The book describes passage into a temporal dimension and outlines the recipe to a tincture that enables the drinker to travel to this dimension, called the Troposphere and MindSpace in the book. But the page containing the recipe is missing, torn out. In an all too perfect progression, Ariel finds the page, hidden within another book in Burlem’s office. She of course proceeds to prepare the concoction (one part holy water and one part carbo-vergetalis – some sort of homeopathic ingredient) and drinks it. The tincture allows Ariel to travel (not physically, but astrally) into the Troposphere where she can access the minds of others akin to the plot device that’s central to the film Being John Malkovich. Beyond the danger of becoming irreparably consumed by the Troposphere whilst her physical body starves to the death, Ariel is targeted by a pair of strange suited men with American accents who claim to be from the CIA. They want the book and are eager to hurt Ariel to acquire it. The rest of this fairly long book sees Ariel escaping the clutches of the CIA guys with the help of Apollo Smintheus (a Mouse God thought up by some boys in Nebraska) and a theology lecturer.
The End of Mr. Y is an engaging and intriguing novel. Unfortunately, there seems to be a lot of intentional obfuscation with tedious philosophical asides and frequent references to Derrida and Heidegger. Thomas has included an enormous range of thoughts and theories from science and philosophy as well as areas where they overlap. Although I found some things like Einstein’s train thought experiment and Schrödinger's cat interesting, on the whole, it was a little overwhelming which is, I think ,an apt summary for The End of Mr. Y – interesting but overwhelming.