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Che fine ha fatto Mr Y.

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3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  8,858 ratings  ·  1,045 reviews
Strani eventi accadono intorno ad Ariel Manto, studentessa della British University. Prima scompare il suo professore, poi l'università crolla davanti ai suoi occhi, infine in un negozio di libri usati si imbatte in una copia di un libro rarissimo e maledetto, "Che fine ha fatto Mr Y.". Scritto da Thomas Lumas, uno scienziato del XIX secolo che compiva esperimenti sui pote...more
Paperback, Newton Pocket, 379 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Newton & Compton (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Judith
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 more chapter, as I still have plenty of time before work.

I 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...more
Krissa
May 09, 2012 Krissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Conrad
Shelves: favorites
Holy #&*#*$!@ Christ, Scarlett Thomas has taken the top of my head off. I thought PopCo was an awesome mindf!ck, 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 entici...more
neil
Mar 19, 2007 neil rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to read poorly written sex scenes
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 writte...more
Batsap
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 end.

It wasn't even the constant drip-feed of Philosophy and Quantum 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...more
Trin
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 quantum physics and other brain-stretching topics) while at the same time creating very human, flawed characters. Still, there's a quality of...coldness that prevents me from becoming emotionally involved. Perhaps the whole thing seems too clever, too orchestrat...more
Charles
Note to authors: Merely mentioning "Husserl" or "Derrida" does not make a book intellectual or philosophical. Similarly, uttering the name -- much less quoting -- "Einstein," "Heisenberg," or "Schrodinger" does not make a book scientific, or lend credibility to the writing.

To those who have positively reviewed this book noting its intellectualism or creativity or surprise ending, I am glad that you enjoyed it.

I thought the book pointless, rambling, and pseduointellectual. The author quoted the n...more
Aaron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lauren (Sugar & Snark)
Sep 08, 2012 Lauren (Sugar & Snark) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lauren (Sugar & Snark) by: Lauren Smith
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 equivalent 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...more
Anastasia
Libro cervellone per aspiranti cervelloni senza una vera attrattiva.

É importante inserirsi bene nei libri: è come alloggiare in un albergo di qualità infima che ti fa rimpiangere il tuo bel lettuccio a casa o, al contrario, alloggiare in un albergo a quattro o cinque stelle che ti fa dire "ma se potessi, mi prolungherei la vacanza". Questo libro è un alberghetto in periferia a due stelle. Ha un'insegna sgargiante - Che fine ha fatto Mr Y, bel titolo, e 'mazza che figa la copertina, e oh, la tram...more
Lauren Smith
This is an adventure in thought experiments. This is idea porn. It's the most cerebral fun I’ve ever had. The End of Mr Y is a cocktail of postmodern philosophy, quantum physics, metafiction, science fiction and adventure. If any of that sounds intimidating, rest assured that this isn’t like reading Derrida, Heidegger, Baudrillard or any of the convoluted philosophies that Ariel Manto likes to immerse herself in. Early on she says that she “quite like[s] the way you can talk about science withou...more
Annelien
Feb 27, 2010 Annelien rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: philosophers
Recommended to Annelien by: /
This is a good example of good idea executed badly. I liked the concept and the first 25 pages. Ariel Manto is doing a Phd on a strange author from the 1800s and by accident comes across his rarest book in a used bookstore. What follows is an account of what she does with the contents of the book and the suspense of a mystery involving two creepy American policemen who are out to get her, it seems.

but in reality, what follows is the author showcasing how much she knows about philosophy and how m...more
Hirondelle
I tried to write paragraphs about what precisely I hated on this book and that just made me even more annoyed than the reading experience was. But some details: special relativity and homeopathy both "work" and got equal footing and are treated the same way by our main character, which btw is a lit PhD student who needs several days full time to read a book of about 150 pages. No, she is not taking notes, she does that later. Ah, and I can´t figure out when the book is supposed to be set: it was...more
Gregsamsa
I have Scarlett Thomas to thank for a little embarrassing moment of discovering another little nugget of my own sexism. I thought, I can't dis- this book and give it one star. But why not? Because she's a she and I don't want to be mean? Better to be honest: this book is, I'm just going to say it: STUPID.

