Batsap's Reviews > The End of Mr. Y

The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas
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's review
Aug 25, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: library, not-good

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 was presented though - in pretentious conversations between equally pretentious characters - made it difficult to connect with what was actually being discussed.

Which brings me to what I found most deadly about the book: the main character Ariel Manto. In my opinion she was the worst kind of female stereotype. In a desperate bid to perhaps show that she was 'in' with students, or even just to appear modern, Thomas had her protaganist blantantly smoking, swearing, sleeping around and whining about her terrible upbringing. And it wasn't just the charming Miss Manto, all the characters were shallow stereotypes trying too hard to be 'cool'.

Usually, the plot or the style of writing can make up for a lack of interesting characters, but sadly this was not the case. Judging by the plot, this would have looked more at home in the children's section, if it weren't for the gratuitous sex and swearing - which I suppose were put in just to prove that the book was for adults. As for the writing style, it was fair enough with some good turns of phrase, but nowhere near good enough to make up for the tepid plot and annoying characters.

So, if you have an interest in thought experiments and the nature of the universe, I suggest you pick up a Philosophy or popular Science book instead.
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Reading Progress

August 25, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
August 30, 2009 – Finished Reading
September 10, 2010 – Shelved as: library
September 10, 2010 – Shelved as: not-good

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Deborah Ademola I have tried to read this book twice. I probably will finish it this year. But the pretentious conversations are really killing the enjoyment. I usually read before going to bed, but as fascinating as Einstein is, I just can't stand to hear Ariel wasting pages blabbing on about his theories. And whilst I don't mind nerdy characters, do references to Derrida need to appear on EVERY page? Do Ariel's dreams need to be so weird and pretentious? The only parts I find interesting right now is Thomas Lumas' book.

Lydia Smith I agree. It's not even the mind traveling that gets me, it's the homeopathy, honestly, and I'm struggling through the last few pages. Wish me luck...

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