Kira's Reviews > Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
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's review
Aug 14, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in November, 2007

I kind of hated this book before I liked it. It's a first novel which means the writer is really trying to flex her literary muscles, to the point of being well and truly precocious. The idea of setting up the book like a syllabus for a class is a novel idea, but the constant references to all manner of literature in brackets after every second sentence is unecessary and irritating.

The first half of the book feels bogged down with setting up the story in all its intricate detail, whereas the second half moves much quicker and becomes quite absorbing. Nonetheless, I think that the writer who is obviously very well read uses the main characters of Blue and her father as devices, through their endless banter about life philosophy, history and great literature, to show off the fact that she herself has read lots and lots of books about stuff.

Oh, and it's a DIRECT rip off of The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Shame.

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