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Special Topics in Calamity Physics

5 Ratings: 3.2
A book by Marisha Pessl

Starred Review.Pessl's stunning debut is an elaborate construction modeled after the syllabus of a college literature course—36 chapters are named after everything fromOthellotoParadise LosttoThe Big Sleep—that culminates with a final exam. … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Marisha Pessl
Publisher: Viking Adult
3 reviews about Special Topics in Calamity Physics
review by . April 18, 2012
I remember reading glowing reviews of this book when it was published a few years ago, but now that I finally got around to reading I find myself merely whelmed.  While the writing is sometimes fresh, funny, and stimulating, too often it over-reaches to strained, stilted, and densely over-thought.      Blue Van Meer is the only daughter of widowed college professor Gareth; her childhood was an extended back-road tour of backwater colleges where Dad taught politics, public …
review by . January 25, 2007
It's quite obvious that a lot of learning went into the writing of this book. There are other works scattered throughout the text, all of which connect in some way to the topic being discussed. For a while the reader really doesn't know what's happening, but as the novel progresses, the basic plot becomes a bit more clear, until the shocking twist very near the end. The author is quite a talented writer, and I certainly intend to read any further works she produces!
review by . January 22, 2007
There is a genuine story here, with real characters (see Linda Segar, Creating Unforgettable Characters, Owl 1999). You care about them in the midst of, or perhaps in spite of, the incessant interruptions that litter the book like glacial moraines (see Douglas I. Benn and David J. A. Evans, Glaciers and Glaciation , Arnold, 1999). The story lingers in my mind, as any good story should. My hat is off to any person who can use macumba as a verb (see p. 61, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Penguin …
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