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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?

10 thoughts on “The End of Mr Y

  1. says:

    Oh my I think I am cursed Today at least I am under a spell The day starts normally waking up checking the alarmclock seeing the stack of books next to my bed One book especially grabs my attention I decide to read one chapter as I still have plenty of time before workI read and read one chapter two chapter three chapters I can start later I will work longer Words letters paragraphs I am ill I need to stay in bed I will work over the weekend Plots subplots twists I might develop a fever I have a fever I must read must read must read read readSo I stay in bed the whole day only getting up to get a bowl of cereal and later a bag of raisins Lying in bed at four in the afternoon I fall asleep again It is hard to separate dream from reality When the phone rings I expect the main character to be callingAt six I finish the book and instantly regret it I am so bad at postponing gratification I just have to eat the whole chocolate bar at once instead of just one suare at a timeSo I envy youYou can still read this cursed book suare by suareBut it will have you aching for See you in the Troposphere

  2. says:

    TransferanceSeveral years ago I was passing a charity shop and through the window I spotted a number of books for sale so I ventured inside This book really stood out so I bought it I was absolutely intrigued when I realised that the main protagonist Ariel Manto bought her copy of The End of Mr Y in a second hand bookshop I opened the cover and started reading hoping that my expectation of a fantasy adventure wasn’t just about to be smashed From the first page I was hooked an immediate recognition that this was going to be highly original and I’d better be prepared for new perceptions and twists through Ariel’s pursuit of Thomas Lumas the fictional author of the “End of Mr Y” It is a very clever plot where the reader is taken on a journey through the Troposphere a place where you can travel through time and other people’s thoughts There was definitely a risk that this could just get too unbelievable and silly but I continued to remain connected to the characters and their complexity The plot moved at a great pace and remained fascinating The science wasn't a big issue for me but Scarlett Thomas does seem to put some weight behind it I found it interesting but not compelling and if it’s not your thing you can leave to the side without affecting the storyI bought all Scarlett Thomas’ books on the basis of this novel but none have had the same impact as this one I have a fantasy connection to this book even if fabricated in only my own mind While I feel I have contributed significantly to ’s success I will keep trying to find books in unexpected places hoping to be rewarded with another experience like thisI would recommend this book and would rate it 45 stars

  3. says:

    Holy ## Christ Scarlett Thomas has taken the top of my head off I thought PopCo was an awesome mindfck but Mr Y makes it look like so much People magazine I'm really not sure what to say about this novel I think people that like House of Leaves would probably like it for similar reasons though it's not nearly so hard to follow Her female lead as in PopCo is almost frighteningly intelligent as I'm beginning to suspect Thomas is herself It's not the intelligence that's enticing and delightful it's the limitless sense of curiosity and whimsy she brings to life It may not be realistic to want to be a PhD student with no money endless cigarettes and thousands of books and only the directive to solve life's tangled mysteries but DAMN it sure is alluringIn trying to describe the book today to a friend I explained it like it's the thinkiest heart in your mouth thriller you could imagine reading There's Einstein and Heidigger by the boatload but hey there's also a terrifying telepathic chase across Southern England And freaky autistic ghosts that eat your brain And lots of DerridaIf I had to compare her to anyone it would be humbly to David Mitchell Not that she's exactly reaching the penthouse apartment of genius that is Cloud Atlas but damn if she's not at least in the same building With a good view even

  4. says:

    I couldn't wait to finish this book but not because I was hooked perched on the edge of my seat as I desperately waited to see how everything turned out I just wanted the tedium to endIt wasn't even the constant drip feed of Philosophy and uantum Physics that had me yawning and searching for the nearest caffiene source In fact that was the most interesting part of the book If you can overlook the obsessive name dropping and reference to Derrida on almost every single page The way it was presented though in pretentious conversations between eually pretentious characters made it difficult to connect with what was actually being discussedWhich brings me to what I found most deadly about the book the main character Ariel Manto In my opinion she was the worst kind of female stereotype In a desperate bid to perhaps show that she was 'in' with students or even just to appear modern Thomas had her protaganist blantantly smoking swearing sleeping around and whining about her terrible upbringing And it wasn't just the charming Miss Manto all the characters were shallow stereotypes trying too hard to be 'cool' Usually the plot or the style of writing can make up for a lack of interesting characters but sadly this was not the case Judging by the plot this would have looked at home in the children's section if it weren't for the gratuitous sex and swearing which I suppose were put in just to prove that the book was for adults As for the writing style it was fair enough with some good turns of phrase but nowhere near good enough to make up for the tepid plot and annoying charactersSo if you have an interest in thought experiments and the nature of the universe I suggest you pick up a Philosophy or popular Science book instead

