I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain ReidI'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

I'm Thinking of Ending Things

byIain Reid

Hardcover | June 14, 2016

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about

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.
Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction, One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck, which was one of The Globe and Mail’s best books of 2013. Reid’s work has appeared in a variety of publications throughout North America, including The New Yorker, The Globe and Mail and the National Post....
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Title:I'm Thinking of Ending ThingsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.38 × 5.5 × 0.9 inPublished:June 14, 2016Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:150110344X

ISBN - 13:9781501103445

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Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hard to Explain Wasn't sure which character was associated with the title. The story line was hard to follow at times. Kodo to Iain for writing about a very complex subject.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelings Kind of a disappointing book for me. The writing was great, and Ian Reid really does a fantastic job of creating a creepy atmosphere throughout the story. I read it in one sitting, finishing it late at night, and some parts had me jumping at every noise. However, I had read so many reviews about the "plot twist" ending, and it turns out I had figured it out less than halfway through the book. It didn't really feel surprising to me. So, entertaining read, but all in all pretty unremarkable. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mixed feelings Kind of a disappointing book for me. The writing was great, and Ian Reid really does a fantastic job of creating a creepy atmosphere throughout the story. I read it in one sitting, finishing it late at night, and some parts had me jumping at every noise. However, I had read so many reviews about the "plot twist" ending, and it turns out I had figured it out less than halfway through the book. It didn't really feel surprising to me. So, entertaining read, but all in all pretty unremarkable. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Snore Fest There was nothing scary of suspenseful about this book at all. Boring to the core.
Date published: 2017-04-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dark I'm not sure why the reviews are so bad. I thought the book was good... although dark... but I like that. It's well written. it's got a bit of a twist. It was a quick read for me... finished it in an afternoon. I would recommend it IF you like books that are a little messed up. If not, then it's probably not for you. @plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ugh. Just No. Short, choppy sentences. Awkward, cringey dialogue. Boring. Blah. Predictable. And all the weird stuff doesn't even tie together and most of it doesn't add up or work. I get the ending. I do. I got it before the ending came; I had a very good idea as to what was going on by about the halfway point of the book. But it doesn't work. None of it works. I've never felt so frustrated after finishing a book before. And the only reason I finished it was because it was so short. Once I was halfway through and realized how much I didn't like it, I only have 100 pages left, so I thought: "I might as well just finish it." But I did not like this book. At all.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Confusing I am still very confused about the whole story but I guess I get it, that everyone is the same person. I just couldn't stomach this book, it freaked me out to the point that I wanted to bury the book and never look back. *CRINGE*
Date published: 2017-01-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What a ride! This is a great book that you will not be able to put down! Odd, the characters and events swirl around in your mind as you struggle to make sense of it all. Definitely spooky at times, it kept me guessing until about 3/4 of the way through, when I figured it out. A worthwhile purchase if you like weird stuff. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!! Fellow book lovers, this could easily be your next favourite book of all time. Pull the covers up, grab a cup of coffee (to help you stay awake), turn your phone off and just live in the whimsical mind of Iain and his story that really resembles a lot of other psychological thrillers I've read, but is completely different at the same time. ITOET is unlike your usual read; I was so damn scared that I actually had to put the book away for the night and continue it the next morning. I WAS SCARED. There was this weird part where the main character (we never discover her name) is sleeping in her room and she wakes up, finding that there is a man outside of her window, and she only sees his torso because he is so tall. I thought that I would pee my pants. I don't think I'll ever forget about that scene, honestly. And those kind of memorable scenes or excerpts are the ones that stay with you and have you believe that the book is more beautiful than one can ever imagine. Yeah, there are a lot of complaints that the bookish community has been giving in terms of the beginning being very loooong, but WHO CARES? This is a short story in general and we readers are just left shocked by the end. "Getting to know someone is like putting a never-ending puzzle together. We fit the