Special Topics in Calamity Physics
by Marisha Pessl
Hardcover- $13.99

"Marisha Pessl's SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS is the most flashily erudite first novel since Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is ...

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  "Funny and smart but the men in my book club weren't too crazy about it." by garcialeon (see profile) 09/23/06

I was intially very intimidated by this book because of the literary and cultural references. I thought it might be out of my reach but after the second chapter I realized that was far from the truth. It uses intellect as a means of poking fun at super-intellectuals and illustrating how some use it to shield themselves from potentially uncomfortable situations (imagine Blue Van Meer - the main character - at age eight on her first day in a new school reading Mein Kampf while the other children play and chatter around her).

The story is actually a whodunnit that is unique, funny, smart and very touching at times. The men in my book club didn't hate it but weren't as excited about it as the women were. They describe it a "chick book." I respectfully disagree with their characterization of the book but, because the men I know have all expressed this opinion, it would be remiss of me not to mention it to anyone who is considering it as a book club pick.

 
  "Like fish in aspic." by laurenmarkezich (see profile) 11/12/06

I want to finish this book. I really do. I like the characters and the story is interesting. The writing style, however, is dense and distracting. The endless literary and cultural references are too much. I really get it that the style is meant to illustrate that the main character has lived in a bubble of sorts. She must rely on what she has read or seen in movies to interpret her own life experiences. Still, it's like aspic salad; you have to scrape off all the extraneous jelly to get to the meat. I will finish the book, but schedule lots of time if you want to try this one. It is a unique read and a good choice if you're looking for something a little different.

 
  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 01/27/19

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