I’m Thinking Of Ending Things: Iain Reid
Reviewed By Steve Stred
“I haven’t been thinking about it for long.”
Recently, I had the pleasure of reading FOE, Reid’s second book and was blown away. Just a dread-filled trip that really pushed the boundaries for me. It was a book where I felt that I always knew what was going to happen, but never really knew what was going to happen.
Before I was even finished reading it, I’d purchased the Kindle version of ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things,’ as well as a physical copy.
I ended up reading this slower than expected – which had no bearing on the book, writing or story – because of pressing reviewing commitments that came up. If those commitments hadn’t been there, I would have read this in one sitting.
The story, much like FOE, is barren of anything happening. Simple set pieces and minimal extraneous happenings keep you on your toes. I think it was either Edward Lorn or The Behrg on Twitter who commented on my reading this book, that every single page drips dread. This is absolutely true.
The story never really goes off the rails into a crazy event, but as things ramp up, Reid goes from a cinematic scope of storytelling to a claustrophobic environment and it was at this point I realized that he’d taken the story to a whole different level. I can’t describe exactly how it felt – the closest I can say is that I felt like the floor had dropped out from under me and I had a split second moment of realization before I began to fall. My heart was pounding and my breathing hurt.
In two books, Reid has done something only a handful of other authors have ever done for me – made me want to reread the book right when I finished it.
I want to say so much more about this book, but if I discussed any key moments that really had me go down different rabbit holes with the story, I’d potentially end up spoiling the big reveal, if you will.
I’ve seen that this book is being adapted into a movie and what a slow burn, panic-filled movie that will be.
Can’t recommend this enough and if you really want to get yourself ready to be checked into an insane asylum, read this one and FOE back to back.
I’m Thinking Of Ending Things
Jake and his girlfriend are on a drive to visit his parents at their remote farm. After dinner at the family home, things begin to get worryingly strange. And when he leaves her stranded in a snowstorm at an abandoned high school later that night, what follows is a chilling exploration of psychological frailty and the limitations of reality.
Iain Reid’s intense, suspenseful debut novel will have readers’ nerves jangling. A series of tiny clues sprinkled through the relentlessly paced narrative culminate in a haunting twist on the final page.
Reminiscent of Michael Faber’s Under the Skin, Stephen King’s Misery and the novels of José Saramago, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an astonishing and highly original literary thriller that grabs you from the start – and never lets go.
Steve Stred is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections. He has appeared in anthologies with some of Horror’s heaviest hitters.
He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada with his wife, son and their dog OJ.
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