starlady: (anarchy)
I just finished Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I liked it, of course; I'm not sure it's possible to dislike it. But I never did find it as rip-roaringly funny as other reviewers seemed to (for laugh-out-loud hilarity, it's got to be Zadie Smith). I suppose it reminded me in some ways a little too much of Donna Tartt's The Secret History, and she definitely lifted the key line at the end of one of the final chapters from "The Usual Suspects" (yes, I like movies too), but overall it was a brilliant book indeed, extremely well-crafted and pleasingly subtle in the way it made its points. Jonathan Franzen blurbing it on the spine makes me think I should dig my copy of The Corrections out of the bins around here and get cracking. Speaking of which, I have to get a copy of Infinite Jest for cheap--David Foster Wallace killed himself last Friday, which tells you all you need to know about the punchline of the joke in question, but from the tenor of the appreciations he's received, I have revised downward heavily my skepticism about his writing.

To return to Pessl, I was surprised how much the main character didn't remind me of myself. I also think the father character never appealed to me as much as he may have to some other readers. They both had aspects that reminded me of myself. The central (though elliptically addressed) conceit of the novel, though, the interesting idea.

Did I mention that my camera, at least, is still under warranty? I sent it off to Illinois last Friday. Hooray hooray.