Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert island books, 25 Jan 2010
This review is from: Special Topics in Calamity Physics (Paperback)
Review sections of amazon.co.uk are frequently rich in hyperbole-both overly positive and overly negative. In reviewing Special topics, it would be easy to enter a route of such lavish sentiments. I loved this book but I can easily see how other readers would find the intellectual snobbery of Blue Van Meer grating, the plot convoluted, book too long and her references pointless. But this is a great novel, the kind of one you need to reread immediately after you finish it because it makes even more sense second and even third time round. The main question posed by the novel is whether reading is good for you or whether it is a poor substitute for experience.

The main protagonist in the novel is Blue Van Meer, an isolated yet supremely intelligent teenager who tours America with her father, an itinerant professor of politics. In the novel she meets and mixes with a teacher and a curious band of students who associate with the teacher. For the first time in her life, Blue is almost a typical teenager complete with dysfunctional friends and her own neurotic preoccupations but the death of the teacher through suicide creates its own turmoil and makes her question her world.

If ever there was a novel that could be brought to a desert island then this is it because it will occupy your mind whilst reading it and take a long, long time to digest.
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