Reader reviews and comments on Special Topics in Calamity Physics, plus links to write your own review.

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Special Topics in Calamity Physics

by Marisha Pessl

Special Topics in Calamity Physics
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2006, 528 pages
    Apr 2007, 528 pages

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There are currently 7 reader reviews for Special Topics in Calamity Physics
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Al Jr (01/16/11)

Tries too hard to impress...
While reading this novel, I consistently received and maintained the idea that Pessl wrote this novel with the sole intention of causing critics to gush. The endless "citations" (most of which are fraudulent), and the titling of the chapters which bear little relevance to the actual story seem to me to be an attempt at glorification; nothing more. I have heard endless praise for the novel's climactic ending, but this, too, is only done for reasons that I have explained. The ending is haphazardly thrown into the novel with such a shock that I almost hit myself in the head with the over-stuffed novel for having taken time out out of my life to read the first 400 pages. In my opinion, the ending could have been done so much better and in a better fashion, rather than slapping it on at the end like one would a point that couldn't be made due to time restraints. The prose of Pessl is good at best, with her characters slightly dynamic. But had this book been less superfluous and pretentious (length doesn't irk me in books), with a smoother plot, I would have given it a 4/6.
angie (08/08/09)

Well, actually the only thing in the book that is a little compensating is its ending.It ends with a lingering feeling of mystery and secrets unrevealed! Generally it was a boring book ,with too many footnotes and references, as if the writer was trying to impress the reader with all the bibliography she used to end up with this novel !
Power Reviewer Lynn (05/31/08)

Awful book with great ending
I would have rated this book lower except the ending was amazing and made up for a lot you have to go through with the writing. The previous reviewer who said it was very pretentious writing was correct. I would only read this author again if she became less wordy and quit with the boring and constant references and footnotes.
Scythe (12/30/07)

Tour de Force
Just finished this book and so enjoyed it. Great characters, a compelling plot, and for the most part, beautifully written. I found myself quickly drawn in to Blue's life and her struggles to fit in and to become her own person. I did develop an inkling near the end of the book about what was to come - I was on the right track but not completely accurate, which was very satisfying as I hate to be able to predict what will happen. A real pleasure - I recommend this wholeheartedly!
K Yuhas (05/16/07)

Not everything I'd hoped for
This book got wonderful reviews and those got me to persevere through more than half of this annoying book, but at some point I had to admit that I just didn't see what the reviewers saw in it.

The story is dull and the writing is pretentious.
Steven Augustine (05/05/07)

Don't Get Me Started
What would be scarier, the rancidly insincere hype of intelligent professionals who have a product to move regardless of its merits (or astonishing lack thereof), or a heaving, mouth-breathing mass of people so faux-literate, or dimwitted, that junk of this nature honestly strikes them as wonderful? Hard to say.
sandy (09/28/06)

When is her next booK?
Wow I have not been so excited by a book in a long time. I rarely read a book twice, but this one I would. Thank you for a great gift of tale!
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