Synopsis: You will be scared. But you won’t know why…
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.
“I’m thinking of ending things.
Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It dominates. There’s not much I can do about it. Trust me. It doesn’t go away. It’s there whether I like it or not. It’s there when I eat. When I go to bed. It’s there when I sleep. It’s there when I wake up. It’s always there. Always.”
Iain Reid likes to mentally fuck the shit out of his readers. Goddamn.
I read his sophomore book, Foe, in the summer & dug the hell out of it! I’m actually not sure which one I preferred out of the two. Maybe Foe, because it had more twisty turns than this. Much like with the mind-fuck that is Lost during it’s original run, I guessed THE BIG THING in I’m Thinking of Ending Things almost immediately. That didn’t detract from my immense enjoyment of it, however.
It was such an addictive read! I mean, it says it right there on the cover & everything. But for real, this was a fucking blast! I read it in one sitting. I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough!
“But isn’t being alone closer to the truest version of ourselves, when we’re not linked to another, not diluted by their presence and judgments? We form relationships with others, friends, family. That’s fine. Those relationships don’t bind the way love does. We can still have lovers, short-term. But only when alone can we focus on ourselves, know ourselves. How can we know ourselves without this solitude?”
Reid is genius at evoking atmosphere & mounting tension. Both of his relatively short novels are brimming with ambiance. I grew up in the country, so it wasn’t hard for me to be transported back to that setting. I could smell the crisp air, feel myself bounce around in the vehicle while travelling on kilometers of dirt road, see the never-ending sky above me.. that uneasiness of being out in the middle of nowhere, feeling like you are being watched.
As I mentioned in my review for Foe, this is being adapted for Netflix by Charlie Kaufman. Since that announcement, the brilliant Jesse Plemons has been cast in the role of Jake. Which.. oh my fucking hell. This is perfect casting! I’ve loved him since Friday Night Lights, but he’s continued to become an even better actor in the years since. Dude can play just about any type of character!
I’m Thinking of Ending Things is suffocating, intelligent, suspenseful.. & ultimately, quite sad. To say more would ruin the entire plot of this story. You’ll just have to read it for yourself!
What are you waiting for?
PS. I totally Googled Cruciverbalist!
(Thank you Simon & Schuster Canada for the copy!)