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Book Club Party – Night Film

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Welcome back, book clubbers! We got together yesterday to discuss September’s spooky select, Marisha Pessl’s Night Film and to announce our giveaway winner.

Congratulations to Jessie Behm!  Your autographed copy is winging its way to you, and we can’t wait to hear what you think. Don’t read too many details below, we don’t want to ruin anything!

We got together over some sweet treats and dove into the the crazy, creepy world of Stanislas Cordova…

  • Pessl had all of us hooked almost immediately from the get-go. She has so fully created a world that these characters live in that it was almost too easy to get lost in the story. The obsession with and surrounding Cordova is so formed and articulated that we wondered how much Pessl herself got lost in his backstory and creation.
  • We all agreed that the protagonist Scott McGrath wasn’t always likable. His obsession with Cordova left much of his personality traits wanting. He practically abandoned his daughter in a really creepy store!
  • Research editor Alex Sanidad liked that the book explores the idea that people make up a narrative when they can’t get a straight answer. The narrative that’s actually happening probably isn’t the one you’ve got in your head. Because of that, it made sense to Alex that Ashley ended up the way she did. On the other hand, Alex understood how people who were hangers-on and wanted to fuel Cordova’s image would choose to make creepy stuff up and highlight the possibility that there’s supernatural stuff going on.
  • Pessl started to lose us a bit when McGrath and his motley crew went to the “Peak,” Cordova’s old estate. McGrath ended up on a really weird psychotropic trip that went on a bit too long for my taste. I kept wondering what the point of that was going to be, and I’m not sure that was ever resolved.
  • The club was torn on the ending! Not everyone got on board for what seemed like a third act, and some of us didn’t buy the open-ended scenario we were left with.

Have you started (or finished) Night Film yet? Let us know what you thought, and check back in tomorrow to find out what we’re reading this October!

Paulie Dibner is the assistant managing editor of Martha Stewart Living. She has perfected her oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie, but is on the hunt for a puff-pastry recipe to knock her socks off. Follow her on Instagram @matinauxsaules

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