The hype totally had me; I couldn't not read it: thought experiments (none actually handled), the nature of consciousness (adding an alternate reality does not interrogate the subject), Derrida...more
Doogyjim
Undoubtedly exciting and brimming with ideas about identity and philosophy, the novel is a little slow to start but then takes off into Matrix territory as Ariel Manto is pursued by sinister agents trying to stop her using the knowledge she has discovered by finding a cursed book

Ultimately it did leave me a little cold and addmittedly a lot of the specualtion went over my head. But it's that rare thing, a book full of ideas that also keeps you gripped as a thriller. It's light years better than...more
Arundhati Sinha
Probably the worst book I will ever read... And yes, I have read the twilight series.
Tim Hicks
What a load of old cobblers that was.

I recognized right away the standard British plot with a not-very-successful plodder at a university where things aren't going well and she has no money and she just keeps on with the I-shouldn't-be-doing-this habits, and OF COURSE she spends the last of her money on a book. Someone from about 80 years ago ought to get royalties whenever this tired old plot framework is used.

Thomas has made a bit of an effort to modernize the book. Our heroine has an iPod,...more
Teresa
Ho terminato la lettura di questo libro ieri notte all'una. Questa mattina ero indecisa su che voto dargli e ho optato per 4 stelline che in realtà corrispondono ad un 4--. Non c'è da discutere sul fatto che questo libro sia abbastanza originale ma c'è qualcosa che non mi ha convinto. Forse l'andamento della storia, in quanto ci sono momenti in cui la narrazione ti prende e non riesci a staccare gli occhi dal libro, e altri in cui avresti solo voglia di saltare intere pagine.
Non capisco perché...more
Wiebke (1book1review)
This book is such a crazy book and it's so hard to summarize my thoughts on this or even the story. I have the feeling the more you know about the story in advance, the less amazing is the book.
I just loved the mindboggling ideas and theories they discussed and all the ideas it puts into your head.
I also liked the main character despite her more disturbing characteristics she loves books and is so lost in her own live it is endearing. I most liked that you never felt sorry for her - no matter h...more
Pop Bop
It's not surprising that this book was long listed for the 2008 Orange Prize for fiction. There is no "point" to "The End of Mr. Y", unless it means to declare that we are in an age that marks the "End of Mystery" and need to look elsewhere. The heroine's name, Ariel Manto, is after all an anagram for "I Am Not Real".

This is just high end word play, genre play, and book play. You can call it high concept or surreal or the new quantum fiction, or post-modern, where all of the rules are twisted an...more
Amber
Dec 19, 2009 Amber rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: posers
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 cool!

AND THE AUTHOR (and her protagonist) ARE COMPLETELY UP THEIR OWN ARSES. FAIL!!!!

Now, maybe you can get past vomit-inducingly bad sentences like this:
"Sometimes,...more
Daniel Parsons
Oct 10, 2009 Daniel Parsons rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to explore the meaning of existence; fans of The Raw Shark Texts
Shelves: headtrips
"You now have once choice. You..."

This is a bona fide masterpiece; it's reminiscent of the films The Matrix and Ghost In The Shell, whilst also cramming in a thousand fantastic ideas. A dense, complex but massively satisfying and compulsive read - the summary on the back cover gives very little away and merely mentions the catalyst of a cursed book, and to be honest the less you know about the rest of the plot and ideas the better. Put it another way - a friend practically insisted I take this b

...more
Marvin
This is one of those frustrating novels that leaves you immensely impressed yet somewhat disappointed. The impressive part is the way the author combines the mind-boggling philosophies of Heidegger and Derrida (yes, frigging Derrida!) into a fantasy regarding alternate realities, mind travel, and even a nail biting chase with gun-toting faux-CIA men and really evil KIDS (capitalization is intentional). Scarlett Thomas manages to tie in a number of ideas including theology and quantum mechanics i...more
Allycks
I know it's a cop-out but my real rating of this book is 4 and a half.

