Wendi's Reviews > Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
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's review
May 20, 08

Recommended to Wendi by: Tina
Recommended for: Sarah, Beth
Read in May, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Recommended by Tina

So far I'm finding it interesting, if not a little pompous. I think it's wonderful that the writer has such a firm grasp on vocabularly, I'm sure she aced the verbal part of the GRE. And it's kind of fun reading the descriptions of people and how she annotates them.

I like the quirkyness of the main character Blue. But I'm intimidated by her intelligence. At times I also feel slightly insulted because I'm not more like her - I'm too giggly, girly, interested in things other than just books. Sometimes her descriptions of people who aren't like her are almost a slap in the face, as if those of us who aren't as smart as Blue couldn't possibly contribute anything to the world.

I think I feel this way because this is how the staff is treated by most of our faculty. We're not PhDs and therefore our opinions, thoughts, our lives even are just not worthy of their attention or time (unless it relates to their money).

But we'll see...I'm suckered in and enjoying it anyway.

NO WAY!!!! This is an awesome book! Sure, it's a bit wordy, a bit too academic, but at the same time I totally LOVE Blue and all her quirks. You never see it coming. Never. And the story gives you all these clues without saying, "HEY! This is a clue!" like so many other mystery novels do.

This was well worth the read. I did, however, skim over some paragraphs when I felt like it was just too much. It's almost like the author wants us to see how smart she is by annotating every single thing over and over again. One metaphor for a person or situation isn't enough. She has to include three or four and then annotate them. While I think the annotating stuff was really interesting, I got tired of reading five paragraphs describing the same metaphor over and over again. Enough already!

Also, I wish I knew what happened to Jade. In the beginning of the book Blue gets a call from Jade. Jade's somewhere locked up for something. Why? How and when did she get there? What is she going to do now? And what about the others? Does Blue ever come forward with her knowledge of her dad and Baba?

These loose ends don't bother me. I like them. It's just stuff I'm pondering.

I would love another book about Blue. She's an interesting character. It's interesting how little dialogue she actually participates in. That was okay too. She was wordy enough. We get to know her character through her narration and the cold words of the others. (Damn Milton for saying she was like tuna! Damn him!)

Man...the characters. Wow, I just loved how fleshed out they all were. Her dad was so awesome. I loved his character. He's fascinating. I love the relationship between Blue and her dad. I love how at the end it gets more intimate even if it means that she's throwing books at him - but it was the first real interaction she has with him that she initiated. Most of the time I felt like she was following her dad around, doing things he suggested but that she never actually initiated anything with her dad. Then at the end as things start to unfold she has that moment where she finally lets out any and all pain she's had over her dad. I don't think it was just because of Hannah, but really her entire life of being lied to, of being strung along.

For all the love her father had for her...it's disappointing he had to leave her. His ego, pride, narcisism stole him away from her. She was leaving him anyway to go to school, but even then parents and children can still keep in touch. Now she'll never see him again unless he wants her to.

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