The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas

When Ariel Manto, a PhD student working on research on though experiments comes across a book called 'The End of Mr. Y', a book she thought she would never find, a book so rare it is almost only known as a legend, on a second-hand book shop, Ariel has no idea how much her life will change because of it. The author of the book, Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas is known to very few, but Ariel has taken interest in him and when he gets his so-called masterpiece in to her hands, she starts to question the controversy around the book. Is the book really cursed, like everyone says? Will she die, like the others who have read the book? 

Ariel's curiosity takes over her and she reads the book. And when she finishes the last page, she is not struck dead. But she finds a recipe. A recipe for fluid that could possibly take her to troposphere, a 4th dimension, a place made of metaphors, a result of her own imagination. At troposphere she also has the possibility for pedesis, which means that she can enter the minds of other people close to her. As she starts to spend more and more time in Troposphere, she realizes that she is not there alone... there are people looking for her who want the book and are ready to do anything to get it. Even sacrifice lives, if needed.

The End of Mr. Y was such an imaginative, intelligent read. At points I had to stop reading it and Google different philosophers and scientists just to make sure I even attempt to understand what the characters are talking about. I must admit that there were some scientific theories etc. I did not understand, but those did not really take anything away from the reading experience. 

Throughout the whole novel I was not sure what to think of Ariel. She is intelligent and scholarly. She loves books. Those are things I admire in people. But she also is quite uncaring, especially when it comes to herself and her decisions. The book provides some minor glimpses to her past, showing us that her childhood was not the happiest possible. It is clear from Ariel that she still is affected by her childhood, even though she might not be ready to admit it. When Adam, a guy who used to be a priest, but who according to his own words, "lost God", comes around, Ariel realizes that because she actually has feelings for him, she cannot act around him like she would with other men. This means that she does not jump to bed with him. Throughout the whole novel Ariel is a very sexual character and she has realized already when she was young that by giving her body to men, she can get other benefits out of it. And she gets a thrill from the danger.

Because of her interest with danger and risks, Ariel of course uses the recipe. Once we actually go to the Troposphere with her, the books get so much more interesting it already was before. At the first part of the novel we get to read parts of The End of Mr. Y, which is also one of the best parts of the novel. The way Troposphere is described is so imaginative and something I have never come across before. And as more and more information about the way the dimension works is learned by Ariel, I learned more and started to make my own predictions about the dimension and how the book will actually end. And I can tell you honestly that the ending was nothing what I expected. It was so much better.

The End of Mr. Y is one of those rare books you come across once in a while. It is one of those books you will recommend to others, just because of the fact that it was so different, at parts to weird and absurd. It is one of those books you would love to discuss with others because there was so much information in it, so much to which to grasp to. It is one of those books that is perfect for anyone with even a small interest in science, philosophy, time travel, and just books in general. Is it confusing? Yes, almost all the time. But do you get something out of it. Yes, for sure, information I personally would not otherwise have acquired - information about physics, though experiments, religion. It is one of those strange reading experiences, a one that sometimes makes you feel a bit crazy and strange, one that makes you question the things you read.

The End of Mr. Y is one of those books that is also extremely hard to explain - it is one you need to read in order to fully understand. And I just want to mention that I suck at stuff like physics and philosophy, but I still gave this a go - so if you do not generally like stuff from those fields, don't let that stop you. Thomas is a brilliant storyteller, and also a really good in summarizing things in a way that they are easy to understand, even for those who do not generally read scientific texts.