You will be scared. But you won’t know why…
I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It’s always there. Always.
Jake and I have a real connection, a rare and intense attachment. What has it been...a month? I’m very attracted to him. Even though he isn’t striking, not really. I’m going to meet his parents for the first time, at the same time as I’m thinking of ending things.
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.
I’m thinking of ending things.
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 José Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin, this tense and atmospheric novel will haunt you long after the last page is turned.
Nonfiction author Reid (The Truth About Luck) fuses suspense with philosophy, psychology, and horror in his unsettling first novel set in an unspecified locale. When Jake takes his unnamed new girlfriend to meet his parents, he doesn't realize she's thinking of "ending things" (just what she might end is at first unclear). Dinner at the family farm proves awkward, reinforcing her doubts about their relationship. On their way home, the weather turns nasty and Jake pulls off the road at a darkened high school. He takes the keys and exits the car, but never returns, leaving his girlfriend little choice but to strike out after him. While the events preceding the couple's separation have the air of a disquieting dream, those that follow are the stuff of nightmares. Stream-of-consciousness narration by Jake's girlfriend adds to the story's surreal quality, and occasional blocks of unattributed dialogue about an unspecified tragedy impart dread. Capped with an ending that will shock and chill, this twisty tale invites multiple readings.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Well done Mr. Reid
A snowballing experimental mind slurry with enough great prose and linear sensical bits to keep a conformist like me happy. Deeply discomforting and strange. Had me locking doors and closing blinds for sure.
Take a chance, you'll be glad you did!
I was reluctant to start this book since it was categorized as a mystery thriller, but I took the leap and I'm so glad I did! It immediately drew me in and the intensity kept me reading - I couldn't put it down! It is a quick read and a very thoughtful book, one that touched me much more than I would have expected. Well done.