Written with hip, smart and exquisitely brilliant prose, Marisha Pessl’s latest novel, Night Film, is like a roller coaster ride through the haunted house at the wildest amusement park ever built. It’s a spine-tingling journey covering enormous territory as it delves into the deep recesses of the human psyche. The novel is packed with all manner of alternative, reader-interactive material, from web pages to emails to a smartphone app that allows readers to scan images for more content. But at its core, Night Film is a tale of black magic, ultra-realism and fanaticism surrounding the death of a promising young woman adrift from her reclusive movie director father.
Scott McGrath is a young, aggressive reporter who has already made one attempt at exposing enigmatic and adored director Stanislas Cordova
A character loosely based on Stanley Kubrick, with his obsessive behavior and control-freak tendencies, Cordova has drifted far off the plantation into the world of bizarre and disturbing. In Night Film, reporter McGrath and comrades travel a treacherous journey to discover the heart of Cordova.
Along the way, McGrath and two tag-along assistants visit a psychiatric hospital, a tattoo parlor and several other locales where Ashley was spotted before her death. In the end, Pessl performs a bit of sorcery when McGrath finally confronts Cordova’s lifelong assistant and the mystery of Ashley’s death is revealed. Pessl neatly ties up the loose ends and includes a cute little bow when McGrath achieves redemption in the form of his own beautiful reward. Grade: A+