the end of mr. y
the end of mr. y by scarlett thomas is a novel about ariel manto, a lonely phd student who stumbles upon an extremely rare 19th century novel. claiming to be a true account, the book describes the discovery of a tincture which transports the drinker to the troposphere – a victorian cyberspace where you can access the mind of any person. ariel is fascinated by the troposphere and as the book contains the recipe for the tincture she is curious to try it, after all, what’s the worst that can happen? it’s only fiction isn’t it?
this was a really fun story! it starts off a bit slow but once ariel decides to investigate the ingredients of the recipe the book suddenly takes off and i found i couldn’t turn the pages quick enough! it was so exciting following her decode the obscure recipe, then making the tincture, followed by the thrill of seeing it actually work!
the troposphere is vivid and memorable (i could really visualise it!) and she paces ariel’s exploration of this world perfectly. i really enjoyed seeing how she slowly learns the techniques of how to access people’s minds and, through trial and error, discovers the rules of this world.
the end of mr. y is very ambitious book which thomas definitely pulls off. her ideas are carefully thought out and well realised, and the world of the troposphere and its mechanics are utterly convincing.
now, if only that damn recipe worked for me as it did for ariel…!