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The End of Mr. Yby Scarlett Thomas
Synopses & Reviews
A cursed book. A missing professor. Some nefarious men in gray suits. And a dreamworld called the Troposphere?
Ariel Manto has a fascination with nineteenth-century scientists — especially Thomas Lumas and The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between.
Seeking answers, Ariel follows in Mr. Y's footsteps: She swallows a tincture, stares into a black dot, and is transported into the Troposphere — a wonderland where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. There she begins to understand all the mysteries surrounding the book, herself, and the universe. Or is it all just a hallucination?
With The End of Mr. Y, Scarlett Thomas brings us another fast-paced mix of popular culture, love, mystery, and irresistible philosophical adventure.
"In Thomas's dense, freewheeling novel, Ariel Manto, an oversexed renegade academic, stumbles across a cursed text, which takes her into the Troposphere, a dimension where she can enter the consciousness, undetected, of other beings. Thomas first signals something is askew even in Ariel's everyday life when a university building collapses; soon after, Ariel discovers her intellectual holy grail at a used book shop: a rare book with the same title as the novel, written by an eccentric 19th-century writer interested in 'experiments of the mind.' The volume jump-starts her doctoral thesis, but her adviser disappears. And when Ariel follows a recipe in the book, she finds herself in deep trouble in the Troposphere. Her young ex-priest love interest may be too late to save her. Thomas blithely references popular physics, Aristotle, Derrida, Samuel Butler and video game shenanigans while yoking a Back to the Future — like conundrum to a gooey love story. The novel's academic banter runs the gamut from intellectually engaging to droning; this journey to the 'edge of consciousness' is similarly playful but less accessible than its predecessor, PopCo." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Delicious cross-genre literary picnic, breezy and fiercely intelligent, reminiscent of Haruki Murakami." Kirkus Reviews
"Smart, stylish and dizzying....This is more fun than it sounds, and more fun than it has any right to be, thanks to Thomas's ample storytelling ability....Consider The End of Mr. Y an accomplished, impressive thought experiment for the 21st century." Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] combination of postmodern philosophy and physics, spine-tingling science fiction, clever, unexpected narrative twists, and engaging characters all on one wild drug trip. With this book, Thomas...has moved into first place." Library Journal
"Exhilarating. A compulsively absorbing thriller. Mr. Y burorrws into the reader's brain, stoking a desire for real-world exploration." Time Out New York
"British author Thomas bites off a bit more than she can chew....Thomas' mildly amusing second offering aspires to be both wonky and hip: her protagonist obsesses over philosophical matters one moment, her lamentable love life the next. Chick lit for nerds." Booklist
"Ingenious and original. A cracking good yarn, fizzing with intelligence." — Philip Pullman
If you knew this book was cursed, would you read it?
When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second-hand bookstore, she cant believe her eyes. Copies are exceedingly rare, and everyone who has ever read it—including its author, Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas-- has disappeared.
Ariel cant resist the promise in the books history and its pages, and so steps into a thrilling adventure of time, space, love, death, and everything in between.
"Smart [and] stylish." — International Herald Tribune
"Enormously ambitious and satisfying. It overflows with love for books not just as beautiful artefacts and repositories of secret knowledge, but as gateways into parallel universes." — Time Out London
Scarlett Thomas is the author of Bright Young Things, Going Out, PopCo, and Our Tragic Universe.
ORIGINAL 2006 EDITION
If you knew this book were cursed, would you read it?
Ariel Manto has a fascination with The End of Mr. Y, a book no one alive has read—maybe because it's cursed and everyone related to it (the author; various book collectors; Ariels doctoral advisor, Saul Burlem) disappears. But suddenly she discovers a rare copy in a used bookstore. Following in Mr. Ys footsteps, she falls into a trance and steps into the Troposphere—a wonderland of an alternate dimension where she can travel through time and space using the thoughts of others. And so Ariel launches into a heart-racing, brain-teasing, time-twisting adventure of science, faith, consciousness, death, and everything in between.
But what about the curse? Did Burlem read Mr. Y just before he vanished? Did these scary men in gray suits have anything to do with it? And now that Ariel understands the Troposphere--and her place in it—will she be able to save the world and still go back to it?
SCARLETT THOMAS is the author of PopCo. She was named one of the twenty best young British writers by the Independent on Sunday in 2001 and Writer of the Year at the 2002 Elle Style Awards. She teaches writing at the University of Kent and lives in Canterbury.
Ariel Manto has a fascination with 19th-century scientists--especially Thomas Lumas and "The End of Mr. Y," a book no one alive has read. When she mysteriously uncovers a copy at a used bookstore, Ariel is launched into an adventure of science and faith, consciousness and death, space and time, and everything in between.
About the Author
Scarlett Thomas is the author of PopCo. She was named one of the twenty best young British writers by the Independent on Sunday in 2001 and Writer of the Year at the 2002 Elle Style Awards. She teaches writing at the University of Kent and lives in Canterbury.
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