SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS PDF
Download Special Topics in Calamity Physics Ebook PDF Free Download. Marisha Pesslâ€™s dazzling debut sparked raves from critics and heralded the. Special Topics in Calamity Physics. View PDF. book | Fiction | US & Canada → Viking. UK & Comm → Viking. "It began with simple sleeplessness. Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics. (), Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud and. Incredibly Close (), and Adam Levin's new.
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SPECIAL TOPICS IN CALAMITY PHYSICS a novel The resulting explosion of energy, light, heartbreak, and wonder as Blue van Meer enters a small, elite. Praise. Praise for Special Topics in Calamity Physics “A whirling, glittering, multifaceted marvel, delivered in an irrepressibly smart and flamboyant new voice. Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Kindle edition by Marisha Pessl. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features.
Look Inside Reading Guide. Reading Guide. Apr 24, Pages Buy. Aug 03, Pages Buy. May 10, Minutes Buy. Apr 24, Pages.
Essay by Ted Gioia The postmodern novel is a slippery thing. It easily collapses into self-parody or even an attack on its own sustaining principles. After all, when everything is deconstructed, why should the deconstructor be exempted?
These books are multilayered, but not in the conventional way of inviting interpretation of their symbolic meanings, rather in their complex attitude toward meaning in general.
They are the literary equivalents of the snake swallowing its own tail.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - PDF Free Download
Fat chance. Pessl herself won't let you miss these elements. She hits you over the head with the faux professorial trappings of her book on every page. The individual chapters are labeled as though they were required texts on a syllabus. The concluding section of the novel is in the form of final exam for a college class in three sections: Yet these trappings are misleading in the highest degree. They convey an image of jaunty playfulness and Nabokovian-Joycean experimentation.
Yet Special Topics in Calamity Physics is one of the most tightly plotted, carefully constructed narratives that I have read in recent years. For every ounce of Pynchon, there is a pound of Agatha Christie—but with a self-conscious mastery of current trends in no, not calamity physics narrative structure far beyond anything the grand dame of mysteries would have ever have broached.
The end result is a book that is flashy and fun, but also as well thought out as an elaborate game of chess. The opening gambit seems straightforward enough. Blue van Meer is a precocious teenage girl, trying to adapt to cliques and cattiness in a new school.
Her mother was killed in a car accident when Blue was five, and her father, Gareth van Meer, is an academic frequently on the move, leading to an unstable if stimulating life for his daughter. The set-up is familiar, but where Pessl takes this story will defy any predictions you make 50 or pages into the book.
For her senior year in high school, Gareth decides that he will stay in the same town for a whole year—an unprecedented move for this peripatetic scholar—so Blue can have a placid interval before heading off to the Ivy League. Alas, placidity will be the last thing she will find in her new setting. Here the brainy teen is enlisted into the most elitist, and most peculiar, clique in the whole school: What seems to be a standard coming-of-age tale morphs into a murder mystery.
Everything does fit together in the end, and this is one of those rare novels that really delivers a knock-out punch at its conclusion.
Above all, a work this flashy inevitably elicits snide remarks from critics who prefer the small, intimate narratives that are the stock-in-trade of the publishing industry and writing schools these days.
I can understand all of these reservations. Is this feature helpful? Thank you for your feedback. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Customer images. See all customer images. Read reviews that mention special topics van meer calamity physics topics in calamity high school blue van marisha pessl hannah schneider secret history senior year coming of age literary references final exam night film murder mystery gareth van father gareth donna tartt year of high cabals conspiracies.
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Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I read another review where the person had trouble choosing between three and four stars, and I can relate. But then, I received an eBook credit and therefore didn't pay for the book. And, compared to several novels I've purchased based on reviews, this book is a 4-star. I read Marisha Pessl's other novel, Night Film, and really liked it. Unlike Calamity, Night Film has a mostly linear plot, captured in a fairly concise manner dragging some in one chapter.
My only real problems with Special Topics: I could have done with half the similes, along with far less of the real or fictive references. This isn't Infinite Jest, after all, and a lot of the parenthetical references don't add much real depth to the characters or situations. But then again, the main character is 16 or 17, and the book is, in many ways, a coming of age story with dark elements.
I did like the book, and it kept me entertained. Readers who get impatient with overly verbose style will be frustrated, I think, but the story is ultimately interesting and does have continuity interspersed throughout even if I did keep wondering how Raymond Chandler would have written it.
The shining star of this book is the author's ability to craft surprisingly unique similes and metaphors to describe things in a way that eschews the more traditional, mundane methods of describing things like a treeline or rain.
I found myself using my Kindle's highlight function more frequently than I ever have so that I could remember my most favorite examples.
The book's biggest flaw is its verbosity. The narrator references books, periodicals, quotes, and so forth with such great frequency and often at such great lengths that the reader is shoved headlong out of the narrative flow.
At least half of these asides are unnecessary and create mental disruptions far more than they enhance the reader's experience. I love how imaginative and fascinating the author is, but these abrupt asides prevented me from getting - and staying - fully immersed in a story that was frankly already a slow, meandering tale to start with.
And that leads me to my other primary complaint: The book opens by telling us quickly what the climax of the novel includes someone's death.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics Summary & Study Guide
Perhaps the pacing was sluggish because of the fabricated references I mentioned above. Perhaps the story itself dragged where it could have at least walked or jogged. That said, the book's climax and denouement more than make up for a lot of the above.
I've never before read a novel with so many unexpected twists and turns in such rapid fire. Wallop after wallop after wallop before the final nuclear bomb of a twist on which the book ends. What's wonderful about this whiplash ending is how many clues and hints and winks the author peppered throughout the entire novel that readers were oblivious to until the big reveals. My final gripe is the ending's muted mood.
Buy for others
Despite the earth-shattering twists, our beloved narrator wraps up her story in a way that reminds me of a goose down feather floating slowly in the wind. I wish I could go into detail here without spoiling, but I can't. Ultimately, for the profound and impactful twists, it feels as though the author or the narrator ran out of steam and wasn't sure how to resolve the emotions hanging in the air.
Let it be a testament to the wonderful story and the beautiful writing that despite those two major gripes, I am still confident in my 4-star rating.
Hardcover Verified Purchase. Justifying a four or five star review easily. The book just rambles, and so is easy to put down, and forget for months on end, and while easy to get lost in again as soon as you pick it back up, the attention begins to falter once again after a succession of chapters.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
So just be forewarned, if you love the stuff that routinely shows up on Pulitzer prize winning lists, you might well enjoy this and find the 4 or 5 star ratings do it better justice. Paperback Verified Purchase. I have read many books twice, some three, four, five times.
Yet never in my half-century of reading have I turned immediately from the last page to begin a book again. With highlighter in hand. Pessl deserves praise and lots and lots of book sales for this stunning debut novel.
Even though multiple clues shone like stars through the entire book, I did not guess the ending a terrible habit of mine, which I dislike but usually do.
In retrospect, I underestimated Ms Pessl's cleverness in weaving a yarn. The voice of her heroine is as brilliant and confused as only a teenager can be - it rings with truth, hope, and self-loathing. I normally avoid novels with teenagers as protagonists, but I encourage you to give this one a try. I can't remember when I've enjoyed a book more twice! See all reviews. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
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