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Going Out

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3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  1,218 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Luke can't remember the last time he went outside. When an Internet healer offers to heal his allergies, he and his friend Julie must face their fears and embark on a journey that could change their lives.
Unknown Binding
Published by Fourth Estate (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,093)
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Blair
Aug 07, 2014 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As you might already know, I love Scarlett Thomas and have been trying to get my hands on a copy of this - one of her rarer books - for quite a while; it was the one book of hers, excepting a couple of the very early Lily Pascale mysteries, I hadn't read. First published in 2002, it's something of a bridge between the author's slightly amateurish earlier novels and her superior later work (which in my opinion begins with 2004's PopCo). Like Bright Young Things, it has an ensemble cast of charact ...more
Louise
Feb 19, 2012 Louise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: set-in-uk
Another unique book from Scarlett Thomas that incorporates plenty of interesting ideas about how we live our lives. A bunch of friends, all with their own issues go off in a campervan to consult a healer for Luke; he has never been outside his house apart from one attempt which led to him collapsing, it is believed Luke is allergic to the sun amongst other things.

Scarlett Thomas writes quirky characters who I always wish actually existed so I could be-friend them. There are sprinklings of mathe
...more
Trin
Dec 29, 2008 Trin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, english-lit
Another of Thomas’ hard-to-find early novels. This one is about twentysomething Luke, who has a rare disease that makes it impossible for him to go outside, and Julie, who goes out in the world but is afraid of everything she finds there. The two of them, along with an assortment of their friends—a girl who just won the lottery, a guy with testicular cancer, a girl who thinks she’s a witch, a girl whose boyfriend died tragically—all set out to find a cure for Luke.

I knew how this book was going
...more
Laura
May 05, 2012 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was a rather sad commentary on where 20-somethings find themselves today. Nor was the writing attractive. Indeed, Going Out read like the work of a young reporter--not a journalist, a reporter--because nothing was placed in a cultural or psychological setting of any value. The Independent on Sunday said Going Out was "surreal and inventive." I think that's giving it too much credit. It was unreal and derivative, actually. Gregor Samsa was better.

The Daily Mail said it was "A
...more
Verity Finch
Jun 02, 2012 Verity Finch rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After many years of trying to get hold of this book the publisher finally decided to print a new edition of it this year and I was thrilled to see it when I visited my nearest bookshop.

I wish I could say it was worth the wait but sadly I found myself wishing it was over from about halfway through.

The blurb doesn't really accurately depict what the story is about, in the sense that it doesn't particularly focus on Luke's allergy to the sun and his road to desperately finding a cure. I found Thom
...more
Katelin
Dec 21, 2008 Katelin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen
May 07, 2014 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, fiction
Weird. Not as delightfully insane as Thomas's more recent books, but I can definitely see the seeds of books to come in this. I really don't know how I feel about this; absent of expectation I may have liked it more or I may have quit partway through. It's not as full of random ideas and information that the author (and me, usually) finds interesting and the ideas that are there are old hat to me (imaginary numbers, Schroedinger's cat). On the other hand, it name-dropped Sabrina the Teenage Witc ...more
Italo  Perazzoli
Feb 08, 2015 Italo Perazzoli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The life of Luke is not simple, he has a rare illness, he is forced to live in a room without light and it must be sterilized, if he does not follow these rules he can die.

His contact with the outside world is a girl called Julie.

The personality of Julie is particular, she is afraid of everything, she is obsessed by the planes and bacteria, she think that, in a couple of hours, she will eat a poisoned food.

Surprisingly there is a strong feeling between Luke and Julie, they are so close, to be on
...more
D
Nov 10, 2014 D rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If I read this before The End of Mr Y or PopCo, I think I'm going to be very puzzled about the sudden anger in Scarlett Thomas's later work. I remember feeling the same thing about Irvine Welsh, actually, because I read Trainspotting first of all, and it was angry but also romantic in a way and idealistic. And then there was Porno--which had Sick Boy and Renton still but was so different it might have been written be another person entirely.

What I want to say is that Going Out feels really diff
...more
Zoe
Jun 02, 2015 Zoe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm slightly confused by this book. Whilst the description on the back sounded highly promising, I can't help but feel slightly robbed by what actually happened.