smallest pieces first and we get to know ourselves better in the process." (61) This is a simple, but complex story at the same time. We have two main characters and they legitimately are just stuck together for the story. The majority of the plot takes place in Jake's car, and the main character, who we eventually discover to be his paranoid girlfriend, is in this car with him, heading over to his parents' house. The parents actually have nothing to do with the story, but they just add that extra creepy vibe to this all. Wait until the high school. That's where my eyes came out of their sockets, kind of. Involved with creepy paintings/photos, abandoned high schools and eerie janitors, this all makes so much sense when we put the puzzle pieces together. This is the kind of story that high school English teachers would want their classes to analyze and write those five-star essays on. There is so much to talk about in relation to this completion of beautiful pages. You are not reading this book for the romance, but for the completion of the story and how a mastermind like Iain Reid is able to put a story together like this. There are plot twists and such a twisted ending that I am still in shock to this very moment. You realize that there are several meanings to this book and we must pay very close attention to the format, because IT MEANT SOMETHING ALL ALONG. The title does too, of course. I couldn't help but wonder where this was being taken place, and then I realized that Canada was probably the answer, and I got the chills again. It's horrible when you read a book so close to home. *shivers* "What if suffering doesn't end with death? How can we know? What if it doesn't get better? What if death isn't an escape? What if the maggots continue to feed and feed and feed and continue to be felt? This possibility scares me." (83) I am in love with this story. Of course, I would never want it to occur in reality because that's just sickening, but I loved everything about it. Being the first book I picked up after returning home from BEA, I am so satisfied and so obsessed with the ending and everything that this book has to offer for readers. Honestly? This is not YA, but there isn't a ton of mature subject matter except for the creepy-jeepy stuff. I'm scared to this day, but I guess that the only thing we could do is move on. Agh. And then we have the overflow of life lessons here and I realize that I cannot trust anyone and now I'm starting to shake and become overwhelmed and... that quote I cited above is started to get me a little more tense. No worries, though. You haven't read this one so I'm betting that it doesn't affect you like it did me. Once you know the meaning... I AM SO SHOCKED AND MESMERIZED BY IAIN'S WRITING THAT I JUST WANT TO MEET HIM AND TELL HIM HOW AMAZING HE IS.
Date published: 2017-01-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This book was so confusing! I enjoyed reading this. It was a very fast read. I was so confused come the end though. That I'm not sure if i would recommend this or not.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thrill Ride I'm Thinking of Ending Things takes you on a thrill ride and keeps you riveted the entire journey. From the outset there is a sense of dread, that increases as you turn the pages. A taut, quick read, I was anxious to get to the conclusion, but it still kept me thinking long after I had finished it. This book is one I definitely recommend - even if you don't enjoy the twisted ride, you will certainly want to discuss it once it's over. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from You will not know what is going on, but will love it! This book has your attention at the very first page. It is mysterious and it will have you feeling uneasy but still curious the entire time. You are in suspense until the very last sentence. Great read for anyone who likes thrillers and suspenseful stories.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Strange It had me hooked and feeling uneasy right up until the end.. then it got confusing.. then I had to flip back and forth between chapters. Although the plot righted itself in the end, I wasn't totally satisfied. It seems as if a hell of a lot happened in the few hours where this story takes place, but keep with it 'til the end for the darker conclusion.
Date published: 2016-12-17
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The book was pretty confusing for me. <b><i>We can't do whatever we want. There are ways we have to act. There are things we have to say. But we can think whatever we want. Anyone can think anything. Thoughts are the only reality.</i></b> So. I rated this book two stars because although the full version of the above quote really made me think (and kind of frightened me) as well as some other deep quotes in this book, this book was very confusing. I went through it gaining more and more questions and then near the end lots was happening but I was getting more and more confused. And upon finishing this book, I think I somewhat understand it but mostly I am still very confused. Confusion aside, the full quote from the one I put above is scarily true and there were a few similar parts in this book that were creepy and thought-provoking in a very dark, you-don't-wanna-go-there kind of way. I was impressed (and scared) by those parts.