Run-On Reading

After reading such a wonderful, delight of a book as Eat Pray Love was, it’s hard to read anything else. Should I read something funny? trashy? intellectual? British? I can’t decide. I received a copy of Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics for Christmas so I thought I’d give that a go.


About a year ago I heard Kurt Andersen of Studio 360 review Special Topics and interview Ms. Pessl. I remember at the time thinking that this book sounded great and I wanted it, so I added it to my Amazon wish list. All these months later, and after attempting to read it for the last week or so, I can’t think of why in the world I thought that.

First off, and a bit unfairly, the copy I got is hardcover. Now unless it’s Harry Potter, I never buy hardcovers. They’re too big and too expensive, and too darn heavy to read in bed. After that, my biggest problem with the book is the run-on sentences. I can’t believe how many paragraphs in one book can be constructed with one sentence. One page of this book had three sentences on it. I think the first chapter probably had less than two dozen. It drives me crazy. At this point I don’t care a bit for the quirky father and daughter main characters in the book because I’m playing the let’s-find’a’paragraph-made-of-more-than-two-sentences game just to stay awake. And then there’s The Capitalization. Everything has A Name and therefore A Capitalization. It’s giving me A Headache.

I wanted to copy one paragraph sentence sentagraph (can I make up my own words?) to give an example of the run-on in all its glory, but I left the book at home. Let me try to give my own example based on what I’ve read. I’ll do it by telling you about the book’s website:

Although I have, so far, found this book to be dreadfully boring – though a good sleep-inducer – I am enjoying the books website for it’s fun, quirky, link-filled construction, making the site feel not unlike a video game; and though the pages do contain a bit of text, there are no hyphens, colons, (or parenthetical statements), rendering the delightful site a thousand times more interesting and less visually, mentally, and verbally exhausting as The Book upon which it is based.

Yes, I am not exaggerating. And yes, the website is fun. And yes, I put it back on the bookshelf. I’m now reading About A Boy (both funny AND British).


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