Luke is allergic to the sun. He can't leave his house and spends his time watching TV and surfing the net. Despite his condition, he has a close group of friends - each evidently with issues of their own but none reflecting the same seriousness as Luke's. They all come together to arrange a trip to Wales where a healer will supposedly c
...more
Ruthiella
Apr 13, 2016 Ruthiella rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is Scarlett Thomas’ second novel and the fourth one of hers that I have read. I have trouble pinpointing why, but I love her books, her style and her ideas, particularly her blend of physics and metaphysics, even if they flummox me. Like John Irving, she has certain themes and characters that appear in most of her books (at least those that I have read): neurotic paranoia, bullying, homeopathy (which didn’t actually occur in this title), math, physics, obsessions with pop culture, etc. This ...more
Mar In'
Feb 10, 2016 Mar In' rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light-reading
Un avis en demi-teinte pour ce bouquin ! J’ai bloqué sur la couverture, j’ai adoré le cadre de l’histoire, j’ai reconnu toutes les petites villes anglaises traversées par les personnages, j’ai pu visualiser plus que jamais leur quotidien pluvieux et leurs échanges sur une aire d’autoroute (je m’y suis déjà arrêtée, dans la vraie vie), je me suis reconnue dans certaines conversations (oui, on peut faire du yoga sans être complètement droguée au quinoa), j’ai rêvé d’embarquer avec eux dans ce comb ...more
Roberta
Jun 12, 2015 Roberta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Non il mio libro preferito della Thomas.
Pensavo che un libro che si chiama "il giro più pazzo del mondo" fosse incentrato per lo più sul viaggio, invece si inizia a parlare di viaggiare solo a più di metà del libro, prima mi è sembrato di leggere una interminabile introduzione....Questa cosa mi ha leggermente innervosito.
L'autrice fa continue digressioni su fatti accaduti precedentemente e ragionamenti che partono per la tangenziale e sembrano non tornare mai al punto di partenza...Certo, molte
...more
anexactinglife
Going Out by Scarlett Thomas was a disappointment. After I finished it, I noticed it was originally published in 2002 and had been reprinted in 2012. It suddenly made sense. It was a turn-of-the-millennium book in the style of Douglas Coupland (who was name-checked in the book) and had the usual Coupland theme of "young people in existential angst in our modern age." I generally dislike books written in the third person. This one, especially. I felt that the author explained everything through d ...more
Cia
May 29, 2012 Cia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yet another Thomas book where it's pleasant to read...and then the ending is complete nonsense or simply just falls flat and means I've wasted 400-odd pages. I don't even have anything to say about this book. It was just...meh.
Toni
Aug 17, 2016 Toni rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, adventure, one-star
Overview:
A group of Essex friends go on a road trip to visit a spiritual healer and think through their lives on the way there.

What I Liked:
• The plot was an interesting idea but that’s all.

What I Didn't Like:
• The characters were all so boring and stupid. I didn’t mind Julie so much because her background and current situation was realistic, however some of the decisions she made were stupid. The other characters I didn’t care for at all.
• It was badly written, full stop. There was too m
...more
Jacqui Mccann
Jul 13, 2014 Jacqui Mccann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quirky and unique tale of 2 friends with very different issues who embark on a journey to see a healer. Loosely based on the original Wizard of Oz each character finds something on the long and arduous journey. Luke cannot go outside due to his allergies and intolerance to the Sun. He lives with his overbearing mother who controls his environment. His best friend Julie has a range of phobias and lives in constant fear, hence the journey takes many hours as she endeavours to reach Wales using B ...more
Mike
Jan 29, 2016 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ideas, humanity
Scarlett users her novels to explore ideas she is struggling with in her own mind. This makes her an intellectual, and I like that. The first of her books that I read was The End of Mr Y, her best. But I can see in this early novel the talent and struggling with understanding which manifested so brilliantly in Mr Y.

I also must commend her for her writing style - I can read her books for sustained periods, not something I can say about other authors whom I like. Simple prose structures, good pac
...more
Leslynn
Mar 21, 2016 Leslynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic and addictive read. Scarlett Thomas portrays a cast of characters who are a pleasure to spend time with, and does so within a narrative structure that is minimal yet completely engrossing. The conversations that transpire are funny at times and stimulating at others, while the subtly injected references to British culture are (unexpectedly) hugely entertaining. Despite what I feel was an unnecessary couple of pages tacked onto the end, I found this book to be almost flawless. Overall ...more
Mia
Mar 20, 2016 Mia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic and addictive read. Scarlett Thomas portrays a cast of characters who are a pleasure to spend time with, and does so within a narrative structure that is minimal yet completely engrossing. The conversations that transpire are funny at times and stimulating at others, while the subtly injected references to British culture are (unexpectedly) hugely entertaining. Despite what I feel was an unnecessary couple of pages tacked onto the end, I found this book to be almost flawless. Overall ...more
Andrew
Feb 10, 2016 Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic and addictive read. Scarlett Thomas portrays a cast of characters who are a pleasure to spend time with, and does so within a narrative structure that is minimal yet completely engrossing. The conversations that transpire are funny at times and stimulating at others, while the subtly injected references to British culture are (unexpectedly) hugely entertaining. Despite what I feel was an unnecessary couple of pages tacked onto the end, I found this book to be almost flawless. Overall ...more
Pauline
Jan 11, 2014 Pauline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read it twice!
Jennifer
Nov 29, 2015 Jennifer rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction
I am desperately in need of someone to talk to about Scarlett Thomas. Her novels are always about intelligent but dysfunctional twenty-somethings that go on some sort of psuedo-philosophical journey, the writing itself is hit and miss, and the endings always leave me feeling out of sorts and somewhat unsatisfied. And yet I can't stop reading this bloody woman's books!

