Leandra's Reviews > Our Tragic Universe

Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas
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's review
Jun 15, 2010

it was ok

Our Tragic Universe is supposed to be another book in a series of books by Scarlett Thomas that poses questions about the universe, the end of time and the existance of man. Sadly, it fails spectacularly.

I've read both The End of Mr. Y and PopCo, and OTU just doesn't live up to the complexity of the first and the thoughtfulness and insight of our current world in the second.

The theme is inconcise - the book concerns itself with the end of the universe - an endless loop of events repeating themselves, the universe resetting itself when it reached its end, and questions of narration - the storyless story, the fictionless fiction, the Hero's journey vs. the anit-hero. This is exactly where the book fails - it looks like she tried to use this concept on her book as well - there's no definite beginning, no highpoint, no end, not much of a journey for the protagonist of the story. As usually, Scarlett Thomas brings a lot of elements together, but this time, she fails to connect - rather keeping them disjointed. This all might be a concept, and I guess one should give her kudos for attempting such a concept, but the problem with it is that it all becomes horribly boring. (Also, why not discuss the concept of the storyless story on a higher intellectual level? I thought that was her stick...?)

OTU failed to capture my attention - I was rather annoyed by it, if I have to be honest. The naivetè of her do-good characters in PopCo was quite charming in its idealism (something, the world needs, IMHO), but when you apply it to the bunch of pseudo-humanists that inhabit OTU, it just gets annoying as all hell.

All in all - disappointing. And really, I wanted to love this book, because I both love The End of Mr. Y. and PopCo.
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