Life is more mystery than misery

(or at least, that's what I like to think)

Going Out, by Scarlett Thomas

I didn’t even know this book existed. I mean, I ‘ve read Scarlett Thomas before, as you can see here and here, but I didn’t know there were five novels before PopCo. And it’s a fact there were: three crime novels that were the first deal Thomas got from a publisher, and then Bright Young Things (which now I recall hearing about in some vague memory at the back of m brain). Going Out was the one that followed. I found it two weeks ago in one of my favorite libraries in Barcelona and since I had enjoyed my previous Thomas readings I thought it was a no brainer to buy it.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked it, but not as much as “Our Tragic Universe” which I dare to say is may favorite Thomas novel, or “The end of Mr. Y”. Still, it is a quite entertaining and surrealist novel which narrates the story of Luke, a guy who can’t go out of his home because of a very rare illness that makes him allergic to the sun, her best friend Julie, who is afraid of almost everything, and a bunch of friends who feel adventurous enough to embark on a van trip through a flooded England to take Luke to the only person who has said that can cure him.

Thomas defines it as one of her “Postmodernism is Rubbish’ trilogy novels: “ I don’t like calling myself a postmodern novelist (because of Fredric Jameson) but I have wanted to explore what it means to be trapped in a culture where your identity is defined by pop culture. The books don’t share characters or locations but do share themes.”

All in all, I enjoyed and found it somehow different from what I expected. Going out is a young and fresh English adventure, with quite lovable characters and with all the ingredients to be a contemporary remake of The Wizard of Ozz, as the last chapter confirms: Thomas herself chose to include an excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Ozz by L. Frank Baum. 


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