Fantasy Mystery

The End of Mr Y – Scarlett Thomas

25 April 2019
The End of Mr. Y Book Cover The End of Mr. Y
Scarlett Thomas
Canongate Books

When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr. Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She knows enough about its author, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, to know that copies are exceedingly rare. And, some say, cursed.With Mr. Y under her arm, Ariel finds herself thrust into a thrilling adventure of love, sex, death and time-travel.


Several years ago I was passing a charity shop and through the window, I spotted a number of books for sale, so I ventured inside. This book really stood out so I bought it. I was absolutely intrigued when I realised that the main protagonist (Ariel Manto) bought her copy of The End of Mr Yin a second-hand bookshop. I opened the cover and started reading hoping that my expectation of a fantasy adventure wasn’t just about to be smashed.

From the first page, I was hooked, an immediate recognition that this was going to be highly original and I’d better be prepared for new perceptions and twists through Ariel’s pursuit of Thomas Lumas (the fictional author of the “End of Mr Y”). It is a very clever plot where the reader is taken on a journey through the Troposphere, a place where you can travel through time and other people’s thoughts. There was definitely a risk that this could just get too unbelievable and silly but I continued to remain connected to the characters and their complexity. The plot moved at a great pace and remained fascinating. The science wasn’t a big issue for me but Scarlett Thomas does seem to put some weight behind it. I found it interesting but not compelling and if it’s not your thing, you can leave to the side without affecting the story.

I bought all Scarlett Thomas’ books on the basis of this novel but none have had the same impact as this one. I have a fantasy connection to this book (even if fabricated in only my own mind). While I feel I have contributed significantly to Amazon’s success 🙂 I will keep trying to find books in unexpected places hoping to be rewarded with another experience like this.

I would recommend this book and would rate it 4.5 stars.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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