“ Author: Marisha Pessl / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 03 May 2007 / Genre: Modern & Contemporary Fiction / Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd / Title: Special Topics in Calamity Physics / ISBN 13: 9780141024325 / ISBN 10: 0141024325 „
* Prices may differ from that shown
Blue van Meer has spent most of her adolescent life on the road with her somewhat eccentric father, who moves from job to job as a university professor. Her father has raised her to expect great things from her life but with the warning that she must only write her life story if she has a Magnificent Reason to do so. This book is the story of her senior high school year, following that Magnificent Reason.
The novel is a really fun coming-of-age tale. Lots of comparisons have been made in other reviews to Donna Tartt's "Secret History", which I think is a bit superficial. The link is made as this book also centres around a newcomer to a school who falls in with the popular crowd and gets swept up in an odd tale as a result - but the actual content is strikingly original. I really enjoyed Blue's narration - I have read in reviews on different sites that some found it wearing due to the constant referencing of other books etc - I found this a really humourous take on one of her father's golden rules for writing a life story (reference meticulously) - I sort of felt those other reviewers had just missed that humour and taken it at face value.
A definite must-read for anyone who enjoys a coming-of-age tale, with a shocking climax that will have you turning pages as fast as you can manage! I look forward to Marisha Pessl's second novel as this is an impressive debut.