“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” Book Club: A come to Jesus moment

When I went to Book Club, I prepared all the ways I would articulate my feelings about Iain Reid’s books. Many of the points I wanted to touch on were included in my review. Some were questions: When did you know? How did you feel? Can you explain the details?

Previously, I had determined the book to be a two-star book because it didn’t polish off the details for me. I flippantly discredited as “Not smart enough” and usually, I think, I’m right about these things. I say I think because boy howdy, would I like to change my mind.

This book club was probably the most interesting discussion we’ve ever had. We talked about the book and only the book for the better part of two and a half hours. This is unprecedented. The next closest book was The Psychopath Test which, while amazing, didn’t have the same levels of disagreement, support, and interpretation.That discussion didn’t enlighten me or cause a radical shift in perspective, this one did. Impressively, due to the size of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” every person who came finished the book. Six people. FINISHED. And everyone had things to contribute.

Some of us saw the ending coming like I did. Some people saw the details too. Which I failed miserably at. Without telling you the ending of the book, and spoiling it for your potential book club (or personal reading), there are metaphors on metaphors that tease out many of the details. I had seen the ending coming, I had seen the big picture, but I was too dense to apply that to the rest of the story and work it out myself. It was only of the course of conversation that things really started to click for me.

This is the perfection of a book club. I got to see things from the perspective of another reader. There were things I could explain to others and things that had to be explained to me. We had different ideas about what was “real” and “right” in the story. I think every person there could comfortably re-read the book with new ideas to verify after our discussion.

It should change my way of rating the book, huh? Since I’ve been shown the light? I’m not sure if it does. It’s much, much smarter than I gave it credit for. I wonder how much of it I’m expected to make sense of, how much the author knew we could tie together without his help. It’s an interesting author/reader relationship.

If you’ve read it, I would love to talk with you about your experience. This book has everything to do with how you understood it, I’d love more perspectives on it. It’s the response that’s even more gripping than the book.


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