Our Tragic Universe- Scarlett Thomas

Synopsis (from Amazon)

If Kelsey Newman’s theory about the end of the time is true, we are all going to live forever. But for Meg – locked in a dead-end relationship and with a deadline looming for a book that she can’t write – this thought fills her with dread. Stuck in a labyrinth of her own devising, Meg knows that there must be a way out. And a wild beast living on the Devonshire moors, a ship in a bottle, the science of time and a knitting pattern for the shape of the universe all have a crucial part to play in Meg’s release.Review

I don’t know why I am always surprised at how strange Scarlett Thomas noves are, you would think that after reading two, and thinking the synopsis of a third makes it sound like it too will be strange would lead me to expect it, but apparently not. In some ways Our Tragic Universe is more normal than The End of Mr Y, in some other ways it’s more strange. As with Pop Co. there is a little more sense of reality in Our Tragic Universe, the majority of what happens is pretty normal stuff that you could expect from general fiction, relationships, work, you know pretty everyday stuff- and that’s not really something I expect much from Scarlett Thomas. There are some strange happenings but they are explained away, more or less. Really what was strange about this book was that it didn’t really have a plot, sure stuff happened but nothing was really resolved, I suppose you could say it was like real life in that sense.

Thinking on it though I think maybe Scarlett Thomas was trying to make a point, I felt the same about P’op Co. and I am beggining to think it may be a similar theme throughout her novels, it makes me want to re-read The End of Mr Y to see if there might be some message that I missed first time. In Our Tragic Universe the over riding message seems to be about the process of writing, there were a number of times when I felt that Meg may actually be Scarlett, the way she made points about what she wanted her writing to be- but how she struggled with that. There was a lot of content about storyless stories, which is what Our Tragic Universe seemed to be itself, but it also talked about how can a story be storyless, and in some ways Our Tragic Universe did have plot points, just not a real overriding plot.
I’m still not entirely sure what I thought of it, I thinki I liked it, but maybe I just liked how it got me trying to puzzle it out, rather than liking the book itself.
Has anyone else out there read this? I’ve never seen another review and I’d like to see other takes on it.


Filed under Contempory, Fiction review

3 responses to “Our Tragic Universe- Scarlett Thomas

  1. I’ve read this and I wasn’t a big fan. It was OK, but I prefer my books to have a proper plot. There were lots of interesting sections, but at the end I was left a bit unsatisfied. Sounds as though we had similar thoughts on this one.


  2. Lucybird

    I liked how it seemed to reflect what was in the text but I’m not sure if I liked it in itself.


  3. Pingback: Going Out- Scarlett Thomas | Lucybird's Book Blog

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