I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Text Publishing Company
30 June, 2016
Different, disturbing and definitely distinguished, Iain Reid’s sojourn into the macabre with I’m Thinking of Ending Things is everything those who like to stand on the sidelines and ponder the mistakes of others will lap up.
Jake and his girlfriend are on a drive to visit his parents at their secluded farm. But when Jake leaves The Girlfriend stranded at an abandoned high school, what follows is a twisted unravelling of the darkest unease.
Think of just about any Iain Banks novel, then times the originality well past that particular dial. Reid has combined a sense of the bizarre with that of the norm and so created an atmosphere that compels the reader to continue on, despite there being on the face of, not a great deal happening whereas in actuality, everything that makes an individual tick is being explored.
Love, hate, wants, needs, regrets, hopes dreams, expectations, and above all else fears are all ruthlessly exposed through Jake, his parents, those who work in the out of the way Dairy Queen and, of course, the explicitly nameless Girlfriend so that their individuality and, as a result, their vulnerabilities conjure up an aura of otherworldlyness which casts day into night and vice versa.
The delicately hewn descriptive prose demonstrate beautifully how not to waste words, whereas the disjointed structures of the conversation between the characters adds yet further layers to that which unfolds. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it follows that it must be a duck, right?
Wrong. In Reid’s deconstructed environment what you get is as far from being that simplistic as it is possible to get so that what materialises is a work of objective, contrasting beauties and horrors that will keep you thinking a long time after this startling debut is finished.
A debut of upmost quality, patience and more than just a little question asking will get you through what is in no way an easy read, but nevertheless a deeply satisfying and rewarding one.