Author: Marisha Pessl
Narrated by: Jake Weber
Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: August 20, 2013
Listening copy via local library
Marisha Pessl's debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, was a hot read a few years ago. I read it and thought it was intelligent and intricately plotted, but overall a meh from me in terms of being invested in the characters.
There was a lot of buzz about her second book, Night Film, and I decided I'd give it go, especially since the audiobook is narrated by Jake Weber. I've been a fan of his since American Gothic, so I was willing to spend a few hours listening to him.
Night Film centers on a disgraced reporter, Scott McGrath, who's obsessed with finding out what happened the night the daughter of a famous director committed suicide. The director is Stanislas Cordova, a provocateur as much as an auteur, whose controversial horror films are only shown at underground screenings. The daughter is 24 year old Ashley, a former piano prodigy with a troubled past.
The story plods on a bit as Scott's investigation forces him to team up with a quirky coat-check girl and a small-time drug dealer, but there are enough tantalizing clues and mysterious signs to keep me engaged. And there are some real moments of flat-out terror.
Jake Weber does an outstanding job narrating, imbuing a world-weary reporter's cynicism with charm, moral outrage, and regret. He does a good job with the supporting characters as well, and I'm willing to forgive his Jamaican accent because that's a mercifully short scene.
I'd recommend it for listeners who have the patience to let psychological thriller push against the border of horror.
Night Film Book Trailer: