Wow, I have been terrible with blogging this month – which I hate because I spent so much time creating a space that I was excited to share with everyone. It has been insanely hectic this last few weeks that by the time I got home from work, all I wanted to do was rest. It is brutal! I feel like all I’ve been doing lately is eat, work and sleep – fun!
But enough ranting!!
I am finally here to share my thoughts on Night Film. It took me such a long time to complete this book, and then once I reached the end I needed some more time to allow my thoughts to simmer. To be completely honest, I am still not sure what to make of it, so hopefully this post will put it into some kind of perspective for me.
If I had to, I would describe Night Film as a mixture between Gillian Flynn and Stieg Larsson’s books because of the dark and twisted nature of the plot and also since the story follows a private investigation of sorts. Scott McGrath, a once renowned investigative journalist, is obsessed with the mysterious film director, Stanislas Cordova. So when Cordova’s daughter, Ashley, is reported to have committed suicide; McGrath jumps at the opportunity to uncover the truth behind the reclusive filmmaker who was the sole reason for all that he (McGrath) has lost years ago.
McGrath forms an unlikely alliance with two people who came into contact with Ashley during the days leading up to her death. Together, the three enter a world far beyond their wildest (and weirdest) dreams, all in hopes of piecing together a disturbing puzzle. As the truth about Ashley and her father seem to slip further and further from their grasp, the three end up learning far more than what they cared to imagine – about themselves.
The book is written in the form of a detective case, with newspaper articles, interviews and internet research included all through the story; adding to the mystery and giving a chilling reading experience. More so, these elements successfully draws the reader into the investigation, as if taking part in clearing the distorted air which surrounds Cordova.
What made this book unique, even though it reminded me of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in so many ways, was how Pessl allowed the reader to make up their own mind on what was uncovered about the Cordovas. And the brilliance of the story is that what ever the reader chooses to believe, it can all be deemed true.
It is difficult to really get into this book without giving too much away because every detail adds to the mystery of the story. That being said, I felt that the book was unnecessarily long; but I now realise that all these factors contributed to the overall experience, and it needed to be dragged out in order for the reader to have his/ her mind thoroughly blown.
There was a line from the book that not only effectively summed up the story for me, but also perfectly described so much about the life we are all trying to build for ourselves:
You have to walk for a time on the shaded side of the street to feel the sun when it hits your shoulders.
– Stanislas Cordova