Kate's Reviews > Going Out

Going Out by Scarlett Thomas
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Apr 25, 11

bookshelves: reviewed

It's unsurprising to me that I enjoyed this book, since I lap up anything Scarlett Thomas puts out. When I bought and read this one (a little while back now) it was incredibly difficult to find and I had to hunt it down second hand on Amazon. Hopefully with the success Thomas has enjoyed with her most recent novels it will soon be much easier to get a copy of Going Out, because it's definitely worth reading.

The characters in the novel are well written. They act consistently whilst also developing and become more interesting as the layers are pulled back, but do so without compromising the people that we meet in the first chapters. I hate it when authors disguise a 180 in behaviour as development and Thomas avoids that. Good, believable characters are the foundation of any novel and though she writes beautifully I think that it's with her characters that Thomas really excels.

Having said that, Going Out is very obviously an early Thomas novel. I read it having already enjoyed The End of Mr Y and PopCo so this felt like a little bit of a step backwards. Her skills aren't honed in this one, her themes not as well thought out and her later novels work better as a story with a clear beginning, middle and end. Without saying too much, I felt a little let down by the ending to Going Out - it's possible that I'm supposed to. I didn't enjoy the lack of resolution all the same.

This still gets four stars from me, because even early Scarlett Thomas is better than 99% of everything else out there. Even if it's hard to find a copy of this one, you won't be disappointed.
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