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The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet: A Novel

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted July 8, 2012

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    A brilliant journey that tips its hat to the best of Stephen King and the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis....

    From the conversations with himself to the scientific moments he has with others, T. S. Spivet takes us with him on his cross-country journey to better understand the importance of legacy, tradition, and sacrifice. A great read, especially if you are a fan of Pynchon, King, Emerson, and C.S. Lewis!

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  • Posted September 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Unusual and Original

    T.S.Spivet is a young boy living on a ranch with his family.The entire family are self-involved and quirky.The death of the oldest son has caused them to become even more odd.The sidenotes and drawings supplied by T.S. give the reader a glimpse into the mind of a young genius on a quest to find out who he is and what he is made of.
    This would be a good book for a weekend of leisure. You will find yourself rooting T.S. on in his journey and sharing his triumphs and his fears.

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  • Posted September 14, 2009

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    The Marvel is in the Margins

    It's not often that I come across a book with its own sense of style. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is one such book. I picked it up after receiving the recommendation from a dear friend and could hardly put it down. From the moment you see the beautiful jacket cover to the turn of the first page you are drawn into the world of a little fellow named Tecumseh Sparrow, T.S. for short. The core of the story details his adventurous travels to the Smithsonian to accept an esteemed award.
    As with most good stories there are many underlying mysteries and questions that will grab the reader's attention: Tecumseh's disjointed relationship with his father. The death of his brother. His relationship with his mother to whom he refers to as Dr. Claire. And the oddly named but completely endearing family dog, Verywell. They all play a part in defining who T.S. is as a young boy and more importantly who he becomes at the end of the story.
    The real T.S. is a cartographer who enjoys mapping the world around him. He takes meticulous notes and draws numerous diagrams and charts detailing his findings of things common and rare. It is this one single character trait that Larsen plays on brilliantly in his writing. Because the real story of T.S. Spivet doesn't sit within the paragraphs of the 300-plus page novel. It lies in the margins. Here, we read excerpts (sometimes with illustrations) from T.S.'s journals and notebooks. The writings are acute and witty - almost as if T.S. wrote them himself. It's a story within a story where Larsen gives the reader complete permission to enter the world of his key character.
    Along the journey, you'll find T.S. at his most vulnerable and most clever and while you'll want to thank Larsen for giving him such depth you'll be relieved to know that in the end he is still just a boy at heart.

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

    Great Illustrations

    If not for the illustrations and great cover, I probably wouldn't have taken this book home. Aside from T.S. Spivet, the main character, I didn't feel as if anyone else was really fleshed out enough. The illustrations tipped this from a 3 to a 4. I started out gung ho with reading this book and fizzled towards the end as I lost interest. The book had some great moments and some that were not so great.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The cover alone was the initial draw to this very interesting tale.

    This is a fable but draws on what can and occasionally happens to very gifted children. The Spivet family is fascinating. Mr Larsen engages the reader with a set of strange but interesting parents, a fairly normal teenage daughter, a son that has perished under unusual circumstances and the main character of T.S. Spivet. I think that his mapping proclivity helps to keep his world "normal" in the sense that he can control his surroundings. The adventurous trip to Washington DC is pretty unbelieveable but it is an adventure. Really enjoyed the history of his family as told by T.S. The parody of the workings of a large institution (Smithsonian) speaks to many other of these types of places; seeking to advance publicity and donation procurement. I did not predict the ending and will not give anything away. But it was fitting.
    The side bar illustrations were not a distraction for me and enjoyed them greatly. It was a very fast read for me and had a difficult putting this book down. It was fitting that I just finished "Annals of the Former World" by John McPhee and it shows that Mr Larsen did some serious research on geology.
    I really enjoyed this book and recommend it highly to open minded readers.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    Unusual format!

    I really enjoyed this book with all it's sidebars, sketches and references. It was kind of like "reading" a Joseph Cornell box. I liked all the geological facts/mapping, the amusingly dysfunctional family and the story itself seemed very "tactile" in a slick, computerized world. I didn't even realize there wasn't any sex and hardly any "cussin" till I put it down at the end. The story was probably a bit far-fetched in some ways with the mode of transport used to cross the country but still a good read!

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    Posted June 16, 2009

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    Posted August 31, 2010

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    Posted June 11, 2009

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    Posted July 27, 2009

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    Posted October 18, 2009

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