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Marisha Pessl Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Special Topics in Calamity Physics (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night Film (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Neverworld Wake (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darkly (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Marisha Pessl
Author Marisha Pessl was born in the year 1977, and grew up in Asheville, North Carolina.

She went to Northwestern University, majoring in Film. After that, she transferred to Baranard College, majoring in English Literature with a minor in Playwriting.

After she graduated, she was hired by PricewaterhouseCoopers as a financial consultant. While she was in her cubicle up on the fifty-second floor of the Fox News Building, when her boss thought she was working hard on PowerPoint presentations, she was looking through the company database. She was looking through the database for some cool character names for the new book she was writing. It was called “The Anatomy of Butterflies”, which she later retitled, “Memoir of an American Girl”. Two years later, after she had moved to London, she completed the book, which came to be retitled again “Special Topics in Calamity Physics”.

Her favorite part of writing is the creation. Building an entire universe from nothing and populating the planet with landmarks, characters, and hidden tunnels. At one time, she plotted her books out meticulously, however, now she begins with an evocative premise and tries to see where it takes her. Writing is a meditation, she finds, and is a brutal trek through the wilderness, and a magic trick all at the same time.

Marisha is in awe of the fearless folks that build companies and the outsiders that design worlds, as well as anybody that isn’t afraid to stand alone or break the mold. People that never quit looking for the truth to the mysteries of their own lives with humor, courage, and a healthy respect for murk.

A few artists that influence her own work include John Hughes, David Lynch, Agatha Christie, Mark Twain, Truman Capote, Shel Silverstein.

“Special Topics in Calamity Physics” was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the Year by The New York Times Book Review and won the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize. Marisha’s work is published in 25 languages and she is a New York Times bestselling author.

Marisha’s debut novel, called “Special Topics in Calamity Physics”, was released in the year 2006. Her work is from the young adult and mystery genres.

“Special Topics in Calamity Physics” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2006. Blue van Meer, after a childhood filled with moving from different academic outposts with her dad (a guy prone to meteoric affairs and aphorisms), is deadpan, and clever. She has a vast lexicon of political, literary, philosophical, and scientific knowledge. Blue is also quite the Cineaste to boot.

During her final year of high school at the elite, not to mention strange, St. Gallway School in Stockton, North Carolina. She falls in with quite the charismatic group of buddies and Hannah Schneider, their captivating teacher. When the drowning death of a friend of Hannah’s and Hannah lead to a confluence of multiple mysteries, Blue has to make sense of it all. All she has to work with is her gimlet-eyed instincts and some cultural references to either guide, or misguide, her.

Over the course of the novel, there are many laugh out loud moments, and some excellent insights into the tiny things that make everyone tick and into relationships. This book is interesting, compelling, imaginative, and unique. Marisha Pessl beautifully and brilliantly constructed and delivered this one impeccably.

“Night Film” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2013. On a damp night in October, Ashley Cordova, age twenty-four, is found dead in lower Manhattan in and abandoned warehouse. Despite her death being ruled a suicide, Scott McGrath, an investigative journalist, believes otherwise. While probing the odd circumstances that surround both her life and death, he confronts the legacy of her dad: the reclusive and legendary cult-horror film director Stanislaus Cordova. He has not been seen out in public for over thirty years.

For McGrath, one more death linked to this apparently cursed family dynasty appears to be more than just coincidence. Even though a lot has been written about Cordova’s unsettling and dark films, not much is known about the guy himself.

McGrath, driven by curiosity, revenge, and a desire for the truth, (with two strangers helping him) gets drawn deeper into Cordova’s hypnotic and spooky world. The last time he came close to exposing this director, Scott lost his career and his marriage. This time around, he may lose a whole lot more than that.

This novel is gripping, creative, and dark. It wraps you up entirely in the Cordova world and makes you second guess everybody, even yourself. All of the dialogue is smart, and mixed media sources help you feel like a part of the investigation. The novel is sure to make you laugh out loud and exclaim curses when something scary happens.

“Neverworld Wake” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2018. Back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five best buddies, both the cool kids, and the gorgeous ones. Then Jim’s shocking death, he was Beatrice’s boyfriend and their creative genius, changed it all.

Beatrice, one year after graduating, is coming back to Wincroft, which is the seaside estate where they spent a lot of nights sharing crushes, secrets, and plans to change the world. She’s returned in the hopes that she will get to the bottom of all her dark questions eating away at her about Jim’s death.

While the night plays out in a haze of unfathomable silence and stilted jokes, she senses she’ll never really know what actually went down. A mysterious guy knocks on her door. Blithely, the man announces the impossible. It seems that time has become stuck for them, snagged on some splinter that can be removed if only these former friends make the toughest of choices.

Now Beatrice has a final shot at getting some answers. And at a life. So starts the Neverworld Wake.

Marisha tells this complex tale in a beautiful and succinct way, and once again she proves herself a masterful writer that goes above and beyond in her stories.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Marisha Pessl

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