Horror(ish) Review: Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Night Film
My rating: 2 outta 5 stars

Some books grab me. Some books don’t. This one didn’t. I realized this after I had to rewind five+ HOURS of audio because I was completely lost after sleep-listening my way through all of the incredibly boring descriptive details and goings-on and tidbits and interviews of whatnot and whoever.

This book made me promises. “Night Film tells the haunting story of a journalist who becomes obsessed with the mysterious death of a troubled prodigy—the daughter of an iconic, reclusive filmmaker.” A film maker known for making edgy, underground, horror films and the deep dive into his secretive life. Hello, how could this go so wrong?

Well, for starters, I would not describe anything in this book as haunting. Haunting is something that hounds me after I walk away from a book. There isn’t a thing here that disturbed me on any level. Instead, it was filled to the brim with tedious details and boring characters and pages that have no end (I swear it’s true)! It tries extremely hard to be all dark and edgy but it just didn’t work for me and fizzled out early on.

But I kept going, thinking it was me and not the book. I rewound so many times I do believe I turned this 20+ hour audiobook into a 40+ hour audiobook. Someone created the DNF for a reason. Next time I’ll listen to my instincts which were screaming at me to delete the thing and start something, godpleaseanything, else.

Perhaps if I had read this as a paperback with all of the added pictures to distract me from the never-ending, lifeless reading of the text, I may have had an easier time with it but probably not because I did not find the characters engaging or even vaguely interesting and that’s a big thing for me. I never understood why, exactly, the main character paired up with a wannabe actress and a small time druggie but at this point I’m too exhausted by this book to ponder that weirdness and I don’t really care.

This one wasn’t meant for me. The mystery wasn’t enough to hold me enraptured and I need to feel something for the characters, even if it’s anger, when I read a book and this one didn’t make me feel anything but a little sleepy. And about those reveals that come at the end? Don’t ask me for details because I cannot lie, I was too tuned out to absorb them.

Many of my friends five starred this book, and I trust them, so I guess this confirms what I’ve been told time and again, my taste is atrocious!

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