  5. says:

    This is perhaps the worst book I ever finished I don't really recommend it The thought experiment aspect of the book could have been interesting but was unfortunately written for people who haven't read Baudrillard and don't understand particle physics Which I don't but I got it much faster than the people in the book Plus the story was absurd and poorly thought out The main character was smarter than the writer and seemed to resent that Plus it seemed that the sex scenes were written by someone who knows nothing about sex about someone who has serious sex issues It was almost unbearable I only finished the book because it was short and I have an obsession with finishing books I wouldn't recommend anyone else try it It doesn't get any better But I gave it 2 stars because I finished it

  6. says:

    Note to authors Merely mentioning Husserl or Derrida does not make a book intellectual or philosophical Similarly uttering the name much less uoting Einstein Heisenberg or Schrodinger does not make a book scientific or lend credibility to the writingTo those who have positively reviewed this book noting its intellectualism or creativity or surprise ending I am glad that you enjoyed itI thought the book pointless rambling and pseduointellectual The author uoted the names of giants of uantum physics hoping to fool the poor reader that this was really physics or scientifically plausible when in fact the scientific application was simply obscure opaue or incorrectMaybe I am tired of science fiction as a style or casually referencing multiple dimensions or time travel or the concept of jumping into and out of other people's minds and memories as blithely or effortlessly as jumping into and out of a wading pool Science fiction is ultimately fiction than science; and really that's OK It doesn't have to be true or provable; it just can't be silly

  7. says:

    Have you ever been at a party and been cornered by that special breed of person who thinks they are the best read most highly evolved intellect on the plant and their one goal in life is to convince you and anyone else who will listen of this in their mind indisputable fact This book is the literary euivalent of that party goer Cue the incessant and often needless name dropping Any interesting thoughts or ideas on theoretical physics and philosophy are drowned out by the authors constant waffle and to be honest those were my favourite parts of the book because lets face facts here her plot is slightly juvenile Being John Malkovich meets The Far Away Tree? And her main character is unlikeable cold and unengaging and desperately trying to be cool and sadly failing She is also clearly mentally impair as she is supposed to be studying for a PHD in literature yet takes a whole weekend of constant reading to finish a book less then 200 pages long Either that or the book is as boring as its namesake D This books one redeeming feature It eventually comes to an end

  8. says:

    Like Thomas' PopCo I found this both fascinating and frustrating Thomas definitely achieves something really special with her ability to make her writing intensely cerebral some of my favorite parts of Mr Y were the digressions into uantum physics and other brain stretching topics while at the same time creating very human flawed characters Still there's a uality ofcoldness that prevents me from becoming emotionally involved Perhaps the whole thing seems too clever too orchestrated? I don't know Anyway the plot of this novel is nominally about a cursed book but is really much like an alternate take on Being John Malkovich with an ending that feels like the close of 2001 A Space Odyssey the part that's supposed to be best if watched stoned As with PopCo the experience of reading the novel was very pleasurable and interesting but the final impact just isn't there; it's oddly unsatisfying

  9. says:

