Going Out Paperback
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I find her novels to be deliciously escapist, and full of pop-culture references: who on the internet could forget that "The Dark Side Of The Moon" makes such a good alternative soundtrack for "The Wizard of Oz"?
I'd recommend any of her novels, even those I've not read yet ...
Thomas writes odd and honest characters in a way that exposes truths about being human, while keeping the narrative light and fast paced.
I read her book Popco, too and will check out whatever else she writes.
If you haven't read any of Scarlett Thomas's books yet, I recommend that you start with "The End of Mr. Y" rather than "Going Out." However, if you are already a fan of Scarlett Thomas, you'll probably enjoy "Going Out." I especially recommend it to fans of "The Wizard of Oz," which has many parallels to this book. Both books are about a journey to a unknown yet powerful person who supposedly can help the characters find what they have always been looking for. They don't know much about this person who they believe will help them, but they are willing to risk everything they have to get to him. Also, "Going Out" contains many Oz-inspired images, such the green sparkly carpet, the yellow road, the suit of tin foil, the storms, and the witches. However, the characters do not necessarily correspond to the Oz characters, so don't waste your time figuring out if Julie is supposed to be the Scarecrow or the Cowardly Lion, or whether Charlotte or Chantal represents Dorothy.
Also worth noting: Scarlett Thomas seems to have a particular interest in mice. The small furry rodents make an important appearance in this book as well as in "The End of Mr. Y."
The story drags for the first hundred pages or so, introducing us to all the characters and their families and everyone else, but once all the niceties are out of the way, Julie hatches her plan to cure Luke once and for all, with Leanne creating a special "spacesuit" for Luke; Chantel renting a van and being the money behind the operation; and David and Charlotte...joining in for the ride and helping navigate, but not doing a very good job of it. Not their fault, though; the more we learn about Julie, the more we learn about her little psychoses: fear of large highways, fear of travel, fear of ingesting poison through packaged foods. It's the former two that make the journey a challenge; they must drive on smaller roads (Julie is the only one of them who knows how to drive), most of which keep getting flooded out due to the apparent monsoon that's overtaken Britain. When they finally get to Wales - small spoiler: not everyone makes it, but no one dies, though - they meet the mysterious Wei, and what ends up happening is not quite what anyone expected...
Read more of my review at my blog: http://wp.me/p3Aqzs-r0