Thinks… is a novel about consciousness. The plot is simple. Helen Reed, a recently widowed novelist, comes to the fictional University of Gloucester as a writer-in-residence. There she meets Ralph Messenger, who heads the program in artificial intelligence and human consciousness. Messenger explains his field to Reed (and to us), and she questions and challenges, suggesting that humanists in general and novelists in particular may know more than cognitive psychologists about consciousness, or at least more about the content (as opposed to the process) of consciousness. Messenger is more interested in the process. Meanwhile Messenger’s marriage, his sex life (not the same thing), his family, and his health and Reed’s idealization of her late husband and her depressive response to his death all get shuffled and reshuffled. The story is told in three voices: Messenger’s dictation to a recorder as he experiments in what amounts to free association (although, interestingly, Lodge doesn’t mention the concept); Reed’s diary, typed on her computer; and the "objective" view of an impersonal third party. From time to time there are also e-mails and essays by Reed’s students—the latter providing opportunities for Lodge to demonstrate his virtuosity at mimicking the styles of famous authors.