Plot summary[ edit ] The novel is told from the perspective of twelve-year-old T. Spivet, a mapmaking enthusiast living on a ranch near Divide, Montana , a small village near Butte, Montana , practically on the continental divide. Clair," is an entomologist preoccupied — or so it seems — with the search for a possibly nonexistent species of insect, the "tiger monk beetle". His father, an equally emotionally detached rancher with no understanding for the world of scientific investigation, solely judges — or so it seems — T.

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Feb 06, Peter added it I started this book ravenously--Science! Then I fell into it again--Adventure! Secret Societies! One character says, Grief, youth, science People are so goddamn predictable.

I should write a book about how to suckerpunch people into caring. When I finally finished it, I put it down with a fair respect for both its accomplishments and its shortcomings. Heres the hook: year-old cartographer genius Tecumseh Sparrow I started this book ravenously--Science!

These and other characters develop little. But the adventure and dramatic scenarios are enjoyable just the same: We quickly learn that TS has won a great prize from the Smithsonian for his drawing portfolio, and the novel recounts the story of his solo adventure to DC, which leads to our revelations and his surprising discoveries about his family. But how old is TS when he tells the story? The voice never quite settles down.

Is that redundant? Mountains of Montana? His charts and diagrams make us see everything in new ways, but still we wonder what makes this family fit together. This could be a novel in itself. Stolen notebooks read like historical fiction and the ennui of the plains turns into a wormhole.

Alas, however, the diagrams become less interesting and less profound. Suddenly, Plot cashes out and Suspension of Disbelief asks us for a loan the size of the national debt. The more pages I turned, the more I wanted to know what happened next, but the more the mystery-thriller undercut what little serious interest I had in TS and his family as characters. What saves The Selected Works of T. The worm hole! The subtle foreshadowing! Do I recommend it? Yes, for escape on a rainy day.

Would I teach it? Not likely, though I might excerpt some passages and pictures. Along the way, however, it does elicit some moments of emotional pull, and it entertains us and opens up new possibilities for the novel.


The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet


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