Oh, man! I’m Thinking of Ending Things ruined me in the best possible way. If this book had a playlist, I’m sure Radiohead and The Strokes would most likely be on it. More importantly, though, I couldn’t read anything for a little bit after this one. Iain Reid provides so many things for the reader to contemplate and chew on. Aside from keeping you off balance, the author does a great job keeping the mood eerie. And it’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. I still can’t believe it. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it all since reading this one. I’m still in awe of how Reid presents this story. To say I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a helluva read is an understatement. I read this one in the dead of winter, and I can attest to it enhancing the reading experience, given the snow and all.
A man takes his girlfriend out to his parent’s farmhouse. It’s here that we get a sense of what’s truly going on. Everything seems to be going great. The girlfriend hits it off with the parents. She ventures down into the basement where she finds something strange. When she goes back upstairs she notices that her boyfriend’s parents have gashes above their eyes. Odd right? Her boyfriend is waiting for her in the car. Weird, huh? You’d think since everything was going fine, he would wait on her and walk to the vehicle together, being her first time meeting his parents.
The couple seem very distant on the ride home. They don’t talk very much. Then, to top things off, the boyfriend decides to take a detour in a snowstorm. The boyfriend parks the vehicle in front of an abandoned school and ventures inside the darkened halls. His girlfriend goes in search of him and ultimately she is stranded. That’s about the time my jaw hit the floor. I closed the book and paced around my office. It took me a bit to gain my composure and finish the last couple of pages. The ending will knock you on your ass. You won’t see it coming. It will make you wish you had written something just as brilliant.
The lyrical prose makes I’m Thinking of Ending Things a breeze to read. I experienced this story in one sitting. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I felt all the emotions. I cried. It shook me to my core. For the first time in a while, I was pulled through the emotional wringer. I talked with my partner about the story after finishing. It just stuck with me. It was the ambiguity that got me, I believe. I had no sense of direction as to the storyline. I didn’t have a clue as to what was going to happen. I felt lost. Not in the story, but like, I didn’t know how to feel or what to feel. It’s confusing, I know. Believe me, I’ve been thinking about this book for months. I still can’t get my head around it.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is quirky and spellbindingly beautiful. From start to finish, Iain Reid keeps you on your toes. Iain Reid can write with the best of them. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is one helluva debut. You will definitely be scared, but you won’t know why. That’s the thing and it’s brilliant. It works on so many levels. If you haven’t read one of Iain Read’s books, then you should remedy that immediately. This one’s a great place to start. I’m looking forward to his next release.
You will be scared. But you won’t know why…
I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always.
Jake once said, “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.”
And here’s what I’m thinking: I don’t want to be here.
In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel pulls you in from the very first page…and never lets you go.
Categories: Book Reviews