BOOKS EBOOKS Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl – cafe1919.org
Read 514 pages of itAt one point he either stared at the kid as if he were a Price is Right rerun barely blinking or replied in his molasses accent Nunna ya goddamn business How do you stare at a Price is Right rerun Well Pessl knows that no one knows so she tells us You barely blink Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhshouldn t she then just have wrote that he stared barely blinking instead of staring as if he were a Price is Right rerun barely blinking Yes Yes she should have And that is why this book is categorically officially absolutely bad If you re still wondering how exactly you stare at a Price is Right rerun this book will also leave you wondering how you look at a snag in tights Riveting stuff reallyAt one point Officer Donnie Lee happened to have saturated himself in Paul Revere like cologne it rode ar ahead of him alerting all of his impending arrival Which doesn t even work Paul Revere rode to warn people not of his own arrival but of the British s So I guess that s why it s Paul Revere like But isn t there a This is a story told through books themselves a whodunnit a coming of ager Some will A Virgin For The Taking (Clemenger Sisters find this book too gimmickythe use of a syllabus outline the visual aids theact that the What She Saw / Operation Reunion first word of the book is dad and the last word is me thus encapsulating the entire story arch theinal exam But this book made me The Moretti Marriage feel the way I did during a college lecture on Lolita where the professor broke down Lolita by numbers the numbers of the license plates the hotel room numbers etc They all swirled and anagrammed their way into a ridiculousormula at the end And so it turned out that not only was Nabokov churning out a literary masterpiece but a mathematical The Dark Duke formula as well Who knew Certainly not 21 year old Me It might be gimmicky but these sort of books are the literary euivalent of walking while chewing gum while playing the cello the authors are strange maestros of many artorms And so I ve concluded that Nabokov is the silent invisible uncle of Special Topics Pessl s patron saint and not just because of the butterflies and the old professorprecocious girl pairing What have I learned I ve learned that apparently it s possible A Measure Of Love (Kincaid Trilogy for a large number ofawning reviewers to confuse pretentious with intelligent I very likely got what I deserved when I chose to ignore a clear warning namely the so called Glossary of Terms inside the dustjacket which introduced our 16 year old heroine Blue van Meer as a brainy deadpan preternaturally erudite girl whohas a head crammed Starting Over on Blackberry Lane (Life in Icicle Falls full of literary scientific and philosophical knowledge Admittedly I was taken in by the somewhat amusing and engagingirst page but after thatimagine spending 500 pages with a sheltered socially inept overly verbose adolescent know it all YuckThe kindest thing I can say about this book is that it s desperately trying to be a long winded young adult version of The Secret History with a nasty case of Purple Prose But at last at the very end of the twisting gravel road was the house an awkward wooden The Soul Of A Thief faced coy mistress clinging to half a hill with bulky additions stuck to her sides like giantaux pasBut wait there s There was no sound in the claustrophobic hallway except Zach s breathing which heaved like the interior of a conch shell I could Claiming His Desert Princess (Hot Arabian Nights feel his eyes dripping down me coursing through theolds of Jefferson s crispy black dress that resembled an upside down shitake mushroom if you suinted at it The silvery black Secret Baby, Surprise Parents fabricelt Mystify (Mystyx, flimsy as if it could stiffly peel away like tinfoil around coldried chicken nuff said. Ing and one hanging later Blue inds 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 age.
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Ck The literary carnage is so grotesue and horrifying you can t help but look read And I promise you just take my word or it that metaphor is better than most that Pessl uses in this debut novel of hersDespite what Bayard says it s amazing what happens when you stop talking about a text and actually interact with it I ll tell you what happens disappointment Utter utter disappointmentFor all intents and purposes the book doesn t even start until the second half when a certain major character is Wild Streak found dead by the narratorprotagonist As readers we learn about the death with theirst line of Chapter 1 Before I tell you about Hannah Schneider s death I ll tell you about my mother s So essentially the P.I. Daddys Personal Mission (The Coltons of Montana, first half of the book amounts to literary blue balls in which Pessl torments us with bad writing and we writhe in agony prayingor releaseIt is a common Say Youll Stay And Marry Me formula to take the wit and wisdom of an adult and transplant it into an adolescentrom Catcher in the Rye to Juno Pessl brings this trite techniue to a new low Unlike the social relevance and humor of Diablo Cody or the sparse unfathomable brilliance of Salinger Pessl just writes with broad strokes and clunky rhetorical devices Her writing is hyperbolic and extreme She seems to pride herself on regurgitating endless references and allusions but I would prefer that instead of describing someone as having the air of a Chateau Marmont bungalow about her she just describe the damn person Do some real work MarishaAnd oh how Marisha Pessl loves similes and metaphors She and Augusten Burroughs should get together and have some kind of simiphor off Sample Pessl snippet Charles and his Rafaellos Mistress friends lookedorward to the hours at her house much in the way New York City s celery thin heiresses and beetroot B picture lotharios looked The Boleyn King (The Boleyn Trilogy, forward