I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Review published on October 27, 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 it flows well. A relationship may be entering its final days when the narrator and her boyfriend embark upon a snowy road trip to visit his parents. The girl is being pestered by a stalker, although she hasn’t told her boyfriend about it. If the plot already seems a little clichéd, it becomes even more so due to 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 you 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 in which the author decided to take the story. 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 as that novel.

Phil Ramage 3/3

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
Text Publishing Company 9781911231042 pbk Jun 2016

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