From Truth to Mystery Thriller - Meet Iain Reid
You know that you have discovered something important when you leave a one-hour session with an author and you immediately rush out to acquire all of his books. That is what happened when I heard author Iain Reid at the Festival of Words.
Reid is a well-known and skilled writer of non-fiction. His book ‘One Bird’s Choice’ is subtitled ‘a Year in the Life of an Overeducated, Underemployed Twenty-Something Who Moves Back Home.’ Yes, many of us can relate, but as Canada Reads says “Reid is a gifted storyteller. His family stories are funny and honest, but the real stars of the show are his parents - quirky, lovable characters that one grows to love.”
In his next book, ‘The Truth About Luck’, the author accompanies his 92yea- old grandmother on a five-day va- cation, which turns out to be a ‘staycation’ at his apartment in Kingston. As he escorts her to local attractions and restaurants, the two exchange memories and she begins to reveal details of her inspiring life story. Reid was on a successful path of writing memoirs. Then he was bitten by the thriller bug. His next book, ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’, is eerie and spooky. Those who have read it already say it is not for consumption if you are at home alone at night. Most of the action takes place in and out of a car, over a few hours, as a young man and his new girlfriend travel to meet his parents. Nothing is what it seems, and you are quickly drawn into the suspense. One reviewer says, “The momentum is unstoppable...it is engaging, bizarre and twisted...a road trip to the heart of creepiness.” The book is about identity and explores the perversity of loneliness. Jake, the lead character, says that “memory is fiction...Fictions and memories are recalled and retold. They are both forms of stories. Stories are the way we learn. Stories are how we understand each other. But reality happens only once.” He addresses the pervasiveness of depression in our society. “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.”
But the novel hinges on the notion of reality. “It is only real when there are stakes, when something is on the line.” I am waiting for my copy of his latest novel ‘Foe’ with great anticipation.