I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

I'm Thinking of Ending Things was Published on 30th June 2016 by Text Publishing. My thanks to Alice Dewing of FMcM Associates for my review copy.

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 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.  

My Thoughts:

This quite frankly is one of the most disturbing books I have read, it is clever in its structure and it takes you in a choke hold and spits you out as the final pages rattle by. 

This is one of the more difficult reviews to write because I genuinely can't tell you all that much about the plot without spoiling it or influencing you in some way. Twisted and scary, I can assure you that I didn't sleep well last night. 

Primarily what I can tell you about the plot is that Jake and 'The Girlfriend' are off on a road trip to visit his parents. The journey and the route drive the narrative and enables a tension to build up throughout. The trip is a bit bizarre as is the return journey. The return leg involves a stop off at a Dairy Queen and a school and it is here that things turn the weirdest yet. Interspersed are small fragments of a different story about a terrible event that has happened. That is all I can tell you....

This book has been billed as Psychological Horror and I would agree with that description, it is unflinching whilst being sparse. This story plummets to depths that I haven't read before and the tautness of the prose lead me to gulp at the end and wonder what on earth just happened. At first I didn't understand the ending, after thinking about it now I do and everything that went before makes sense. There were clues and signs along the way of course that now make sense.

This book is short at just over 200 pages but it packs one hell of a punch, I hurtled through it, such was my need to find out the ending. It was gripping and horrific at the same time. When you have to look but know you shouldn't.

This book is an examination of ones identity, and of desire and longing. It is about things not being quite as they appear set against a backdrop of horror and sadness. 

I was scared witless and it was quite simply brilliant.

About the Author:

Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction, One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck, which was one of Globe and Mail's best books of 2013. Reid’s work has appeared in a variety of publications throughout North America, including The New Yorker, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post. In 2015, he received the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is his first novel. 

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