Night Film

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

Sovereign. Deadly. Almost perfect.


This book was the creepy puzzle-box of a novel that I have been hunting for over the years. This is what I wanted out of books like House of Leaves (and ultimately didn't get). This book hits that wonderful sweet spot where you're never quite certain whether or not what is happening is rooted in the supernatural or if its just plain weirdness. The suspense kept me glued to the page - it's long, but the pacing is such that I never felt my attention waning nor the pages dragging. I remained intrigued and on-board all the way up until the ending. There were also scenes that were so bizarre and creepy that they will stick with me for years.


The one thing about this book I didn't love was how problematic pieces of it were in regards to race, sexuality, and gender identity. I couldn't tell if the issue was the authorial voice or the main character, who is kind of a jackass. I can let it go if the language used is a reflection on this character, because honestly I believe that he's a transphobic latent racist. However, if it's the author's viewpoint that's not something I can stomach, and I genuinely can't tell which is going on.


Here's the thing, with the exception of this one issue I loved the book. It's a stain on an otherwise deliciously unnerving novel that brings the elements of a ghost story, and a haunted house yarn, into a more literary realm. If you can look past the warts this book is a mesmerizing, compelling, creep-fest that will keep you reading past your bedtime and jumping at shadows.