lisa's reviews

Reading is the only thing in the world I am good at. A lifetime of reading, fifteen years of working in bookstores, and libraries, and an obsession with the written word makes me qualified enough to talk someone's ear off about books.  Now I am getting more ARCs than I have room for in the house.  Let me get back to reading them!

Night Film

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

I love movies, especially creepy, underground movies that no one else seems to appreciate.  Roger Corman is one of my favorite filmmakers.  I wish he were my grandfather.  He is the one of the cutest old men ever, and is such a film legend, even if I am the only one who thinks it.  Dario Argento is another favorite of mine, so is Robert Rodriguez, Tod Browning, Fritz Lang, and Samuel Fuller. 


I say all this because these directors and producers seem to be reflected somewhat in Stanislas Cordova, the shadowy figure of Night Film, by Marisha Pessl.  I got an email about this book sometime in April, and for reasons I can't remember now, I put it on hold at the library, and then forgot all about it.  However, all the buzz surrounding this book made me feel very lucky that I managed to be one of the first on the list for this book, since the hold list now tops over 100.  I had never heard of Pessl, although she wrote an apparently amazing book, Special Topics in Calamity Physics.  Some day I may read it, but for now I am still absorbing Night Film


I can't say I liked the ending (no spoilers) or the way the plot played out, but up until I realized this book was going to be a washout, I really enjoyed it.  I am loving all the novels coming out with pictures.  It seems to be mostly a YA gimmick, so it was nice to see it in adult fiction.  The webpages were obviously carefully designed, and the actors cast to "play" the characters looked exactly how I thought they should.  Major kudos to the author for immersing herself so much in Cordova's world.  I read an interview with her where she said she wrote and cast all his films, and even though they didn't contribute a whole lot to the story, I was glad to know they were still floating in the background. 


One of the best things about reading this book was the conversations I've had with other people about it.  One of the pages here at the library and I got to talking about cult film directors, and we discovered a shared obsession with writer/director/producer Samuel Fuller.  Who knew?  He told me if I liked Dario Argento that I would like Mario Bava, so I watched a few of his films on Netflix, and now I'm hooked.  A chica I used to work with long ago emailed me while she was reading this book, to say she was sleeping with the lights on.  I ended up inviting her over, and we read companionably into the small hours.  I think the last time I got together with someone just to read was back in the fourth grade.  Life is so interesting.