Author Marisha Pessl gave the BBC a tour of New York locations from her latest thriller.
Watch the three-minute video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
The activity is suitable for intermediate 2 students.
1 Marisha's latest novel is called Late Film.
2 The main character in the book works in the media.
3 The main character usually goes jogging at midday.
4 Technology has made a writer's work more difficult.
5 The information the characters in the novel come across is sometimes misleading.
6 The main character is helped to solve the mystery in the novel.
7 The writer has written several endings to the mystery.
In my last novel, called Night Film, so much of the book was an investigation of why people love to be scared. And it’s a psychological thriller about a washed-up investigative journalist who is looking into a young woman’s suicide.
I think we’re done here.
I really wanted the locations in New York City, those real life locations to sort of inform the mood and tone of the book. The reservoir is first seen within the novel, this investigative journalist goes there and runs in the middle of the night. What seems so beautiful and known during the day, if you come here at night it’s terrifying.
Technology eradicates mystery. Some of the greatest classics of all time hinge on the fact that information is not immediately forthcoming. I mean, Scarlett O’Hare at the time didn’t know where Sherman necessarily was, so there’s always a sense of the world being very opaque.
In this day and age answers are merely forthcoming and you can’t have those like it happened one night where no one knows that she’s the daughter on this like famous industrialist because everyone would know exactly what she looked like, she would be spotted immediately because someone would take a picture and put it on Twitter, so it’s up to the novelist to be able to continue to find the mysteries that still exist.
Here’s another place, the Waldorf Tower, the character comes to find out what happened to this mysterious woman.
So this is the private entrance where the main characters go to.
Just because there’s a lot of information doesn’t mean is necessarily right. A lot of times when my characters go to technology to find information, it doesn’t really lead them to the right place.
And this is a setting when the investigative journalist decides to team up with two young people in order to help solve the mystery of what happened to this woman. So they meet really for the first time in the pub.
Once the book was finalized I thought it would be interesting to add another narrative layer to internet, so when people are googling the book they encounter not simply reviews early to buy the book on Amazon, that they encounter another layer of story, so I wrote five short films. One is a trailer. All of them were adding a new close to the mystery.
Walking down a dark corner, entering the dark room, I mean, that elicits a fear in all of us and that’s what it means to be human. Afterwards, when we realize that we have… that everything is fine and we’re still in our normal life I think we feel this amazing rush and appreciation for, you know, our normal life which we often take for granted.
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