Book Review: I’m Thinking of Ending Things

A memory is its own ting each time it’s recalled. It’s not absolute. Stories based on actual events often share more with fiction than fact. Both fiction and memories are recalled and retold. They’re both forms of stories. Stories are the way we learn. Stories are how we understand each other. But reality happens only once.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a bizarre novel, and that’s the reason this will be a very quick review. Once I start reading, it was very difficult to put the book down to get things done in life, like eating, cleaning my room, etc. This is a spooky book that is best read in one sitting, preferably on a day you won’t be disturbed by chores or people, preferable at night when its cozy and dark. Keep a pot of tea for warmth and a blanket for moments when the chill jumps out of the book and settles on you. Most of the book is disquieting, but it’s the final 20-30 pages that are intensely alarming to read. This portion of the book changes everything, and it’s worth the gradual decline.

The less you know about the story, the better. A couple take a road trip to visit the guy’s parents who live in a farm. Crazy, creepy things happen, the reason being unclear. The overall atmosphere of this novel is very, very discomfiting – aided by the strange behaviors and snowstorm and the narrator’s pervasive thoughts. The mood is close to the feeling you get when you feel stuck in a nightmare with no way out, and no explanation for what’s happening. The flow of the story contributes a lot to that mood and the general feeling of dread – the writing is exceptional.

This isn’t just a scary book, though. It’ll also urge your curiosity about human relationships and life in general. In this literary psychological thriller/horror novel, the conversations between the characters are often thoughtful and engrossing – I was surprised by this and I loved it. So in a nutshell, this is a story about the madness of intelligent minds. Remember Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh? That novel tried hard to be creepy and weird, Ian Reid’s debut achieves more and does it effortlessly.

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