Review: ‘The End Of Mr Y’ by Scarlett Thomas

I talked back here about how pleased I was to get this book at a bargain price, and I’m even more pleased to be able to report that it’s a cracking read.

The plot, put very simply, is that student Ariel Manto finds a copy of the rare book ‘The End Of Mr Y’ – she’s pleased about this, as it’s covered by a thesis she’s writing on the author of the book, who disappeared. Like the main character in the book. And where exactly has her tutor vanished to?

The writing style is very readable, even when characters have to talk about some fairly in-depth theoretical stuff, and it’s got enough twists and turns to keep you unsure what’s going to happen next – it was, cliché as it may sound, the kind of book that made me wish I had just one more tube or bus stop to go before I had to stop reading.

My only niggle was that the slight romance sub-plot felt just that – slight – and I thought it was going to develop into something slightly more interesting than it did, but really this was just a disappointment in comparison to the way the other plot elements flowered so satisfyingly.

Definitely recommended, and if you’re wavering, do bear in mind that the edges of the pages are all black, so as one carries it around it looks like a grimoire, or some other book containing mysterious knowledge. A book that’s both a good read and physically well-designed? What’s not to like?

One to own, and certainly read more than once, I’d say.

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2 Comments

  1. In the same vein as ‘The List of 7’ perhaps ?

  2. Not really, more like a more literary version of The Matrix if anything, to be honest. As well written as Mark Frost’s book, though, definitely worth a go.
    J

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