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Torn This was a strange read. On one hand, I finished it in only a few hours. It is an easy read, very compelling, and the story has you hooked from the start with Jake and his unnamed girlfriend, on their way to his parents' place. The outline is also true: you'll be scared, but you won't know why. I can't even begin to describe the amount of discomfort and anxiety I had reading this--I mean my goodness, if this author is good at nothing else, he is at least good at planting and then nourishing that seed of unease that grows into outright (in my case) yelling at the book in nervousness and sweating just to get through some scenes that were freaking my freak so much. The couple meets his parents; they are strange (one is missing a toenail and one has unusual bandages all over his face). It's little things like this that have you asking yourself, 'what the f**k is going on here?' Anyway, it all comes to a head at a high school in the middle of the night, with an alternative narration stringing you along about someone who has died, but we don't know who or why. Everything is answered there, at the high school. The ending is what made this book only 'okay' for me. I felt like it was a cop-out. Could have been so much scarier, so much more elegant... I suppose it will be up to everyone to decide. If you want a fast read that will have your skin prickling, this is one to pick up.
Date published: 2016-11-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Vastly overrated This novel was a complete waste of time. The writing was wooden, the narrative tedious, and the ending completely unintelligible. It was a page-turner only in the sense that I kept on turning the pages to see why it got such a good review and to get to the end so as to start to read a book that I could actually enjoy. I am a voracious reader of many genres and this is the first time I have felt compelled to actually write a review ... wait - I almost wrote one for that other complete waste of time - Eileen - that is for some unfathomable reason short-listed for this year's Booker Prize.
Date published: 2016-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Goosebumps So underrated. The monologues throughout the book captivate you to continue reading, but the end of the first read is a lot ambiguous. I had to look it up, but it clicked and once it clicks and you take the second read it changes everything. Spine chilling and SUCH a creative take.
Date published: 2016-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Interesting. This book was interesting, to say the least. Different. But the ending was extremely confusing. I don't know.. I still don't understand what even happened.
Date published: 2016-08-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely an unsettling read Iain Reid is the author of two award winning non-fiction titles. (I really enjoyed One Bird's Choice) I'm Thinking of Ending Things is his fiction debut. Rather than try to paraphrase the plot, I'm simply going to quote from the publisher.... "You will be scared. But you won't know why.... In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and is girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. What follows is a twisted unraveling and an unforgettable ending that will haunt you long after the last page is turned." True, true, true! Oh, this was such an unsettling, disturbing, addicting little read. (I literally read it straight through in one sitting - it's 224 pages) Jake and his unnamed girlfriend are travelling in the car. There seems to be a serious disconnect between the two looking in from the outside. Jake is quiet, intellectual, but a bit off in some way. The girlfriend is torn - they have been happy, maybe they still could be, but maybe it's just not working. She's thinking of ending things. "I’m thinking of ending things. Once this thought arrives, it stays. It sticks. It lingers. It’s always there. Always." There's some weird stuff in her own life, a stranger that keeps phoning her over and over with the same message. Things get odder when they reach their destination and downright terrifying when they leave. My thoughts and feelings about each character changed many times over the course of the book. Interspersed are comments after a death takes place. No name is ever uttered, but there are clues in these remarks. I kept turning pages, getting closer to the end, but not feeling sure of anything that was happening. I was frightened, horrified and quite shocked and surprised by the time I read the last pages. Enough so, that I had to go back to the beginning and take a second look at how Reid adroitly manipulated me. A second read is not out of the question, now that I know what I know. Events, actions, thoughts and dialogue would take on a whole different tenor.
Date published: 2016-06-14

Read from the Book

I’m Thinking of Ending Things 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. I haven’t been thinking about it for long. The idea is new. But it feels old at the same time. When did it start? What if this thought wasn’t conceived by me but planted in my mind, predeveloped? Is an unspoken idea unoriginal? Maybe I’ve actually known all along. Maybe this is how it was always going to end. 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.” You can’t fake a thought. And this is what I’m thinking. It worries me. It really does. Maybe I should have known how it was going to end for us. Maybe the end was written right from the beginning.

Editorial Reviews

“As a reader, it’s impossible to tell if you’re reading a horror story, a love story, or even perhaps a vampire story. This is a genre-twisting novel, and one that is delightfully confusing. It’s smart and it will keep readers guessing until the very end.”