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224 pages, ebook
First published June 14, 2016
"Creepy as hell. You owe me a few fingernails, Reid, because I've bitten them off reading your book!"When Mr. Cutter endorses a book like that I will do just about anything (and I do mean anything people) to get my hands on a copy. Fortunately, I didn't have to kill anybody (and lose precious reading time getting rid of the body since my woodchipper is in the shop). The publisher provided a review copy for free, no violence required, no cleanup in aisle four. Thanks Simon and Schuster Canada!
“Sometimes a thought is closer to truth, to reality, than an action. You can say anything, you can do anything, but you can't fake a thought.”
“I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It dominates. There's not much I can do about it. Trust me. It doesn't go away. It's there whether I like it or not. It's there when I eat. When I go to bed. It's there when I sleep. It's there when I wake up. It's always there. ”
"Getting to know someone is like putting a never-ending puzzle together. We fit the smallest pieces first, and we get to know ourselves better in the process."
“Just tell your story. Pretty much all memory is fiction and heavily edited. So just keep going.”
“Is intelligence always good? I wonder. What if intelligence is wasted? What if intelligence leads to more loneliness rather than to fulfillment? What if instead of productivity and clarity, it generates pain, isolation, and regret?"
“Depression is a serious illness. It's physically painful, debilitating. And you can't just decide to get over it in the same way you can't just decide to get over cancer. Sadness is a normal human condition, no different from happiness. You wouldn't think of happiness as an illness."
Jake passes the slow-moving pickup in front of us. It’s black, old. We’ve been following that truck for a while, pretty much for the entire story. I try to see the driver as we go by but can’t make him out. There haven’t been many cars with us on the road.
“What did you mean when you said all memory is fiction?” I ask.
“A memory is its own thing each time it’s recalled. It’s not absolute. Stories based on actual events often share more with fiction than fact. Both fictions and memories are recalled and retold. They’re both forms of stories. Stories are the way we learn. Stories are how we understand each other. But reality happens only once.”
This is when I’m most attracted to Jake. Right now. When he says things like “Reality happens only once.”
“It’s just weird, when you start thinking about it. We go see a movie and understand it’s not real. We know it’s people acting, reciting lines. It still affects us.”
“So you’re saying that it doesn’t matter if the story I just told you is made up or if it actually happened?”
“Every story is made up. Even the real ones.”
Another classic Jake line.
“I’ll have to think about that.”
“You know that song ‘Unforgettable’?”
“Yeah,” I say.
“How much is truly unforgettable?”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure. I like the song, though.”
“Nothing. Nothing is unforgettable.”
“That’s the thing. Part of everything will always be forgettable. No matter how good or remarkable it is. It literally has to be. To be.”
“That is the question?”
“Don’t,” says Jake.
”There’s something about modernity and what we value now. Is there a general lack of compassions? Of interest in others? In connections? It’s all related. How are we supposed to achieve a feeling of significance and purpose without feeling a link to something bigger than our own lives? The more I think about it, the more it seems happiness and fulfillment rely on the presence of others, even just one other. The same way sadness requires happiness, and vice versa. Alone is…”
“I know what you mean.”