AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read. Iain Reid has crafted a tight, ferocious little book, with a persistent tenor of suspense that tightens and mounts toward its visionary, harrowing final pages” (Scott Heim, award-winning author of Mysterious Skin and We Disappear).
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 “dark and compelling…unputdownable” (Booklist, starred review) 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 “packs a big psychological punch with a twisty story line and an ending that will leave readers breathless” (Library Journal, starred review).
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
Artistic... yet, unsatisfying...
This book will definitely make you feel the creeps(!), but will also (perhaps) leave you unsatisfied. That’s how I felt about it. Do not expect a clean resolution. Which is fine! I’m not saying every book needs a clean resolution. However... It would’ve been very satisfying to the reader here, in my very humble opinion.
Well written but horrible story.
This book was well written, but it seemed as the author was more intent on being "literary" rather than providing a good story. It was dark yet boring. Couldn't wait to finish it, not because I wanted to see what happened but so I could move on to a better book. Don't waste your money.
Don’t waste your money
I can see what the author was trying to achieve, but ultimately it was disappointing. It’s a book about mental illness disguised as a thriller. There are a multitude of holes in the story that I can only assume are supposed to be answered by the “twist” ending. The ending was not satisfying, but what is most upsetting is that I wasted time reading through the endless droning dialogue between characters.