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Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Hey all, October’s already winding down and I’ve totally dropped the ball, but here’s a recommendation today of a book that I’ve devoured.

Night Film by Marisha Pessl. I’ve heard people calling it an “ultimate guilty pleasure,” but I have no idea what that means. My love for this book is overt, non-guilty, and exuberant. It’s a creepy read, but I had such a good time.

The story involves a reclusive filmmaker, whose disturbing films (and fans) make Kubrick look like Ron Howard, his missing (?) daughter, a disgraced reporter, and a whole lot of weirdness. It’s a big book, but I read it quickly, just couldn’t put it down.

If you read it or have read it, let me know what you think!


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sharon Kosch October 22, 2013, 6:38 am

    I loved it – and really liked the way the extras drew me in. It did get almost too spooky for me and I put it down for awhile but was drawn back in. I’m still mulling over the end.

    Have you read The Golem and the Jinni? Not the same level of creepiness, but very fantastical. One of my few 5 star books of the year.

  • Farin October 22, 2013, 6:39 am

    I’m with you, I loved Night Film wholeheartedly and without the least bit of guilt. The extras added a whole new level of creepiness and realism to the story. So good.

  • Victoria Fedden October 23, 2013, 8:02 am

    Hi Josh! I review books a lot on my blog. In fact, I just reviewed yours, but I only write about books that I love. I just read Night Film and couldn’t bring myself to review it. I was really into it in the beginning and I liked the use of alternative texts to tell the story (although viewing them on a Kindle sucked) but I felt the book, which was touted as literary, just wasn’t. The pacing was very Da Vinci Code and what had so much promise at first really ended up deteriorating into every single scary story cliche known to man including the ancient Indian burial ground. I was rolling my eyes way too much in the book’s second half. That said, there were some moments that were highly entertaining and creepily written and I always appreciate that, but overall, I was disappointed because I wanted so much to love this book and to be genuinely frightened. I know they’ve already sold the movie rights and I think this might be one of the rare cases where the movie will be better than the book. It seems like a story made for the big screen. My friend wrote a fabulous review of Night Film on her blog, which you might want to check out (it’s funny too): http://www.vodkacranberryclooney.com/2013/08/29/the-nature-of-horror-a-book-review/

    • Josh Hanagarne October 27, 2013, 10:36 am

      Now that I’m done, I feel similarly. I really enjoyed reading it, but I wasn’t as satisfied by the end as I was by the beginning. I really enjoyed everything that focused on Cordova, but once the explanations started coming I was a little disappointed.

  • Jen October 23, 2013, 10:13 am

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I couldn’t wait for the freaking thing to end. I kept hoping the ending would redeem it, but nope, not impressed. Yet I did finish it, so that says something.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 27, 2013, 10:32 am

      I’ve got to say that the first 500 pages were my favorite. I thought it petered out a bit. It has so many elements that felt like it had been conceived with me in mind, but didn’t tie together as well as I wanted it to.

  • spencer October 24, 2013, 9:28 am

    I have heard good things, and I am excited to check this out. If you endorse it, I am all in. I am tearing through your latest recommendation for me, Claire Messud’s “The Woman Upstairs,” and loving every minute of it. Right up my alley!

  • Jack M October 28, 2013, 5:51 am

    My nomination for “book to read now” is The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s great.

    • spencer October 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

      I have it at home and am too excited to start reading.

    • Josh Hanagarne October 28, 2013, 4:29 pm

      It is so good. I knew it would be but I’m still blown away.

      • spencer October 30, 2013, 1:29 pm


  • Anna Alexander December 1, 2013, 10:38 am

    This book sucked me in and I didn’t want it to end. I agree the ending was a bit disappointing but overall, I really enjoyed the ride. Thanks for the suggestion.