    Imagine a novel that has never been read by anyone who has lived to talk about it The only people known to have finished it either died shortly afterward or have disappeared without a trace The novel in uestion is so notorious that the only copy known to exist has been locked in a vault in Berlin preventing anyone from ever reading it again This novel for all practical purposes is cursed If you read it you will dieIf such a novel existed and you found a copy in a used bookstore would you read it?Ariel Manto would In fact she doesThis idea the notion of reading a novel known to be cursed is the premise at the heart of Scarlett Thomas's well written thought provoking but ultimately disappointing new novelThe novel within the novel contains a recipe for a tincture that if you mix drink and then stare into a hand drawn black dot allows you to exit this dimension into another referred to in the novel as The Troposphere In this dimension you have access through a process called paradesis to the minds of any sentient being who has ever been in any way related to anyone you have ever known This includes animals as well especially mice or felines Anyone who enters this dimension has their minds opened to heretofore unknown truths about life Truths about God Truths about scientific law Truths about existence itselfThis is a thought provoking novel full of well written well thought out well organized postulations about reality philosophy and religion One of my favorites is a discussion about whether Einstein's famous energy formula is actually something he proved to be true or something he willed to be true forcing humanity to accept its veracityAs it turns out it isn't the novel itself that will kill you but the people who want the recipe contained therein and will stop at nothing to get it If you read the novel and enter The Troposphere they can find you and they will than likely catch youI have many problems with this novel despite how thought provoking it is the least of which being the protagonist She is described as a sexual deviant a self mutilator and one waits for this to have some bearing on the story being held But it doesn't It just is Shocking material for the sake of shocking material has never really had much appeal for me The bigger issue is the love story that permeates this novel It also has no true bearing on the story other than to allow Romeo to show up at the last minute and fix everything with both guns blazing and kind of bogs down the philosophical discussion The discussion is key to what makes this novel so interesting to read but perhaps too many idea are set forth The last forty pages go by too uickly with nothing really getting solved And the ending is abrupt In the end I really only care about the philosophical uestions I was left to think about The novel itself will fade from my memory

  10. says:

    What a bloody waste of a good idea First off the concept behind this book is brilliant An eighteenth century writer and metaphysicist writes a book which contains within it an alchemy like recipe which will allow the reader to enter the realm of disembodied thought Cool And it's full of philosophy and bizarre adventures Double coolAND THE AUTHOR and her protagonist ARE COMPLETELY UP THEIR OWN ARSES FAILNow maybe you can get past vomit inducingly bad sentences like thisSometimes on these January afternoons the sun suats low in the sky like an orange robed Buddha in a documenary on the meaning of lifeWhich is good because they're everywhere But can you get past an author who spends an entire novel trying to convince you that she's the smartest one in the room? Ms Thomas is so impressed by her own wit and intelligence so thoughtless of her reader that she sees fit to name drop Derrida and differance and Flatland and whatever else in nearly every chapter not in a way that draws the curious reader into these concepts but in a way designed like those people who name drop in conversations without ever bothering to ask their listeners if they know what the heck they're talking about to exclude nearly everyoneNow I've read Derrida and Flatland I've read Simulacra and Simulation and The Outsider and Husserl and Heidegger Maybe this is why I found all of her constant referencing so annoying Because she doesn't know what the heck she's talking about Her plotline about the mental videogame and mousesex or whatever has very little to do with the idea of a simulacrum The name dropping is an excuse for lack of real thought it's exactly what undergrad students of philosophy do in order to gain purchase and lend credibility to themselves when really what they have to say is really not all that deep or interesting at all Because the name dropping is enough to snap all of the lesser posers into place because it's not meant to excite someone about new ideas it's meant to exclude and make the excluded clambor puppy like towards inclusion meaning be damnedYes you can say differance is about no reference ever being completely shared and meaning being infinitely delayed and blah de blah but the fact remains that Derrida's work is based on a well considered conceptual framework whether you buy it or not and this is pretty shoddily thought out work underneath all of the critical theory hoo ha and esoteric subculture claptrap Someone should tell Ms Thomas that associating oneself with great minds does not make one's own mind great I'd like to see anyone with any real understanding of philosophy read pages 283 287 and not laugh and laughThere are also long chunks of text which have nothing to do with the story really where Ms Thomas waffles on about random pseudo philosophical topics the way a high school student does after they've seen The Matrix for the first time I mean this woman really thinks she's smarter than nearly all of her readers and is convinced she can make you think that too And as much as I like learning interesting facts only elephants understand about death? That's pretty cool interesting facts do not a believable and engrossing fictional universe make And the only thing worse than Ms Thomas is her main character Ariel Manto who is in a word repulsive She is unemotional unlikeable unbelievable and her author seems to be on a mission to convince us that she is cool by expounding on her troubled rebellious childhood and iPod art radio listening habitsI'm not even going to get into the cold empty obsessive and rather disgusting treatment of sexSo again what a waste I prefer smart books that are designed to bring their readers into the fold not books that put on a show of being smart to try and dazzle you into thinking they have something to say The End of Mr Y has nothing interesting to say It is a sham and I challenge you to dispute this after reading the idiotic ending a complete waste of time