The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

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‘The End of Mr Y’ is a very hard book to describe. It has all the adventure, intelligence and religious theology of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, mixed with the suspense and spookiness of Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian, and the bizarreness of a Haruki Murakami novel. I loved it!


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!


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  1. raidergirl3 says:

    I followed you back here.
    This book looks very interesting. I do like a bit of science in my books, as like you, I was a chem major. Maybe that’s why you liked my bookpile too.

  2. Care says:

    OK, I’m intrigued. You had me on your first para! Great review – I’m adding this to my tbr. Thanks, Care

  3. Karen says:

    Loved this one too! The plotting is very clever, not sure I was 100% on top of all the science, but I didn’t worry about that and it did not detract from my enjoyment either.


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