bright young things – scarlett thomas

Bright Young Things

I first read this book over 10 or 11 years ago, when it first came out as I have it in my bookshelf in oversized paperback.  I loved Scarlett Thomas’ other books around that time, although this one felt very different to the Lily Pascale series, and she took what felt a completely different turn with The End Of Mr Y, which is very good and extremely unique.

It was one of those books that stayed in my mind for ages, but since reluctantly becoming a self-loathing but total Kindle convert, although I often looked at it on my shelf, I couldn’t bring myself to read it again as I only read on the tube and it is SO BIG!

So, imagine my surprise when I was on Amazon one day and spotted that it os only TWENTY PENCE on Kindle!!  I snapped it up straight away and settled down to read.

We are introduced to six bright twenty-somethings – all very different people, and seemingly nothing in common apart from the fact that they are all intrigued enough to apply for a strange advert looking for ‘Bright Young Things for Big Project’.

After getting through to the interview stage, the next thing they know, the six of them wake up on a small island with nothing more than a house on it, with no memory of how they got there and no discernable way to get off.

Trying to work out why they are there, who brought them here, where here exactly is and if there is a way off of the island becomes somewhat more urgent once they discover the secret in the attic room.

This book has a lot of dialogue and makes you really think about how you would react if you were put into that situation, as each of the different characters has a completely different reaction.

I have to admit, I first read it when I was about 29, and felt that I had more in common with the characters than I do now at 40!  And re-reading it was like biting into a little slice of recent history.  Some of the pop-culture references seemed quite amusing – it’s amazng how far we’ve come in such a short time, especially technology-wise.

I still really enjoyed it, but it didn’t have quite the same impact on me as it did with my first reading.  If you’re in your 20’s I’d really recommend it, even though you might find some of the references a little dated.

I am now nervous of re-reading Going Out by the same author, as that also really reonated with me at the time!


3 thoughts on “bright young things – scarlett thomas

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  1. This makes a lot of sense to me: I never have any idea any more about how I’ll feel about revisiting a book that wowed me first time round. My worst experience was with Catch 22, which I loved and thought fabulous first time round. Years later I received it as a gift and couldn’t wait to get started. It just didn’t work; I couldn’t even finish it. So I’m inclined these days to treasure the memory and not try to rekindle [no pun intended] the affair.

    1. I have always thought that about books that you’ve read as a teenager, because at that time you think everything resonates with you, cos the ‘old people’ couldn’t possibly understand how you personally feel, etc etc etc. But late 20’s shouldn’t have been that much different to 40 *sob* – I still think I’m about 29 most of the time…until my knee starts aching etc.

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