Special Topics in Calamity Physics

Paperback, 514 pages

Published Jan. 5, 2006 by Viking Australia.

OCLC Number:

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4 stars (4 reviews)

9 editions

Special Topics in Calamity Physics

3 stars

A mess, mostly. A smart 16-year-old spends her senior year at a private school. She (Blue van Meer) attracts the attention of the film studies teacher (Hannah Schneider), who invites her into a clique of five snobbish seniors (the Bluebloods). They strip van Meer out of her intellectual and social cocoon (they give van Meer her first cocktails, and after she throws up, they nickname her "Wretch" and "Hurl"). It's a coming-of-age story, except it's less coming into the new and more leaving the old behind. As the Bluebloods run van Meer through the wringer, Schneider becomes more erratic and the story starts becoming a horror-thriller. Schneider leads the Bluebloods on a over-night camping trip. Schneider takes van Meer deep into the woods, where they get spooked by something. Schneider goes after the something, and van Meer goes after Schneider. She finds Schneider dead, hanging by the neck (this is …

Review of 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I enjoyed it, but there were a number of critiques. It was thought to be too long, and needed some drastic editing. The characters for the most part were cartoonish, and the plot needed some tightening up. And an ambiguous ending is fine and good for a book espousing Great Truths, but not for a murder mystery. It was admitted that the premise was clever, however, and the word painting well-done. A pretty impressive debut novel.

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5 stars
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5 stars