I’m Thinking Of Ending Things – Iain Reid (Text 2016)

“…..something that disorients, that unsettles what’s taken for granted, something that disturbs and disrupts reality- that’s scary.”


If we take the narrator’s words at face value then this literary horror debut is indeed scary.  It has an air of unease running throughout and this undercurrent of disorientation is the most successful aspect of the novel.  It has a simple plot and flows well.  A relationship may be in its last days when the narrator and her boyfriend embark upon a snowy road trip to see his parents.  The girl is being pestered by a stalker and hasn’t told her boyfriend about this.  If the plot seems a little clichéd this becomes even more so with the location chosen for the dramatic climax but the peculiarly vague sense of discomfort lifts it above this.  However, you will be yelling at the narrator as things dawn on her too slowly and may very well become frustrated at the over-analysis of the couple’s relationship and excessive chat.  I felt the novel fell apart by the end- although some may deem the ending clever.  I felt slightly cheated by the direction the author decided to take.  The quirky strangeness does make the comparisons to Michel Faber’s “Under The Skin” seem appropriate but Reid’s debut did not grab me in quite the same way.


I’m Thinking Of Ending Things was published by Text Publishing Company in June 2016

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