The End Of Mr. Y Hardcover – 5 Jul 2007
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`A masterpiece . . . A brilliant, engaging story that in the end
makes you rethink the nature of existence and the true structure of the
world.' -- Douglas Coupland
`Ingenious and original . . . A cracking good yarn fizzing with
intelligence.' -- Philip Pullman
`One of the most exciting novels I have read in recent years.'
-- Jonathan Coe
The bestselling novel of cursed books, quantum physics and the power of love --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a real page turner. You are quickly drawn into the world of Ariel, as she finds a copy of a rare, cursed book in a second hand bookshop. Everyone else who has ever read this book has died. Ariel discovers the secret of the cursed book, and sets out on a mission to rescue her University tutor, travelling through the `troposphere' via both time and thoughts.
The writing is very vivid. At one point you get a mouse's perspective of the world, and I think this is one of the best sections of writing I have read this year. I now know exactly what mice are thinking, and have a strange desire to look after them all now!
It does get a bit technical in places, and I think that those who do not have a scientific background may struggle to understand some sections. I have a degree in chemistry, but still didn't manage to follow all the finer details of some of the `thought experiments'
Overall I found it to be a thought provoking book, with great characters and an intelligent plot.
Recommended to anyone who likes a bit of science in their fiction!
The book itself is fairly well written. The pacing is a little off in places but there's a hefty plot behind it, and it deals with some very brave and ambitious subjects at the expense perhaps of not having a huge amount in the way of sub-plot or side stories going on. It's an entertaining and pretty gripping tale, with a main protagonist who is a likeable accidental hero.
I can however see why the book isn't everyone's cup of tea. There are times where it spends too long talking about psychology authors that I've never heard of and a lot of this was over my head, but that said I'm usually happy to read stuff that's outside my comfort zone; how better to learn things? The physics discussions I could follow more easily, but then I'm a geek. (-:
Arguably a lot of this dialogue is superfluous and could be trimmed, but I suppose it does help to colour the characters and show what drives them, and makes it logical for them to then be discussing their discoveries and dissecting exactly what they've found rather than just experiencing it superficially or running away scared.
A few people have made comments regarding sex and language in the book. Now, the sex in the book isn't hugely graphic or in great swathes of lengthy prose, and it's mentioned as a topic on the back of the book, so I don't really see it as an issue. Language, yeah, there's swearing in it, but no more than any other adult fiction. I guess if the last book you read was Harry Potter then it might be a bit of a culture shock, but it really isn't the novel of depravity that you might expect.Read more ›
The story is straightforward enough. By chance, Ariel stumbles upon a very rare copy of the 19th century novel The End of Mr. Y by the Victorian eccentric Thomas Lumas. Lumas--I should point out that he is fictional--is remembered, if at all, mainly for once having punched Charles Darwin. The book allows Ariel to enter the Troposphere, or MindSpace, where she can access all consciousness. She enters through a tunnel of written symbols, suggesting that all consciousness is based on language. (If I have understood this correctly, this implies a contradiction in the premises of the story. If consciousness is founded on language, why does the Troposphere allow Ariel to enter the minds of speechless creatures like mice?) She is then pursued by evil ex-CIA agents, who want to sell the secret formula.
I wasn't that impressed by the book. It is not that I strongly disapprove of Derrida or Heidegger. The story just isn't that exciting. I have read several books by Philip K. Dick and most of Haruki Murakami. They, too, are writers who deal with the mysteries of mind, consciousness, and reality, and they often find ways to make the narrative more compelling. I am not suggesting that Scarlett Thomas has attempted to write the same kind of story. I am merely pointing out that other authors have entered the same general territory and managed to write better fiction.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful novel. To detail too much about it would be to spoil the myriad of twists and turns, but it takes in philosophy, religion, spirituality, the idea of the self,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Edinburgh_J
I'm surprised at the negative reviews. I thought this was a riveting read. I enjoyed the science and philosophy and felt it worked with the plot. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JMG
I picked this up in a second-hand bookshop, not having a clue what to expect, and what a ride it's been! This is a smart and exciting book about science and philosophy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ReviewingBooks
Very unusual book strangely compelling. I had read it then bought this one for a present for a friend. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Harvey
I really dislike leaving books unfinished but I found reading this such a chore I couldn't drag myself through to the finale. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Abigail V Guest
As other reviewers have noted, this starts off well enough, but by the time Ariel gets into the Troposphere the plot really is utter drivel. Read morePublished 6 months ago by M. Bamford
Brilliant, interesting and thrilling book, loved it from start to finish.Published 6 months ago by Steven Berry
Really challenging. Good adventure set against some interesting philosophical ideas. I loved itPublished 7 months ago by Dr S.