Saturday, January 29, 2011

Scarlett Thomas - The End of Mr Y

When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She knows enough about its author, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, to know that copies are exceedingly rare. And, some say, cursed.

With Mr. Y under her arm, Ariel finds herself thrust into a thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel.

Comment: This has to be one of the most weird books I've read.
The story isn't conventional, it follows its own rules, which we must thank to the author's vision. It's quite clear she studied a lot and she has a lot of knowledge to make things look perfect, especially the parts where she inserts real author's ideas. I confess I got a bit lost in several places because I didn't read Derrida or Heidegger of other names mentioned but she obviously simplified it for the average reader without losing the book's goal.
The ficion part is strange, very strange, the main character, Ariel, travels to other people's minds in a different "place", let's call it that, all due to an author's book she read. I'm not going to explain what happens because only reading can one understand most things, but the end is a surprise, a very big very wow surprise. I wasn't expecting it, at all!
This is a fiction work but with many references to philosophy, physics, literature. It's interesting and fresh but not my cup of tea. For having entertaining me and for having offered a thoughtful surprise I liked it, but I admit it didn't run the way I tought it would based only on the blurb.

I don't know if I'll read another..I brought this one from my local library so if I see there some more I might try them...several prized and known authors recommend it too.

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