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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Far more subtle and complex than the cover would imply
I only bought this book because I'd stumbled across the website of the author (from the site of someone I know) and you might want to go there to see if you like her writing style or not (the Amazon review rules stop me putting the url in - for some reason - but it contains the words 'bookgirl' and 'org'). It was my enjoyment of the site that led me to the book. I don't...
Published on 19 Jun. 2002 by Matthew McIntyre

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story line, boring book
Several twenty-somethings apply for a job they know nothing about. After setting off for the interview they awaken on an island with no knowledge of how they got there or why. Sounds interesting eh? It's a shame that the blurb is the best part of this book; The middle consisted of irrelevant and unlikely babbling from characters mostly referring to inane shows such as...
Published on 19 Feb. 2013 by francesdevine


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story line, boring book, 19 Feb. 2013
Several twenty-somethings apply for a job they know nothing about. After setting off for the interview they awaken on an island with no knowledge of how they got there or why. Sounds interesting eh? It's a shame that the blurb is the best part of this book; The middle consisted of irrelevant and unlikely babbling from characters mostly referring to inane shows such as Neighbours and Dawson's Creek and the answerless ending might have well been something along the lines of 'Well that was a waste of time'.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious waffle with no ending, 31 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Bright Young Things (Paperback)
It starts out ok with an interesting idea but is contrived, hard work and after plodding through it I was really annoyed about the stupid non ending, I would have rather lost 20p than the time it took to read this book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars confusing & disappointing end, 29 Nov. 2012
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Bought this book as it was not expensive, At first seemed ok as it was detailing the characters, then once on the island it got more and more confusing. Have to admit I skimmed through most of it and it did seem to go on a bit in places. As for the end, it seemed to finish just as it was getting interesting.... If anyone can explain the ending to me and the point of it please do so!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea but a dull and frustrating read, 17 July 2013
By 
mariopops "Andy Rogers" (SOLIHULL, WEST MIDLANDS United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bright Young Things (Paperback)
I've just ploughed through this book having been given it by somebody who "thought I might enjoy it"... and sure enough, as a concept (6 bright young things trapped on a remote island) it sounded interesting . It starts well enough, characters are given good back-stories, the plot is set up and then the arrival on the island makes for a couple of good chapters.. Sadly after that it meanders off into self-indulgent drivel and a particularly boring game of "truth or dare" that goes on for page ..after page ...after page , until you could scream with inanity of it all. By the time something interesting finally does happen (I wont say what in case you're daft enough to read this book) you really couldn't care less. After 240 pages of this nonsense it finishes and you have no more idea of what it's meant to be about than you did 240 tedious pages ago. At one stage in the book the characters talk about burning books to light the fire. I suggest they start with this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit pointless, 19 Jan. 2013
By 
Panda "pandaspud" (South West England) - See all my reviews
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Bright Young Things is well written, but it is a bit slow, not much happens and I was very disappointed by the ending. All in, I thought it was pretty pointless.
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39 of 46 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I thought it was an allegory. . . ., 21 July 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Bright Young Things (Paperback)
Like several other readers, I had bought all of Scarlett Thomas's other books & expected a well plotted, well written thriller. The first chapter concentrates on brief biographies & character details of six highly educated top graduates from British universities.They all answer an advertisement for "Bright Young Things wanted for Big Project". Short-listed, they attend an interview & remember nothing more until they wake up on an island - kidnapped. It was an intriguing start to a plot especially when the house is well-stocked & equipped with a generator. There is a library & many comfortable bedrooms. The characters apart from their first class degrees, have an extensive knowledge - & extraordinary interest in - television series, serials, soaps, cartoons & computer games. When one girl suggested using books from the library to light fires with, I realised the book was a clever allegory. The denoument to their plight came & went without much fuss, but the characters didn't explore the island, Instead they explored their mutual obsession with films they have seen, the videos, American TV series, American TV celebrities, chat-show hosts - & all the Australian soap operas. In between, they played truth or dare with each other - paired off - talked about sex. The trivial chat is interminable. Nobody went near the library - they talk in cliches. Then I read an article by Linton Weeks in the Washington Post (13.6.2001), about aliteracy - people who can read but don't. This is the deeper despair behind Ms Thomas's novel I thought, that six high-flyers are not only emotional retards from being educated by television, it has made them identical like robots. Their preparation for life has been through television, their values & judgements have been predigested for them by the media. For the agencies who produce advertisments aimed directly at their needs - the cool life-style - they are ripe for exploitation. Regardless of the best education the system can provide, they've been wired to spend & feel entitled... I think this is a very disturbing book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking, frustrating read ..., 2 Jan. 2015
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The story is about six twenty-something's that are either bored, burned-out or confused about what they should do with their lives now that they are officially adults. A classified ad in the employment section claiming to be looking for 'Bright Young Things' catches each of their eyes and they all apply, although as that is just about all the information on the advert none of them know what they are applying for.

Elsewhere in a room a freelancer is working her way through the applications, weeding out those that are written in anything other than blue or black ink, or those that don't include a self sealing stamped addressed envelope. By the end of the day she will have sent out around 6000 application forms of which only the six in the story are selected for interview.

But something very unusual happens at the interview, it seems all the candidates are drugged and they wake up to find themselves on a small island with just one house. The house has a bedroom each for them and plenty of supplies but they have no idea why they are there.

I have read a couple of books by the author Scarlett Thomas before and really enjoyed them, The End of Mr Y has to be in my top ten list in fact! But on this one I really can't decide if I liked it or not! In fact I was so confused that I read a tonne of other reviews on it to try and help me make up my mind. That didn't help, most other reviewers seemed most disgruntled by the ending which although it surprised me I actually quite liked. And none of them seemed to mention the thing I disliked most. The author spent quite some time writing from each characters point of view as they applied for the advert and continued this when they got to the island. But for some reason I found it hard to keep up with which character was which and which had been doing what before they got to the island.

It isn't easy writing a book from six points of view and it was brave of her to give it a go. But then bravery is one of the things I like about her as an author. This time she didn't quite pull it off. As they are all about the same age they needed to be more different from each other to be memorable, yet they were all white and mainly lower middle class with easily interchangeable names like Jamie and Paul or Emily and Anne.

Of course, the author might just be a lot cleverer than me (actually she definitely is!) and that in itself might have been some kind of comment. But usually her writing is very accessible and brings me along with her so that I feel just as clever and this time I spent half the book flipping back to find out which one Jamie was again!

Still I think it has potential, I think it's worth reading. I also have a sneaking suspicion that she has a sequel up her sleeve which will turn this book from an oddity into a masterpiece!

This review first appeared on The BookEaters blog - http://www.thebookeaters.co.uk/bright-young-things-by-scarlett-thomas/
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but not Enthralling*contains spoilers*, 7 Oct. 2012
By 
S. Carr - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Bright Young Things (Paperback)
OK so I really wanted to give this novel 4 stars but it's more like 3 1/2 for me..don't get me wrong the whole concept works
really well but thought the ending was rushed a bit & hate this in novels when it feels like the author could have gone back, done some more editing and character expansion, but then again maybe she didn't want to but it's simple things like this which turn okay-ish novels into memorable ones I think! I loved all the characters, even idle Thea. I felt towards the end though
that Bryn and Thea were neglected a bit like they didn't really matter which was a shame. Would have been funny to see Bryn finally crack under the strain & was looking for more arguments and backstabbing especially since paul was a cyber hacker! But apart from this it really is worth a read..so it might not blow you away, but feels so 90s that you're transported to a life
where technology was so limited they're discussing stuff like sega,pokemon & chums on sm:tv..brings it all back!

The sexual tension thing got a bit annoying, and in a few days it seemed everyone liked each other with Anne considering them all her friends, a bit unrealistic but maybe not for Anne whose weirdness dominates the novel along with paul's secret desire for her. Emily is flawed yet she seemed the most sane of the girls & would have loved to see her character develop more after she develops shock..it's like her character along with bryn's just fizzles out into the background. I'm probably being too picky about this though, it's totally personal & I'm sure Thomas thought through everything and did most of it intentionally! however if the plot carried on instead of drifting off into the horizon like some of the character's it would have been an
enthralling read. It seemed pretentious, but has such a British 'feel' to it perhaps it was intentional. Lastly I think Thomas is a worthy,clever writer and want to read her other books so Hope mr Y is better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars One of the worst books I've ever read, 8 Feb. 2013
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If I could give this book no stars I would there is just no plot and all it is poorly written. I would recommend you do not waste your money on this book I will never read anything by this author again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It left me wondering ... what was the point?, 18 Dec. 2012
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Although the story was ok, and the writing was quite competent, the ending left me wondering if they just forgot to write an ending. Not sure that I would bother if I knew ahead of time.
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Bright Young Things
Bright Young Things by Scarlett Thomas (Paperback - 1 Mar. 2001)
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