to noserubbing at the Stork Club certain sweaty Saturday nights in 1943 see Forget About El Morocco The Xanadu of the New York Elite the Stork Club 1929 1965 Riser 1981I have two problems with this kind of writing1 I don t know the way New York City s celery thin heiresses and beetroot B picture lotharios lookedorward to noserubbing at the Stork Club certain sweaty Saturday nights in 1943 So this metaphor is completely useless to me Why can t Charles and his Rascal friends just lookorward to the hours at her house2 The damn parenthetical references They re throughout the entire book It s probably supposed to help clear up my Another Day of Life first problem with this passage but it only serves to remove merom the story in two really stupid ways 1 I stop reading and go look it up or 2 Since I m reading a book about a high school senior who can t possibly know all of the books and references in parentheses I can only assume this is Marisha Pessl being an annoying smartass with this kind of crappy Authorial IntrusionThere s also Visual Aids throughout the book Drawings by the author Really annoying Really stupid Absolutely unnecessaryAt one point there is a blubbery Mercedes If anyone can send me a picture of a blubbery Mercedes Authwhore will award you with a What Would You Like? free book that is better than Special Topics in Calamity PhysicsAt one point people say their names with paint by numbers politeness This is a problem because paint by numbers are not polite They can be tacky painstaking time consumingun childish whimsical or any number of other things but I don t think that there is anything polite about paint by numbers and certainly nothing polite about a writer using such poorly chosen imagery with reckless abandon and intending people. Clever deadpan Blue van Meer who has a head Narcissus in Chains (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, full of literary philosophical scientific and cinematic knowledge But she could use someriends Upon entering the elite St Gallway School she inds some a cliue of eccentrics known as the Bluebloods One drown.
Reviews of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and the Bottle of A a Juice I Bought or Lunch Cleverly Masked as SAT Test uestionsChoicesa Special Topics in Calamity Physicsb The bottle of a a juice I bought Friend Foe for lunchc Both a and bd Neither a nor buestions1 I had heard good things about it2 I bought it on a whim3 Ifeeling extremely charitable I might call it The Longevity Diet frothy 4 It seemed sort of good in the beginning but by the end I was like Blaahahhgajh End end end 5 Contains metaphors that go down like a junebug having lion sex in a bourbon mood6 Blue things totally dissed7 Nabokov rolling in his grave8 Authoritative blurb raises uestions about agenda of blurber9 Handy pronunciation keyor difficult to pronounce words like a a or pessl 10 I m confused about what editors like do 11 Maybe I don t need this many antioxidants andor self indulgence 12 Post BBC Office is anyone allowed to be named Gareth Really Really Pencils downAnswers1 c2 c3 c4 c5 c A Cadillac sized smile drove away with his Grassroots Innovation face as if I d just agreed to pay him in cayash as Dad would sayor a Sedona Beige Metallic Pontiac Grand Prix ully loaded two grand over sticker price driving it off the lot right then and there Stop the radicals Join the antioxidant revolution 6 c bloods plotline disappear halfway through berries have 61 ewer ORAC units than a a 7 d This is against policy at Cimiti re de Clarens8 c Jonathan Franzen A masterpiece of sorts Brunswick Laboratories MA ORAC Unit analysis presented as bar chart9 b say ah sci ee 10 a11 c12 a No unless a boy is born that can swim Architecture and Utopia faster than a shark Donna Tartt wrote a splendid book called The Secret History which both celebrated and skewered hyper intellectualism as well as explored the process of interacting with a text and the pleasures of narrative devices This bookollows roughly the same storyline and incidentally the storyline of Daniel Handler s The Basic Eight down to the study uestions at the end except there s absolutely no reason Perfect Cities for the precious chapter titles and the annotated references they have no bearing on the story itself and the general effect is talking with someone who s read a lot of books and hasn t understood a damn one of themThe irritating dialogue is reminiscent of chick lit than of anything spoken in real life or in the realm of drama and the narrator is utterly divorcedrom the grand intellectual she is supposed to be again see The Secret History Prometheus Wired for an excellent depiction of young scholars No one has any sort of believable emotional reaction to anything because no one has any discernable personality traits Charles Camilla and Frances wander overrom Tartt s novel to halfheartedly play roles as Charles Leulah really and Nigel and then get bored and leave after the story inexplicably becomes a murder mystery The only possible killer is so obviously telegraphed rom early on that all of Blue s supermarket paperback mystery sleuthing is enragingly tiresome Also there s some sort of limp romantic subplot that I guess we re supposed to care aboutSo where The Secret History is a brilliant story of the delights and dangers of text and narrative and a wrenching depiction of a classical sort of madnesss Special Topics in Calamity Physics is the same book shat out and rosted with irritatingly perky metaphors and the worst dialogue I ve seen outside of a Harleuin pulper If you want to read this book and aren t a Special Topics in Calamity Physics fan of Donna Tartt just read The Basic Eight which is shorter and entertaining I really wanted to like this bookBut it s a train wre. The mesmerizing New York Times bestseller by the author of Night FilmMarisha Pessl’s dazzling debut sparked ravesrom critics and heralded the arrival of a vibrant new voice in American iction At the center of Special Topics in Calamity Physics is.