Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The End of Mr. Y” as Want to Read:
The End of Mr. Y
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The End of Mr. Y

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  12,647 Ratings  ·  1,411 Reviews
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, consci
Paperback, 402 pages
Published October 2nd 2006 by Mariner Books (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 17, 2008 Judith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amira Mahmoud
نهاية السيد واي
لا أعلم من أين عليّ أن ابدأ التعليق على تلك الرواية الملحمية
هذه الرواية التي تتأرجح ما بين قمة العقل وقمة الخرافة
قمة الخيال وقمة الواقعية ، قمة العلم وقمة الجهل
هي حقًا مزيج مختلف ، بقصة شيقة وحبكة خرافية ، ومعلومات كثيرة وغزيرة التي تعمدت الكاتبة إلقائها ومن ثم محاولة شرحها و تبسيطها كأنها تحاول أن تشرحها لذاتها قبل أن تشرحها للقارئ
ورؤية فلسفية للأشياء ، ومنطق غريب ربمّا
كان في كثير من الأحيان يستعصى عليّ فهمه وفهم فلسفتها ونظرتها للعالم
ما حاجتها لذلك كُله ولماذا تُناقش ذلك كُله ؟
Sep 09, 2007 Krissa rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 25, 2009 Batsap rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-good, library
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
Mar 12, 2007 neil rated it it was ok
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
Ahmed Oraby
Nov 01, 2013 Ahmed Oraby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
لكي تكتب رواية، مذهلة ومحيرة، وقوية، ومحبوكة بمثل هذا الشكل، فلابد أن تكون إما عبقري لدرجة التأله، أو أن تكون مجنونًا لدرجة مخيفة
فليباركك الرب يا سكارلت
Apr 16, 2010 Charles rated it it was ok
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
Jun 03, 2007 Trin rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, english-lit
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
Lauren (Sugar & Snark)
Jun 14, 2011 Lauren (Sugar & Snark) rated it did not like it
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
حسنا بالنسبة لي هناك رواية جميلة .. وهناك رواية غريبة .. وهناك رواية مجنونة .. وهناك رواية - لن أقول سيئة - ولكن سأقول ليست من نوعي
ومن هنا توجد الكثير من التصنيفات ..
فهناك رواية جميلة ممتعة مسترسلة كأن تقرأ رواية الأبله لـ ديستويفيسكي أو روايات غيوم ميسو
ويمكن أن تجد رواية جميلة غريبة .. أي جمالها في غرابتها مثل في بلاد الأشياء الأخيرة لـ بول أوستير أو الخيميائي لـ باولو كويلو أو كتاب المكتبة لـ زوران جيفكوفيتش أو التحول لـ كافكا أو العمي وانقطاعات الموت لـ ساراماجو أو ميتتان لرجل واحد لـ خورخي
Oct 29, 2008 Aaron rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2013 Gregsamsa rated it did not like it
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
Sep 02, 2014 Morgannah rated it it was amazing
I can not even begin to process all the events, ideas, and theories in this book. I need time to contemplate and gather my thoughts in order to write even a mediocre review.
Aug 16, 2008 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  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!


Now, maybe you can get past vomit-inducingly bad sentences like this:
Whilst I agree that this has been oversold as far as unswervingly highbrow or hard SF readers are concerned, it's got plenty going for it as a character-driven fantasy novel, and Scarlett Thomas is becoming my new favourite comfort-reading author. (Even within my friends list, opinions of The End of Mr. Y range from "highly intellectual yet accessible" to "completely stupid", so this isn't the easiest review I've ever written.)

The book is, admittedly, comfortable because of its blend of familiar
May 14, 2015 F.R. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books you read where you know incredibly swiftly that you absolutely LOVE them. You get about a quarter of the way through and find yourself totally entranced by just how much you’re enjoying every single page, but it’s an entrancement mixed with a kind of niggling dread where you whisper to the book: “Please don’t let me down! Please don’t let me down!” You sit there reading and desperately praying: “Please don’t be this good and then tumble away to crap! Don’t do an Icarus and c ...more
Tim Hicks
May 17, 2013 Tim Hicks rated it did not like it
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,
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
Dec 01, 2012 Anastasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2012
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
Arundhati Maitra
Dec 17, 2012 Arundhati Maitra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Probably the worst book I will ever read... And yes, I have read the twilight series.
Oct 21, 2008 Hirondelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature, i-quit
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 cant figure out when the book is supposed to be set: it was ...more
Hammam Nimrawi
Nov 07, 2015 Hammam Nimrawi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
يا إله الجمال! وجدتني عندما أنهيتها، وفي مواضع كثيرة أخرى، أحدق مبهورا بالسقف لدقائق من دون أن أشعر. وفي مواضع كثيرة، كنت أصفق من الدهشة رغم جلوسي في غرفة فارغة.
الخاتمة وحدها من أكثر ما قرأت جمالا. من أفضل الروايات التي قرأتها في حياتي، إن لم تكن الأفضل.
Feb 05, 2010 Annelien rated it it was ok
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
Nivedita (thebooklovingnerd)
Jan 26, 2016 Nivedita (thebooklovingnerd) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
When you pick up a book with an intriguing cover and an even more intriguing synopsis, you buy it. Then you look it up on Goodreads, and it's full of mixed reviews, but yet you give it a try. And then when it fails to deliver you anything that you expected it to give, you just stop reading it and put it away; never too see it ever.
When I started reading it, I was very excited. But soon, I knew I was wrong. Everything was absurd. The characters, the writing, the characters of the book inside thi
May 29, 2015 Safae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoris
احترت في اعطاء تقييمي لهذه الرواية فتارة أكرهها وتارة تأسرني

وخلاصة القول هذه رواية ستجعلك تحس أنك غبي جداا أو مجنون
Rana Abid
May 05, 2014 Rana Abid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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..
Bodour Bahliwah
ممتعة ومجنونة لأقصى حد
Daniel Parsons
Oct 05, 2009 Daniel Parsons rated it it was amazing  ·  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

Jun 23, 2008 Blair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. Admittedly, I've never been a huge fan of fiction that strays too far into fantasy, 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 ridiculous the story became - the last few ...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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Raw Shark Texts
  • Hospital
  • Inuyasha, Volume 09 (VIZBIG Edition)
  • The Drowned Life
  • Little Hands Clapping
  • The Electric Michelangelo
  • The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters (Miss Temple, Doctor Svenson, and Cardinal Chang, #1)
  • Darkmans (Thames Gateway, #3)
  • How Loathsome
  • Tutti i racconti: 1931-1936
  • Borges and the Eternal Orangutans
  • Living Next Door to the God of Love
  • Salamander
  • Gli incubi di Hazel
  • The Drifting Classroom, Vol. 7 (The Drifting Classroom)
  • Smiler's Fair (The Hollow Gods, #1)
  • The Book Lovers' Companion: What to Read Next
  • Night Work
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 about Scarlett Thomas...

Share This Book

“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.” 106 likes
“I wonder if the reason I tend to say yes to everything is because I deeply believe that I can survive anything.” 44 likes
More quotes…