“Destined to become a cult book.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Ariel Manto, an impoverished and directionless PhD student, discovers by chance a copy of a rare and notorious novel “The End of Mr Y”. Rumoured to be cursed, the only other known copy of the book resides unseen in the vaults of German bank. Ariel discovers within its pages the recipe for a concoction that the book’s author claims will transport her to an alternate reality from which she can access the minds of those around her.
Now, I am pathologically incapable of spotting allegory, seeing sub-text, reading between the lines. However, Scarlett Thomas’ best known work to date is clearly a statement or investigation into the nature of reality so I am possibly the worst person to really appreciate what she is trying to say. Just bear that in mind as you read on.