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Special Topics in Calamity Physics by…
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Special Topics in Calamity Physics (edition 2007)

by Marisha Pessl

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,239254848 (3.65)287
Member:herzogbr
Title:Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Authors:Marisha Pessl
Info:Penguin (Non-Classics) (2007), Paperback, 528 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:2007-10, fiction, literature, growing up, father, daughter, high school, philosophy, night watchmen, the night watchmen, conspiracy, laurie

Work details

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

  1. 132
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Eumenides, shellibrary, Littlemissmops)
  2. 30
    The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff (lyzadanger)
    lyzadanger: Precocious young women in small towns.
  3. 10
    My Latest Grievance by Elinor Lipman (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books offer sharp humor offered by a student.
  4. 10
    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (zhejw)
    zhejw: I loved both books, but Pessl's is a notch up in language, character development, and plot. Lockhart's is the place for teens to start.
  5. 10
    The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books offer in-detail insights into life as a young adult when interacting with others.
  6. 10
    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (kinsey_m)
  7. 10
    Human Croquet by Kate Atkinson (Mossa)
  8. 00
    I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (Littlemissmops)
  9. 33
    Likewise: The High School Comic Chronicles of Ariel Schrag by Ariel Schrag (lorax)
  10. 00
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (krist_ellis)
  11. 00
    Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday (sarahemmm)
    sarahemmm: This is worth trying if you like the unusual format of Pessl's book.
  12. 12
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (krist_ellis)
  13. 34
    Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books look at issues encountered by one particular student.
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» See also 287 mentions

English (239)  Dutch (7)  French (5)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
Jag måste frst säga at Författaren upplevs mycket starkt influerad av Donna tartts Den hemliga historien. No question about it! Jag gilar inte helleramerikanska college/high school teman där allt är så för mkt amerikanskt i all kubik! Blues transformation från glasögonorm till snygging med linser och tjejernas eskapader i handikapptoaletten känns i alla fall för mig fånigt och overkligt. Men, (det klassiska menet)boken är genomtänkt, intelligent, och har viktiga teman. Dessutom är den oförutsägbar och slutet var för mig i alla fall oväntat! Boken vimlar av refernshänvisningar av kultur, literatur och vetenskap. Ett gediget jobb! ( Alla hänvsningar är inte autentiska dock , villket jag inte gillar,..antingen eller!!!) Visst en bok föralla åldrar men den är lite för tjock för tonåringar, för just den målgruppen hade varit mycket passande för boken! ( )
  Drusus | Aug 4, 2014 |
Read too long ago to review at this time. I do recall it being a novel that I enjoyed very much at the time, though. ( )
  pife43 | Jul 23, 2014 |
A literary tour-de-force where the telling of the tale is more than the tale itself... while ostensibly a coming of age who-done-it, it's chock full of clever literary references and actually a celebration of literary research.

Blue Van Meer and her larger-than-life professor father Gareth share a close-knit intellectual world. As a visiting professor, they travel around the US and inlulge in a heady collegiate world of literature and wit. They arrive in a small town in North Carolina and under the influence of emotional/ethereal film teacher, Hannah Schneider, and a motley crew of "bluebloods" (think: Mean Girls gone coed), Blue begins to experience a world beyond books and beyond her imagining.

Part road trip (Blue and Gareth read classical tomes, recite poetry, argue semantics en route) part Coming of age (Blue's first sexual encounter -- not explicit--, physical makeover into a present day teen, gaining a voice (she was dubbed 'the pigeon') and loss of innocence (not everyone is as they appear... least of all, her father) part murder/mystery (who killed Hannah Schneider?) and a complete celebration of all things literary.

This book is not an easy read but for those who enjoy literary references, a well-turned phrase, and a sometimes-snarky look at the dumbing-down of America, Special Topics.. is special indeed! ( )
  mjspear | Jul 22, 2014 |
A very different and likeable book about Blue Van Meer, and her father Gareth, who is a professor who finally takes a year off from moving on the lecture circuit so that Blue can do her senior year at one school and get into Harvard. Blue is overly educated and has read it would seem most books written and of course has a genius IQ, Her father is an exceedingly handsome intellectual. Blue meets a group of students who hang with Hannah Schneider the film studies teacher and most of the story is about these relationships. The least enjoyable part of the book is the constant reference and stories about her Dad - and it is obvious that she has become just an extension of him since the death of her mother. The book begins with Blue writing about finding Hannah dead from strangulation with an electrical cord. The rest of the book fills in the blanks. ( )
  CarterPJ | May 27, 2014 |
An amazing first novel.
( )
  MmeKristine | Apr 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 239 (next | show all)
Her exhilarating synthesis of the classic and the modern, frivolity and fate — “Pnin” meets “The O.C.” — is a poetic act of will. Never mind jealous detractors: virtuosity is its own reward. And this skylarking book will leave readers salivating for more.

 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marisha Pesslprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Card, Emily JaniceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dad always said a person must have a magnificent reason for writing out his or her Life Story and expecting anyone to read it.
"Unless your name is something along the lines of Mozart, Matisse, Churchill, or Bond--James Bond--you best spend your free time finger painting or playing shuffleboard, for no one, with the exception of your flabby-armed mother with stiff hair and a mashed-potato way of looking at you, will want to hear the particulars of your pitiable existence, which doubtlessly will end as it began--with a wheeze."
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the dazzling debut of Marisha Pessl, is a buoyant combination of comedy, tragedy, mystery, and romance, a story of disturbing secrets and the eccentric high school student who uncovers them. It is a coming-of-age tale and a disturbing mystery. a snapshot of the dark relationship between ideology and violence but also the poignant tale of a young woman learning to stand on her own.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143112120, Paperback)

?Dazzling,? (People) ?Exuberant,? (Vogue) ?marvelously entertaining,? (The Dallas Morning News) Marisha Pessl?s mesmerizing debut has critics raving and heralds the arrival of a vibrant new voice in American fiction. At the center of this ?cracking good read?4 is clever, deadpan Blue van Meer, who has a head full of literary, philosophical, scientific, and cinematic knowledge. But she could use some friends. Upon entering the elite St. Gallway school, she finds some?a clique of eccentrics known as the Bluebloods. One drowning and one hanging later, Blue finds herself puzzling out a byzantine murder mystery. Nabokov meets Donna Tartt (then invites the rest of the Western Canon to the party) in this novel?with ?visual aids? drawn by the author?that has won over readers of all ages.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:41 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In a plot modeled after the syllabus of a college literature course, teen narrator Blue Van Meer and her father Gareth end ten years of wandering by settling in Stockton, N.C. There, Blue befriends, sort of, a group of eccentric geniuses (referred to by their classmates as the Bluebloods) and their ringleader, film studies teacher Hannah Schneider. As Blue becomes enmeshed with Hannah and the Bluebloods, the novel becomes a murder mystery when a friend of Hannah's dies at a party the kids have crashed.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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