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Special Topics in Calamity Physics

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

The mesmerizing New York Times bestseller by the author of Night Film

Marisha Pessl’s dazzling debut sparked raves from critics and heralded the arrival of a vibrant new voice in American fiction. At the center of Special Topics in Calamity Physics is clever, deadpan Blue van Meer, who has a head full of literary, philosophical, scientific, and cinematic knowledge. But she could use some friends. Upon entering the elite St. Gallway School, she finds some—a clique of eccentrics known as the Bluebloods. One drowning and one hanging later, Blue finds herself puzzling out a byzantine murder mystery. Nabokov meets Donna Tartt (then invites the rest of the Western Canon to the party) in this novel—with visual aids drawn by the author—that has won over readers of all ages.

From Publishers Weekly

May 22, 2006 – Pessl's stunning debut is an elaborate construction modeled after the syllabus of a college literature course 36 chapters are named after everything from Othello to Paradise Lost to The Big Sleep that culminates with a final exam. It comes as no surprise, then, that teen narrator Blue Van Meer, the daughter of an itinerant academic, has an impressive vocabulary and a knack for esoteric citation that makes Salinger's Seymour Glass look like a dunce. Following the mysterious death of her butterfly-obsessed mother, Blue and her father, Gareth, embark, in another nod to Nabokov, on a tour of picturesque college towns, never staying anyplace longer than a semester. This doesn't bode well for Blue's social life, but when the Van Meers settle in Stockton, N.C., for the entirety of Blue's senior year, she befriends sort of a group of eccentric geniuses (referred to by their classmates as the Bluebloods) and their ringleader, film studies teacher Hannah Schneider. As Blue becomes enmeshed with Hannah and the Bluebloods, the novel becomes a murder mystery so intricately plotted that, after absorbing the late-chapter revelations, readers will be tempted to start again at the beginning in order to watch the tiny clues fall into place. Like its intriguing main characters, this novel is many things at once it's a campy, knowing take on the themes that made The Secret History and Prep such massive bestsellers, a wry sendup of most of the Western canon and, most importantly, a sincere and uniquely twisted look at love, coming of age and identity.

Customer Reviews

Special Topics in Calamity Physics

This is one of my favorite books! I read it for school and was amazed that I actually liked it. Blue is such a compelling character as is Gareth. The combination of intellect, suspense, and plot twists keeps you entertained. Also, the structure is original and adds to the experience. I highly recommend this book, especially if you enjoy mysteries.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics

This book is an English teacher's dream. It grabbed me by the throat, and I could not put it down!

Wow.

I do not review books. I devour them, but usually do not review. I guess I am having withdrawal from this book since I finished it last night, so to extend my time with it I will talk, briefly, about it. It has been a long time since a book has entertained and questioned me as much as this one. I miss it already. I will look forward to rereading it next summer. I envy those of you who will experience this book for the first time.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Aug 03, 2006
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: PENGUIN GROUP USA, INC.
  • Print Length: 528 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings