Night Film

  • by Marisha Pessl
  • Narrated by Jake Weber
  • 23 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Brilliant, haunting, breathtakingly suspenseful, Night Film is a superb literary thriller by the New York Times best-selling author of the "blockbuster debut" (People) Special Topics in Calamity Physics.
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 30 years.
For McGrath, another death connected to this seemingly cursed family dynasty seems more than just a coincidence. Though much has been written about Cordova’s dark and unsettling films, very little is known about the man himself.
Driven by revenge, curiosity, and a need for the truth, McGrath, with the aid of two strangers, is drawn deeper and deeper into Cordova’s eerie, hypnotic world.
The last time he got close to exposing the director, McGrath lost his marriage and his career. This time he might lose even more.
Night Film, the gorgeously written, spellbinding new novel by the dazzlingly inventive Marisha Pessl, will hold you in suspense to the final minute.


Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, August 2013 - I don’t often find myself interested in literary psychological thrillers, but the early buzz on Night Film – a dark novel by Marisha Pressl (of Special Topics in Calamity Physics fame) – was enough to pique my interest. It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that’s legitimately creeped me out, and this novel opens with a ghost story that set the tone. I’ve only just started reading the book, and it already feels like something bad is lurking on the every page. Scott McGrath is a shamed journalist who takes a new interest in an old case when his former subject’s daughter turns up dead at the bottom of an abandoned building’s elevator shaft. The book hinges on Scott’s investigation into the victim’s family, particularly her reclusive filmmaking father, who put Scott out of business in the first place. It’s an absolutely chilling page-turner and will be even more frightening in audio. —Chris, Audible Editor


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I am in the minority here, as I do not fully agree with most of the other reviewers. Although this book starts well, and Pessl's writing is very good, I found "Night Film" to be something of a slog. It's just too long - why can't she and many other talented young writers (I'm talking to you, Tana French) learn the value of listening to a good, exacting editor?

I liked the premise, and the characters are quirky and compelling, but so much of this book is just going in circles. It adds up to much ado about not much. Sorry, but I think I'll skip the next one.
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- C. Telfair "Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!"

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

Pessl approaches this novel like a film -- with a filmmaker's attention to the set, the lighting, the camera angles -- creating the perfect mise en scène for a film-like experience with this gothic psychological thriller. The story borrows elements from iconic directors we are all familiar with (Hitchcock, Lynch, Kubrick, Polanski), but Pessl has used those influences intentionally and well, and combined them with the novelty of the multimedia PDF. The photos, news clippings, movie posters, etc. give an odd sense of surrealism to the reading experience. Even the cover of the book pays a kind of tribute to an older classic thriller, Don't Look Now with its red-coated dopplegänger.

Having read this a while a go and coming back and re-writing a review (after a problem with my first), the impact of the PDF seems evident. You are immediately immersed and you won't want to put the book down. Being involved in the story is consuming; the *props* of the pictures, obituaries, articles etc. suck you in and keep you gripped in a very atmospheric experience. With some separation, I still feel this was a spooky fun story well worth the time, but not the blockbuster I'd hoped for. As an experience, just like a good carnival ride, you feel like you'd like it to go on and on, but as a book you'd pull off the shelf and sit down to read -- it makes a few too many laps that didn't add anything (other than a little more time on the coaster). Still it was one of the most fun reads I've had in a while, and I have to give Pessl an extra star for a great effort, and her attention to detail.

With all of the devil worship, witch craft, on and on...I thought the most *terrifying* aspect of this book was in one of the many little possibilities that Pessl slips in...sometimes the events we have to face in reality make the most terrifying and horrible nightmares pale in comparison. The accompanying media is crafted very well (the PDF comes with the purchase and is easily accessible) and adds a fun dimension to a well written book.
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- Mel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-20-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio