47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Brilliantly Written, Compelling but not always Accessible,
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This review is from: The End of Mr. Y (Paperback)Fans of Scarlett Thomas' earlier work will love this book; people new to her may find themselves in a little deeper than they expected. The End of Mr Y represents a step forward from the excellent PopCo in terms of scope and ambition but I think it loses out a little in accessibility and ultimately, plausibility.
The central themes of this book are deep and metaphysical; it deals with language, thought and existence, borrowing from Derrida, Heidegger and Samuel Butler. There is also a fair dollop of quantum theory thrown in. So not a light read then.
That Thomas has even managed to produce anything remotely readable from her heavy subject matter is testament to what a talented novelist she is. Despite the novel's length and content, it is immensely readable and even qualifies as a page turner. The author's enthusiasm and knowledge of her subject shines off nearly every page. That said, in a few places I was overwhelmed by the metaphysics and lost my way amongst all the thought experiments.
The End of Mr Y made my brain hurt; not necessarily a bad thing but not what everybody wants from a novel. Thomas' publishers have been pushing this book hard and deservedly so but I think there maybe some disappointed readers out there who were expecting something lighter. (I note that on Amazon, as I write this review, it is #13 in 'Chick Lit'. This is like placing Dostoyevsky in 'True Crime'.)
The 'End of Mr Y' is an excellent novel but I would suggest starting with PopCo as a gentler introduction to the wonderful, kooky world of Scarlett Thomas.