A little about the author – Scarlett Thomas was born in Hammersmith in 1972. She teaches creative writing at the University Of Kent. Going Out is her 5th novel first published by Fourth Estate a division of Harper Collins. She is best known for her 2004 novel PopCo.
This edition published in 2012 by Canongate Publishers.
Going Out is a quirky story of a road trip and a modern take on The Wizard Of Oz.
Luke is twenty five and has a allergy to the sun. He has been a virtual prisoner in his own home for most of his life with only his tv, Internet and books on which all his perceptions and knowledge of everything are based. He has got no idea what the world outside of his house is like.
Luke is fearful he will never experience anything normal and is increasingly frustrated over his inability to experience the world like his couple of friends do and after being contacted by a healer and starts to plan to go out.
Julie lives next door and is Luke’s best friend. A kind and caring Maths genius who has anxiety and her whole life is revolved around her many phobias to increase her probability of living. I did wonder if Julie has got Aspergers as she is also socially awkward and doesn’t like change. She is also rigid in her routine. Julie works as a waitress at at The Edge.
Charlotte used to live across the road but went away after her boyfriend died. She has recently returned to the area.
Dave is the chef at The Edge and confided in Julie that he has cancer.
Leanne used to bully Julie at school but she now seems to think they are friends. She goes to The Edge on her work break. Leanne thinks she is psychic.
Chantel is Leanne’s cousin who buys the house across the road after having had a lottery win.
Together the unlikely group of friends all of whom are on their own personal journeys embark on a road trip to Wales so Luke can meet the healer and hopefully be cured.
Going Out is essentially a tale in which all of the characters have all got their own issues, are all connected and all find themselves questioning their lives:
On the whole I found Going Out quite a light enjoyable read.
You know that you push me away
and cut me with the things you say.
Hysterical in your despair,
but you are not beyond repair.
You need to look inside your mind
and reach for something good and kind.
Let go of anger and of hate
and learn to rehabilitate
the way you think you can reclaim,
your life so stop shifting the blame.
I wish that my love could fix you
but all my efforts misconstrued.
In spite you lash out in disdain,
your tongue a knife I feel your pain.
One step forward then you regress,
your memory steals your happiness.
You give your stress and vitriol,
you’ve got to stop and take control.
There’s only so much one can take
but I can’t let the bridges break.
I’ll always be your truest friend,
I know in time that you will mend
if you close the door and move on,
the future’s yours and you have won:
Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown