Schrödinger’s Ball, by Adam Felber

One of those things that is both a benefit and disadvantage of volunteering in a library three hours a week is that during those three hours, I see a lot of books. And often take them all home with me. This is one of them — I was sent to scour the stacks for short books with which people could kick off the Fifty Book Challenge (if you live anywhere near the TPL you should totes sign up!) and while doing so I found this bright green book with the weird name just waiting for me to take it home! I was even nice and put it in the short books display in case someone else felt it calling, but at 3 p.m. it was mine.

And it is a freakin’ weird book. It doesn’t really have a straightforward plot, so I will attempt to list the various things that happen early on in the book:
• We meet the President of Montana.
• We briefly meet a kid called Johnny as he is accidentally killing himself while cleaning his gun.
• We meet Dr. Schrödinger, who is magically alive many years after his death and who is explaining his cat theory to some people.
• We meet a girl having an orgasm. (Luckily, this orgasm thing is not really important after the first few pages.)
• We meet Johnny again as he’s hanging out in a bar, and find out the point of the novel: “This was several hours after he accidentally shot and killed himself. But he hadn’t been found yet, so he wasn’t actually dead — he was both alive and dead, and neither alive nor dead, and he was drinking a beer.”

Right. So, basically, reading the whole book is like taking some sort of hallucinogenic drug laced with physics and it’s really weird but also really awesome if you like physics. And if you don’t like physics, here are some things you might like about the book:
• There is a cast of characters at the beginning.
• Every once in a while there is a list.
• One character is voiced entirely in diary entries about made-up history.
• About a third of the way in, the book gets stuck in an infinite loop and crashes.
• A few pages later the narrative is briefly written as a screenplay.
• Another character is voiced entirely in made-up Bible verse.
• Toward the end the narrative is written for a while as a Shakespearean play, with excellent iambic pentameter and puns and all.

The only thing that would make this book better would be footnotes. How were there not footnotes??

Rating: 7/10
(Countdown Challenge: 2006, A to Z Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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