Sunday, 12 October 2008

My Thoughts: The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas (plus a mini challenge)

I brought this book ages ago, and to be honest I'm not sure if I ever read the blurb, the fantastic cover design (reminding me of the brilliant Glass Books of the Dream Eaters) and the black edged pages were screaming out for me to buy this. It finally found its way to the top as I thought it would fit into the RIP III challenge, and its darkness makes it a good choice although its subject matter may stop people from thinking it fits.
The End of Mr Y is about a cursed book of the same name, everyone who reads it dies. Well that's actually, surprisingly, fine as only one copy is known to exist and its locked inside a bank vault. Ariel is an overly intelligent (she knows about everything apart from religion and love) PHd student, studying Lumas, the author of The End of Mr Y, her lecturer disappears, her university sinks into the hill and she randomly comes across a copy of this book. Obviously this is a book in which you need to suspend your disbelief.
The book contains a recipe, which promises knowledge, and despite knowing all about the curse, Ariel seeks out the ingredients and takes the mixture. The recipe leads people into the troposphere a place where you exist within your own mind and can jump between other peoples minds. Now, some bad men also know about this recipe and want to stop anyone else discovering it, so they are after Ariel and any one else who's involved, and they are not so easy to escape as they can also travel through minds.
It all sounds very bubble-gum like from that description but in amongst this adventure there is a whole heap of philosophy, language theory and science. I could keep up with the Sartre and Baudrillard just about, but a lot of the science went over my head. Definitely a book that needs concentration.
Fall into Reading


Another Challenge!
I'm also going to participate in Dewey's Martel-Harper challenge. This challenge involves reading 3 books from the list of books that author Yann Martel has recommended for the Canadian Primeminister Stephen Harper. Dewey's sign up page is here . October - December 31st
Birthday Letters - Ted Hughes
Metamorphoses - Kafka
Anthem - Ayn Rand


Rebecca Reid said...

Katrina, in Dewey's honor, I'm going to host the Martel-Harper challenge for 2009 1st quarter. I'd love if you join!

Mark said...

Glad to read someone else enjoyed both The End of Mr Y and Glass Books of the Dream Eaters. Both very good books.