#AMREADING IAIN REID’S I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS.
This psychological thriller is all about relationships with others (or is it with the self?). The surprise ending will answer that question. Either way, Jake (the protagonist of the story, shall we say) is right:
Forfeiting solitude or independence is a much greater sacrifice than most of us realize… It’s not unlike religion and God. We believe in certain constructs that help us understand life…The idea that
we are better off with one person for the rest of our lives is not an innate truth of existence. It’s a belief we want to be true.
Without the Other, so much of life felt accidental, unnecessary, arbitrary. It’s been lacking a dimension. Then again, a real relationship -- when there is dependence, when something is at stake – may involve the loss of the self.
We get at the truest version of ourselves …when we are not diluted by the Other’s presence and judgments…Only when we are alone can we focus on ourselves, know ourselves.
What does Jake tell us about his Other? He called me a compressed Uma Thurman she says. He never called me sexy… He called me pretty and he said “beautiful” once or twice, the way guys do. Once he called me therapeutic.
The key to understanding Reid’s novel is the phrase: You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can’t fake a thought.
But you know what? I think all thoughts are fake. That’s what makes them thoughts rather than observations. They have no independent existence. They serve only as tools to interpret the world.
And even so, we can’t understand the world through rationality, not entirely. We depend on symbols for meaning…This integration reflects the way our minds work, the way we function and interact; our split between logic, reason, and something else, something close to feeling, or spirit. There’s a word that will probably make you bristle.