see him there and be able to talk to him myself, but when I tried, it was as elusive for me as it was for McGrath. It didn't end up being everything that I wanted it to be; however I was hooked and I read all 600 pages of it in about three days - the chapters are often really short, which makes for quick reading and lots of easy breaks. Definitely worth a shot


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