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Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marisha Pessl

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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

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      22.01.2010 12:15
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      A fast-paced romp through high school senior year - with an exhilarating twist

      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.

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