50 of 64 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Night Film: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Wow. What a ride. This tour de force was beautifully deconstructed by another reviewer who laid out all the reasons for sticking with this book despite its length.
At its core is the death of the daughter of an enigmatic film director who has achieved a cult following of his deliberately dark, disturbing work. The films as described reminded me of David Lynch in his Lost Highway, Mulholland Drive phase. Shot on film, mostly at night. Also the films of Michael Haneke (called an art house sadist by at least one critic), and Passolini, whose Salo haunts me to this day more than 25 years after seeing it. Stanislas Cordova has shrouded himself with mystery, living in Salinger-esque isolation. The death of his brilliant, beautiful 24 year old daughter sets in motion an investigation by narrator Scott McGrath, an investigative reporter who has a beloved daughter of his own. Each episode that McGrath encounters as clues lead him further from reality and closer to the truth is beautifully rendered, with many characters who fill in back story with precision and detail. The truth keeps shifting shape, but the final result has no loose ends. Pessl is an original, exciting author. Both of her books published so far are unlike anything I've read before showing a maturity and breadth of vision.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 3, 2013 2:42:54 PM PDT
Roger Brunyate says:
I don't agree with your five stars, but I absolutely must congratulate you on writing such a succinct, well-referenced, and helpful review of such a huge and complex book. Truly excellent! [I am also chuffed to see your metaphors of shape-shifting and the wild ride, which were central to my own much more sprawling account, written before I read yours.]
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 3, 2013 3:26:38 PM PDT
K. L. Cotugno says:
Ah, taste in reading is such a subjective matter. I often get a "hunh?" on my stars, but I'm an amateur and only finish books I really like unless reading them for the Vine. Which means that thanks to the new rules, will not request a book that looks as if it'll be marginally of interest from now on. Thank you for your nice evaluation of my review. I gave yours a thums up because I found it thoughtful and perceptive.
Posted on Sep 2, 2013 12:54:25 PM PDT
Richard W. Klinzman says:
Great review. I had planned on writing a very positive review of this book. I loved it but your review is perfect and anything I wrote would be merely an echo. I also would give this novel five stars. I think Ms Pessl is our foremost inventive and most talented writer today up there in genius with Pat Conroy, my other all time favorite writer.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2013 2:13:58 PM PDT
K. L. Cotugno says:
Thank you so much for the positive feedback. I look forward to seeing Ms Pessl when she visits a local store early in October. Her brilliance and originality is truly in a class by itself.
Posted on Sep 22, 2013 2:04:21 PM PDT
Verbier Library says:
will send you more free books asap.
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