E-mail this story
Marisha Pessl takes a dark turn with 'Night Film'
Partway through Marisha Pessl's second novel, "Night Film," I began to feel as if I had been taken hostage by the book. This, I should hasten to add, is not its intent. The saga of a legendary film director, Stanislas Cordova, and the suicide of his 24-year-old daughter, Ashley, "Night Film" is willfully portentous, claustrophobic even, a novel that means to explore hidden meanings, in which each turn seems to unveil another layer until illusion and reality begin to merge. It is also, at 600-plus pages, at least a third too long, an overwrought narrative that hints at much but delivers little and, for all its feints and twists, remains surprisingly unsuspenseful in the end.
By David L. Ulin
August 15, 2013