Book Fridays: The End of Mr. Y by Scarlett Thomas

This was such a fun read. I don’t quite know where to begin. Our protagonist, Ariel, finds herself minus her dissertation advisor after he goes missing. She then finds a copy of a rare book by the subject of her thesis, Thomas Lumas, that is said to be cursed and as such results in the death of anybody who reads it. Of course Ariel reads the book (and so do you since large chunks of the text are inserted into the story).

I read a few reviews that dragged Ariel’s character for being promiscuous, arrogant, etc and I want to state, for the record, that those opinions are a load of bull. I mean if you like your women weak and under the patriarchy’s thumb then yes, Ariel is a terrible woman. But for me, and my views she was all right. Mind you she wasn’t perfect but the issues many have pointed at just don’t hold water.

Anyway, in this book that Ariel finds she learns about the troposphere. A place where you can travel into people’s minds, read their thoughts and even, perhaps, influence their thoughts. The book contains the recipe for a potion that one drinks in order to enter the troposphere and Ariel goes on a brief quest to obtain what she needs in order to make it. Once she does she enters the troposphere herself.

The tone of the book was playful even as it tackled some serious topics. Some of the conversations about Quantum Physics and Derrida felt like info dumps but overall this book was an enjoyable read and left me pondering after I read it. This particular cover (seen above) makes sense once you’ve read the book.