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Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Pessl, Marisha (Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
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A darkly funny coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood moving from one academic outpost to another with her father (a man prone to aphorisms and meteoric affairs), Blue is clever, deadpan, and possessed of a vast lexicon of literary, political, philosophical, and scientific knowledge, and is quite the cinéaste to boot. In her final year of high school at the élite (and unusual) St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, Blue falls in with a charismatic group of friends and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. But when the drowning of one of Hannah's friends and the shocking death of Hannah herself lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide, or misguide, her.
Authors: Pessl, Marisha
Title: Special topics in calamity physics
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2006
Characteristics: 514 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Marisha Pessl
Contents: Othello / William Shakespeare
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man / James Joyce
Wuthering Heights / Emily Brontë
The House of the Seven Gables / Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Woman in White / Wilkie Collins
Brave New World / Aldous Huxley
Les Liaisons Dangereuses / Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Madame Bovary / Gustave Flaubert
Pygmalion / George Bernard Shaw
The Mysterious Affair at Styles / Agatha Christie
Moby Dick / Herman Melville
A Moveable Feast / Ernest Hemingway
Women in Love / D.H. Lawrence
"The Housebreaker of Shady Hill" / John Cheever
Sweet Bird of Youth / Tennessee Williams
Laughter in the Dark / Vladimir Nabokov
The Sleeping Beauty and other fairy tales / Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
A Room with a View / E.M. Forster
Howl and other poems / Allen Ginsberg
The Taming of the Shrew / William Shakespeare
Deliverance / James Dickey
Heart of Darkness / Joseph Conrad
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest / Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of solitude / Gabriel García Márquez
Bleak House / Charles Dickens
The Big Sleep / Raymond Chandler
Justine / Marquis de Sade
Quer Pasticciaccio Brutto de via Merulana / Carlo Emilio Gadda
Things Fall Apart / Chinua Achebe
The Nocturnal Conspiracy / Smoke Wyannoch Harvey
Che Guevara Talks to Young People / Ernesto Guevara de la Serna
"Good Country People" / Flannery O'Connor
The Trial / Franz Kafka
Paradise Lost / John Milton
The Secret Garden / Frances Hodgson Burnett
Metamorphoses / Ovid
Summary: A darkly funny coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer. After a childhood moving from one academic outpost to another with her father (a man prone to aphorisms and meteoric affairs), Blue is clever, deadpan, and possessed of a vast lexicon of literary, political, philosophical, and scientific knowledge, and is quite the cinéaste to boot. In her final year of high school at the élite (and unusual) St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina, Blue falls in with a charismatic group of friends and their captivating teacher, Hannah Schneider. But when the drowning of one of Hannah's friends and the shocking death of Hannah herself lead to a confluence of mysteries, Blue is left to make sense of it all with only her gimlet-eyed instincts and cultural references to guide, or misguide, her.
ISBN: 067003777X
9780670037773
9780143112129
0143112120
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY PESSL 2006
Subject Headings: Young women Fiction
Genre/Form: Mystery fiction
Topical Term: Young women
LCCN: 2005058474
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From Library Staff

A darkly funny coming-of-age novel and a richly plotted suspense tale told through the distinctive voice of its heroine, Blue van Meer.

After a childhood moving from one academic outpost to another with her father (a man prone to aphorisms and meteoric affairs), Blue van Meer is clever, deadpan, and possessed of a vast lexicon of literary, political, philosophical, and scientific knowledge, and is quite the cinéaste to boot. In h... Read More »


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Mar 30, 2014
  • rlinda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I have read this book twice and plan to read it again and again. The metaphors, references to other texts, images are so beautiful and meaningful and surprising. The story is strange, with unexpected turns, but so fun.

heard about author in EX - other book Night Film

Jul 19, 2012
  • cheriemoses rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

This author has the potential to write a really funny and compelling story. However, the style she adopted, with constant annotations, reads like a stutter. It is rare to read a passage without a reference to another text and while this may work well for an English essay, it is tedious and disruptive in the novel. I am hoping her writing becomes more trim and that her wit can come through rather than her obvious compulsion to appear clever.

Jul 09, 2012
  • atsfromcleve rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great fun! The kind of book you want to start over after you finish it so you can pick up all the nuance you missed. I recommend reading it. Twice.

Dec 11, 2010
  • shapjul rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

It does take a little bit to get into this book, but then I was totally hooked. It's about a young woman who is in the process of discovering that her life is not as she has thought it to be. It unfolds slowly and you go right along with her. I found it quite compelling, although it is over-the-top in places.

Sep 21, 2010
  • doodletoo rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Could not get through this. Too fluffy and gimmicky.

Sep 16, 2010
  • pshammi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Incredibly unique book, that although some may find slow to start, is surely worth your time and investment for a brilliant final act.

Jan 10, 2007
  • pscho rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Remarkable and unusual, hilarious and tragic. John Irving meets Dave Eggers and the result is arguably the best first novel of 2006. The story starts at the end and then jumps to the beginning and by the time it is done almost nothing you thought was true actually was true. The writing style is over the top and might put off a few readers but what a ride it is.

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Jul 09, 2012
  • atsfromcleve rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

atsfromcleve thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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app06 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/16 16:30