'Going Out' is about Luke, a twenty-five year old who is allergic to the sun and therefore has never left his room, and his best f
...more
Annemieke Windt
I am still trying to make up my mind about Scarlett Thomas's novel Going Out. There were things that I'd loved and things that I wasn't sure about. What's great about the story is the premise of the story. Luke, a young man who's never been outside because of a sunlight allergy, and his friend Julie who is afraid of a lot of things. They set of through the UK to go to a healer who is in Wales. Four friends joing them in the journey.

I liked the depictions on work and the shopping mall but the way
...more
Alicia
Dec 21, 2013 Alicia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I wasn't too impressed with this book for several reasons:
1. I knew Luke's outcome all along and thought it was very unrealistic that neither him or his friends had figured this out donkeys years ago
2. When I first started the book the writing felt a bit forced, it didn't feel natural and didn't seem to flow well. After a bit it did start to flow although every so often there was a bit that felt forced again.
3. I didn't see the point of all the characters, yeah I get it was suppose
...more
Yasmeen
Jun 24, 2013 Yasmeen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was just sort of meh. Maybe 2.5 stars, but it's getting bumped up instead of down because at least I was mildly interested in the storyline. Cool idea; someone who's never been outside their house could be really interesting. Decent writing- kept me engaged, at least. But... there was just something lacking. There were a couple of interesting ideas, but they were touched on way too lightly and infrequently. The whole "We are smart intelligent people who do drugs and smoke all the time but s ...more
Lucy
Oct 02, 2012 Lucy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
I very much enjoyed The End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas, and her next novel, Pop Co, is one of my favourites. However I was disappointed by Our Tragic Universe. When I saw Going Out in the shops I was excited but I didn't immediately feel the need to buy it as I had with Our Tragic Universe, not because it didn't sound interesting, but because I didn't want another let down.

I can't exactly say Going Out was a let down, but I think that was more due to the fact that I didn't go into it expecting s
...more
Jon Shanks
Sep 24, 2012 Jon Shanks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A charming story centring around 2 main characters: Luke, a boy who can't go out due to an allergy to sunlight (as well as pretty much everything else in the outside world)and Julie, who would rather stay indoors where she safe from most of the dangers of life. The contrast between this pair makes them an interesting double act as they set out on a road trip/quest with their misfit friends to find the mysterious Wei, who may hold the keys to cure them both. While likened to a modern quirky take ...more
Lipsy
May 18, 2013 Lipsy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
****SPOILER ALERT****
This is definitely my least favourite Scarlett Thomas book. I loved the premise of it initially, but it was just so unconvincing. I think it would have made more sense to me if the characters were all a bit younger (16/17 maybe) as they are in their mid-twenties but all so timid, scared, naive, angsty and well, stupid. (Had they never even ordered take-away pizza before? And the whole 'I think I'm a witch'. Jesus)

It seemed pretty obvious to me from the beginning that Luke pr
...more
Johanna
Jan 28, 2013 Johanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, favorites
What a book! Utterly brilliant to be sure. I loved the characters. Everyone was good at something and scared for something. I really liked Chantal's character, she was very poor at first but then won the lottery and with to money she bought a house for her mother totally designed and everything. Eventually she even takes David (a boy with cancer) with her to America to get him cured. She is really nice and has an int resting story to tell about her life. Actually all the characters have amazingl ...more
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Scarlett Thomas has taught English Literature at the University of Kent since 2004, and has previously taught at Dartmouth Community College, South East Essex College and the University of East London. She reviews books for the Literary Review, the Independent on Sunday, and Scotland on Sunday. She has written seven novels, including The End of Mr. Y and PopCo.

In 2001 she was named by The Independ
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“In real life nothing means anything. Stuff happens and there just is no structure.” 17 likes
“Most people would look at an animal in a cage and instinctively feel that it should be set free. . . . It's a dangerous world out there, filled with predators. . . . What would you prefer? A comfortable, safe, warm, cosy life in a cage, or an uncertain life of freedom.” 12 likes
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