Special Topics in Calamity Physics is a book I have been jonesing to read, but I have not been sold on the idea of buying it in hardcover. And now I feel like I’ve waited long enough that the trade will be out soon enough. If I wait a little while longer, I may be able to buy the movie tie-in.
The book (which you can buy from CHUD by clicking here, and be sure to tell me if it’s worth buying now or should I wait) is the debut novel of Marisha Pessl, literary hottie AND wunderkind. The book has gotten a lot of notice because of her unique and exciting voice and structure, which makes the optioning of the novel stranger – most people haven’t been as captivated by the plot, which has teenaged intellectual Blue Van Meer getting mixed up with a clique of teenaged girls and murder mystery. Apparently the joy in the novel comes from the multitudes of literary references and citations, which one imagines wouldn’t have much of a place in a movie.
The book has been optioned by Scott Rudin and Miramax, who seem aware that they’ve bought a book that not many foresaw as a movie: "Marisha has such a distinctive literary voice, but this is also a cracking good murder mystery and coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl who falls in with an alluring and seductive crowd of kids at an elite school," said Miramax production president Keri Putnam. Oh Veronica Mars, what hath thou wrought.