Saturday, 10 July 2010


Kalo mina!! That means Good Month, literally, but in Greece they say it at the beginning of a new month!
It has been ages since my last post, I know ... But now I'm back!
Today I am going to write about another book I read recently. I bought it 4-5 months ago, but I only read it about a month ago ... The book I am referring to is ''PopCo'' by Scarlett Thomas. She has also written ''The End Of Mr Y'', which is her most famous novel (although I have not yet read it ... Of course, this will be corrected as soon as possible, when I manage to find it and buy it!).

The central character of the book is Alice Butler, a girl with many peculiarities, which is quite evident even from the first chapter. The issue which underpins the book is that Alice has received some strange messages, which not only are anonymous but are also written in code. So she begins to wonder who could be sent them to her: somebody who works at PopCo, the toy company where she is employed?  Or is it her father, who disappeared many years ago? The only things that is certain is that to solve this ''mystery'', she would have to use her knowledge on how to break codes, and also use the key that she has been wearing around her neck since she was 10 old.
This book is quite strange and one of the main reasons for that is because the protagonist of the book is strange. The reasons she has for doing some things become evident as the book goes on. The greatest part of the book takes place at the conference that the company Alice works for has organised, in order to create the ultimate product-game for teenage girls - the only group to which they have difficulty selling products. interrupting the main part of the narration, there are whole chapters, describing Alice's past and explain her connection to both the fields of codes and mathematics. But what the author wants to do is to reveal some facts about businesses and how they operate in order to achieve a purpose.
I bought the book from the most wonderful bookshop in Greece: Eleftheroudakis, right opposite the University of Athens. It really is paradise, if you love books (for Greece, of course! In England, it's definitely Waterstones!!!). I saw it, I liked the cover and I read the story from the back of the book, so I bought it ... But I really did not expect to like it so much... In the beginning, I thought it was a bit weird, but after the third or fourth chapter I really did not want to put it down! One day, I actually stayed up and read the book until half past three in the morning...! I probably ended up finishing it in about 5 days! (Although I've read other books in a lot less time than that!) In the end, I really enjoyed this book. Very much so. In general, I like books that have codes and stuff (that's one of the central themes of his book). I love Dan Brown books, so now you know why I enjoy codes and stuff! But more about them in another post! If I had to grade this book, I would give it 8/10. It completely different from the two books I have already written about, but it's a really good book that I think many will be enjoy!

But I have to say some things about the author. Scarlett Thomas is an British author and teaches English at the University of Kent. She has written eight books to date, out of which, three are the best known: ''PopCo'', ''The End Of Mr Y'' and ''Our Tragic Universe'', which is her latest book. The covers of two other books look just below:

She is currently working on her ninth novel, called ''The Seed Collectors''.
Finally, as in both previous posts, so here are some links for anyone who would like to find out a bit more about the author and her books.

Scarlett Thomas (Wikipedia)
Scarlett Thomas Official Website
Our Tragic Universe
The End Of Mr Y

The last two have links at the bottom of the page, from which you can read the first chapters of both books! To see if you like them, before you buy them!

Goodbye again!

(All images have come from Scarlett Thomas' Official Website.)

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