Reading guide for Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Night Film

by Marisha Pessl

Night Film by Marisha Pessl X
Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2013, 624 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2014, 624 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Poornima Apte
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

Discussion questions for Night Film

  1. Professor Wolfgang Beckman accuses Scott of having "no respect for the murk. For the blackly unexplained. The un-nail downable." How does Scott's perspective on mystery and the "blackly unexplained" change over the course of the novel?
  2. Nora asks Scott, "How much evidence do you need before you wonder if it just might be real?" Do you think Scott's skepticism is a mark of pride, as well as rationality, as Nora suggests? Why does he wish to believe in the curse after his conversation with Inez Gallo? How ready were you to believe in the curse?
  3. Scott is relentless in his pursuit of the truth about Cordova. How far would you have gone, in his situation? Is there a point at which you would have stopped pursuing the truth?
  4. Cordova's films were filled with such horror and violence that, in many cases, they were banned from theaters. What is your perspective on violence - its role and its effects - in movies today?
  5. Cordova's philosophy is in many ways antithetical to our modern world, where transparency, over-sharing and social media are the norm. Did you feel drawn to Cordova's philosophy, or repelled, or both? Why?
  6. Discuss how Scott advertently or inadvertently involved his daughter Samantha in his investigation. What did you think of the role she wound up playing, in his discovery?
  7. How does your perception of Scott change, from the beginning to the end of the novel?
  8. What did you think of the evolution of Nora and Scott's relationship?
  9. Both Scott and Nora reflect on the power of memory and story to alter the way we relate to our experiences. Scott says: "It was never the act itself but our own understanding of it that defeated us, over and over again." Nora says: "The bad things that happen to you don't have to mean anything at all." Do you agree?
  10. Beckman says "Every one of us has our box, a dark chamber stowing the thing that lanced our heart." Consider Nora, Hopper, Ashley, Cordova, and Scott. What do their boxes contain, and in what ways do these secrets motivate them? Imprison them?
  11. What do you think helped Hopper come to peace with Ashley's memory?
  12. New York City is just as much a character in the novel as any one person. How does your personal experience of, or relationship with, the city affect your reading?
  13. How did the visual elements throughout the book enhance or impact your reading experience?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Random House. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  David Lynch

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel
    Kristin Harmel's historical novel The Forest of Vanishing Stars was very well-received by our First ...
  • Book Jacket: African Europeans
    African Europeans
    by Olivette Otele
    The nexus of Africans and Europeans is not a recent historical development. Rather, the peoples of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Killing Hills
    The Killing Hills
    by Chris Offutt
    The personified hills of the novel's title foreshadow the mood of this brooding and ominous tale. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vixen
    The Vixen
    by Francine Prose
    Recent Harvard graduate Simon Putnam has been rejected from grad school and has thus returned to his...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
All the Little Hopes
by Leah Weiss
A Southern story of friendship forged by books and bees, in the murky shadows of World War II.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Temple House Vanishing
    by Rachel Donohue

    A modern gothic page-turner set in a Victorian mansion in Ireland.

  • Book Jacket

    The Forest of Vanishing Stars
    by Kristin Harmel

    An evocative coming-of-age World War II story from the author of The Book of Lost Names.

Win This Book!
Win Gordo

Gordo by Jaime Cortez

"Dark and hilarious ... singular and soaring ... Hands down, top debut of 2021."—Literary Hub

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

N Say N

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.