Amy's Reviews > Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
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's review
Dec 29, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: 2007, general-fiction, cackalacky-connection, books-about-books, mystery-and-suspense
Recommended to Amy by: Carla Bailey, library patron

This is Marisha Pessl's first novel (she is an Asheville, NC native by the way). I liked it but it is not for everyone. It is the life story of Blue Van Meer told in the form of a research paper complete with the occasional illustration and parenthetical documentation. At first it is really clever after a while it is annoying and tedious. Skimming is a good idea in the middle of the book. The ending was good enough to suffer through the middle. I think if you liked House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski then you may enjoy this book. It is a cross between it and Secret History by Donna Tartt sprinkled with McSweeneys. The main plot of the book revolves around a cliquey, elitist group of friends and their mysterious leader/ prep school teacher. Blue collects clues to unravel the teacher's identity and discovering a lot about herself at the same time.
Also, the book has a really cool website:

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