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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?

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…!

Categories: books
  1. September 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    I’m so glad you reviewed this! I was on the fence about whether I wanted to read it. Neil Gaiman praised it in an interview a while ago and he rarely steers me wrong, but then I saw a few reviews that scared me away. If you liked it, though, I probably will too 😀

  2. jean pierre
    September 4, 2009 at 6:45 am

    i must add that it’s by no means without its flaws. as i said, it does start very slowly. and also, i didn’t quite agree with the direction the book took in the end but i could accept it because it was consistent with the rest of the narrative.

    but aside from that there was loads i liked about the book!

  3. September 4, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    Wow…this sounds positively fun! Like I needed something else to add to my wish list. ‘Cause I really didn’t. But I will.

  4. September 4, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    That sounds interesting. If I come across it I’ll have to take a peak inside.

  5. September 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Wow, I hadn’t even heard of this one but it sounds very interesting. I’ll be looking for this one at the local library.

  6. February 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Hey its really exiting and interesting. never come across such things before. I am gona buy it rather lending it from someone

  7. March 1, 2010 at 9:48 am


    i’m glad you found this interesting and i hope you enjoy the book!

  8. September 18, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Sounds a little like the idea of Being John Malkovich, except better. I’m definitely interested.

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