Don’t judge a book by its cover – The End of Mr Y

don't judge a book by its coverThe old phrase don’t judge a book by its cover works two ways. Mostly people use it to stop you judging something negatively on appearances alone. But sometimes something looks lovely and turns out to be a steaming pile of animal faeces. The End of Mr Y is very much a literal embodiment of that phrase in its most heinous alternative form.

I defy anyone to look at the book, at least in the popular edition pictured left, and not be enticed. Rich colours, crazy text, it even has black-trimmed pages. A fascinating fantastical journey, you might reckon, like a carnival or a circus in book form. You’d be wrong. Very wrong.

It’s a sad state of affairs, because this writer took up shelf space in shops and lured more than a few people into reading this garbage thanks to its great book design. The blurb makes it sound great, a book about a book whose readers always die before completing it? Brilliant concept – but terrible execution. Here’s a brief run down of reasons not to read The End of Mr Y:

  • It feels like the author made it up as she went along.
  • The dreamlike parts of the book are full of flat, unoriginal imagery.
  • The main character is a limp, boring ditz.
  • The rules surrounding the book (and the magic and the other worlds and whatever else the story was supposed to be about) seem entirely arbitrary and sporadically appear when it suits the story (for instance, dreaming is safe in holy places or some nonsense).
  • The author appears to have put so much research into homoeopathy that she seems more compelled to convince us of how much she’s researched than to entertain anyone.
  • The author also neglected to consider if anything to do with homoeopathy was actually necessary to the story.
  • It’s crammed full of unrealistic dialogue, lazy descriptions and generally poor writing.
  • It’s not exciting, energetic or at all like a carnival or circus.

Don’t judge a book by it’s cover

Basically what this amounts to is a sprawling mess that has no real consideration for the reader. And feels like a first draft of random ideas.

But it’s presented in a beautiful book, and it certainly tricked me into reading it. So I’d like to reiterate this point, in case you’re ever persuaded to part with the time it takes to so much as skim this turd: don’t judge a book by its cover.

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