What I'm Reading: The End of Mr. Y

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Since I've been poorly recently I've had a lot of time to catch up on my reading. I ventured out of the house to my local charity shop and picked up a massive stack of books that I'm slowly working my way through.

A favourite I've finished a while ago is The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas. In all honesty, its rather difficult to describe this book. It is brilliantly bizarre and thought provoking as well as being a little bonkers at times.

Without giving too much away, the plot is based around Ariel Manto, a student writing her Phd on a strange and elusive Victorian author, Thomas Lumas.
Somehow, Ariel manages to track down a rare copy of his apparant "cursed" book, The End of Mr. Y in a second hand bookshop. It seems that everyone else who has ever read this book has died. Ariel discovers the secret to this book and sets off on a mission through time and conciousness (via a black dot and homeopathic remedies) to locate her missing professor.
The book itself is based on the idea of thought experiments and does get a little technical, especially parts about physics. It isn't really an issue though and I found it to be really interesting and made me want to read more into these.

I've read a lot of other reviews of this book and most readers are at either end of the Love/Hate spectrum. I thoroughly enjoyed The End of Mr. Y and found it to be thrilling, thought provoking (and a bit trippy). I don't come from a Science or English Lit background though which I think helped me appreciate the story for what it is rather than trying to find holes in the theories etc.
I'd wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone, its definitely something you need to read/experience for yourself to fully appreciate though as there are some very weird parts involving mouse gods and bewildering conspiracies.

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas can be purchased via Amazon in both paperback and ebook format.

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