Review: Night Film, by Marisha Pessl

It is books like this one that make me wish that Goodreads not only had half stars, but also quarter stars. I’d really love to give this book a rating of more like 3.75, but a 4-star rating is good enough.

So, let us start at the beginning of how my thoughts progressed through this book. I started out really thrilled by this book, by the chills it was giving me, and how scary all the movie stuff was. I just knew this book was going to knock my socks off, because I haven’t read a really good scary story in awhile, and maybe that was just what I needed. Then, I got further into it, and it lost the scare factor and started to plod along a little bit. And there was the repetitiveness of the italics for emphasis, which had me (seemingly) constantly backtracking a word or two to reread and understand the emphasis clearly. That got old REALLY quickly, and I started to fantasize about abandoning the book for something more appealing.

But even as I was fantasizing about abandoning the book, Pessl would throw in these tidbits of story that would draw me far enough back in that I just HAD to know what happens next to this or that character. Just HAD to know where the story would go next. So I kept on reading, and I found the charm again. The italics became less annoying, ironically, the day after I made public mention of how annoying they were to me, and the storyline picked up pace again a bit and had enough excitement factor that I no longer felt like I was plodding along with the story so much as waiting expectantly for something to sort of jump out of the shadows.

And then it got weird…like an especially twisted episode of The Twilight Zone. There was a whole section that felt as if I were somehow losing my mind right along with the character in it, because I just couldn’t stop reading until I found out what happened, and it was probably one of the weirdest things I have ever read. Psychological thriller material at its best, I suppose.

Overall, this book was quite the rollercoaster of emotion and desire to read. I think this book is not going to be for everyone…it is quite a different book from most of what is mainstream. But for what it is, it was a pretty good read, and I think I’m going to keep this one around to read again in a year or two. Perhaps next time I’ll load up the companion app on my phone and use it as I read through the book. I didn’t realize this time that there was such a thing until I got to the end of the book, and then I did not feel it would be the same experience just to go through and use the app while not reading.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Night Film, by Marisha Pessl

  1. That part when it’s super twisty that they’re inside of the premises of the house it was pure acid trip I remember sitting on my bed reading it and being completely disoriented. I also get what you mean that I really needed a half star for this book.

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