The plot is simple-- a grad student stumbles across an extremely rare and purportedly cursed book, reads it, and discovers another world, a world 'made up of thought' which she calls the Troposphere.

The protagonist Ariel is characterized by her disdain of luxury, taste for hard sex, and above all an insatiable desire to know everything. Ariel's curiosity drives the book and leads the reader through Derrida, Einstein, Heidegg...more
Nicola
The numerous fawning reviews on the cover of The End of Mr Y can attest to the fact that others have found it “delightful”. I, on the other hand, found it “pretentious as fuck”. A fairly simplistic story about a cursed book that allows an academic to unlock the key to teleportation is couched in endless philosophical discussions. Scarlett Thomas may think she is showing how terribly erudite she is, but I began to doubt the novel’s high-brow credibility when the teleportation was described in ter...more
Yvonne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rana Abed
خرافية، مقنعة حد انني اقتنعت انه يوما ما من الممكن ان ادخل دماغ فأر او قطة او لربما شخص اعرفه واتجول فيه ...
غريبة ومشوقة... من الروايات التي ترغب بإنهائها فقط لغرابتها..
Simonetta
Way too much information: what happened to the editor of the book? That is what I think.
It starts out as a thriller/mistery and it is pretty captivating at the beginning (first 200 pages or so), but then it degenerates into a philosophical-religious-physic "who knows what" book with heavy references to Derrida and Heidegger that now make you think you are reading a text book on all the above subjects and you are trying hard to memorize all the facts. It is not pleasent as reading "Sophie's World...more
Eustachio
Che nervi.

È scritto senza criterio. Non è neanche questione di "oh, scrive improvvisamente e usa tanti altri avverbi inutili, che cessa". È proprio questione di logica. Il fastidio c'è a pelle.
L'autrice usa la prima persona al presente, che di norma comporterebbe un ritmo serrato e pensieri come flussi di coscienza. Qui invece il tono è quello di chi scrive delle memorie e si rivolge a un lettore, sia per l'uso dei "penso che", "credo che", "mi chiedo se", "mi viene in mente che" (a volte seguit...more
Nick
Aug 13, 2008 Nick rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with an interest in contemporary philosophy, physics or sci-fi/fantasy crossovers
I bought this book purely because it was offer of the week on Waterstones.com and the customer reviews of it sounded intriguing. I’m definitely going to try such tactics again in the future as The End of Mr Y turned out to be better than even those reviews suggested.

A bold and imaginative concept brings together elements of theoretical physics with the thinking of late 19th and early 20th century philosophers, in particular Derrida and Heidegger. I think the very point of the book is to make the...more
Blair
I really, really loved roughly the first two-thirds of this book, and it might have been a five-star read had the final portion (and the ending in particular) not turned out to be such a disappointment. I've never been a huge fan of fiction that strays too far into fantasy (I never finished reading The Amber Spyglass for this reason) and I felt The End of Mr Y became so detached from any recognisable world that I stopped caring what happened. The further Ariel ventured into the Troposphere, the...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...more
More about Scarlett Thomas...
PopCo Our Tragic Universe Bright Young Things Going Out Dead Clever (Lily Pascale, #1)

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“Real life is physical. Give me books instead. Give me the invisibility of the contents of books, the thoughts, the ideas, the images. Let me become part of a book. . . . an intertextual being: a book cyborg, or, considering that books aren't cybernetic, perhaps a bibliorg.” 94 likes
“I wonder if the reason I tend to say yes to everything is because I deeply believe that I can survive anything.” 36 likes
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