It’s not often that I come across a horror novel that feels truly unique. When I do discover one, it feels like I’ve happened upon a rare and valuable gemstone, and I can only sit back and marvel. This book is such a jewel. It trapped me like a bad dream, luring me to sleep and then drawing me helplessly into its surreal little world to assault my sanity. Reading it, I was haunted by the subtle yet pervading sense that everything was just a little bit wrong, like a sweet nightmare voice whispering that nothing would be okay. No matter how hard I tried to figure it out, it confounded my expectations every step of the way, until the ending twisted my mind in ways that minds probably aren’t built to be twisted. The one thing I understand clearly is that Iain Reid is demented and brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more from him in the future.— Jason
June 2016 Indie Next List
“With his debut novel, Reid sets an extremely high bar for all future psychological thrillers. The entire story takes place in little over 24 hours as Jake and his girlfriend travel to meet and have dinner with his parents. Narrated by the unnamed girlfriend, something unsettling surfaces early and builds with the passage of every page. Readers will become riveted, reading faster and faster as the 'unsettling' becomes frightening, and then terrifying. Recommended for all who enjoy a good mind-twisting scare!”
— Nancy Simpson-Brice, The Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA
NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL FILM DIRECTED BY CHARLIE KAUFMAN
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).
About the Author
Iain Reid is the author of four previous books, including his New York Times bestselling debut novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman wrote and directed the film adaptation for Netflix. His second novel, Foe, is being adapted for film, starring Saoirse Ronan, with Reid cowriting the screenplay. His latest novel is We Spread. Reid lives in Ontario, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @Reid_Iain.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things is an ingeniously twisted nightmare road trip through the fragile psyches of two young lovers. My kind of fun!"
— Charlie Kaufman, Academy Award winning writer and executive producer of "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"
"In a novel this engaging, bizarre, and twisted, it shouldn't come as a surprise that its ending is even stranger than the narrative route that takes us there...but it does. Reid's novel is a road trip to the heart of creepyness."
— Sjón, author of The Blue Fox, From the Mouth of the Whale, and The Whispering Muse
"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, author of Mysterious Skin and We Disappear
“Here are some near-certainties about I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Number One: You're going to read it fast. Over the course of an afternoon or an evening. The momentum is unstoppable—once you start, you won't be able to stop. And Two: once you race to the end and understand the significance of those final pages, you won't be able to stop thinking about it. This novel will find a spot in your heart and head and it will live there---for days,weeks, months, or (in my case) the rest of your life. Yes. It really is that good.”
— Nick Cutter, author of Cataract City and The Deep
"I’m Thinking of Ending Things begins with the unnamed narrator setting off with her boyfriend to visit his parents at their remote farm, and soon devolves into an unnerving exploration of identity, regret and longing. Delightfully frightening."
— The Globe and Mail
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an utterly compelling modern Gothic that stakes its claim in the inner precincts of horror. Reid builds tension the way Edgar Allen Poe builds brick walls in his basement.”
— Wayne Grady, author of Emancipation Day
“An addictive metaphysical investigation into the nature of identity, one which seduces and horrifies in equal measure. Reid masterfully explores the perversity of loneliness and somehow also creates a very entertaining thriller. I found myself yelling at the characters to put their feet on the pedal and drive.”
— Heather O'Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals and Daydreams of Angels
“Smart, dangerous and spooky as hell. Iain Reid takes you on a harrowing road trip that keeps you riveted until the final destination.”
— Brian Francis, author of Fruit and Natural Order
“Reid's tightly crafted tale toys with the nature of identity and comes by its terror honestly, building a wall of intricately layered psychological torment so impenetrable it's impossible to escape.”
— Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"[Iain Reid] fuses suspense with philosophy, psychology,and horror in his unsettling first novel...Capped with an ending that will shock and chill, this twisty tale invites multiple readings.”
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“The construct of this book is brilliant and unusual and should appeal to fans of psychological thrillers, as well as to some horror fans. A dark and compelling debut novel, it is a most uncomfortable read but utterly unputdownable.”
— Booklist, Starred Review
"This slim first novel packs a big psychological punch with a twisty story line and an ending that will leave readers breathless."
— Library Journal, Starred Review
"One of the most anticipated literary thrillers of the season."
— Library Journal
“Iain Reid has written a creepy but enthralling new novel… It’s a psychological thriller that keeps readers guessing.”
— NPR's Weekend Edition
“Reid’s gradually building spookiness and plainspoken intellectualism make I’m Thinking of Ending Things a smart and unexpectedly fun book.”
— New York Journal of Books
“This is the boldest and most original literary thriller to appear in some time.”
— The Chicago Tribune
“Your dread and unease will mount with every passing page.”
— Entertainment Weekly
"This is a deliciously frightening novel, Reid has a light, idiosyncratic touch but never lets his vice-like grip of suspense slacken for a second. Once finished, you will be hard pressed not to start the whole terrifying journey all over again."
— The Independent
“Absolutely chilling. I was constantly checking over my shoulder, closing doors, pulling blinds shut. Reid's fast-paced language is evocative, spine-tingling, and razor-sharp...[This] debut is worth reading for his deft ability to create tension and atmosphere; I can recall very few times in recent memory I’ve been so physically unnerved by a novel.”
"...unrelentingly tense, expertly riding the line between paranoid and horrifying."
"[An] energizing, bizarre and thoughtfully twisted tale will leave you stunned as you close the book."