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I'm Thinking of Ending Things


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About The Book

Something very wrong is happening here.

Jake and I have a real connection, a rare and intense attachment. What has it been...a month?
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.

A woman embarks on a road trip with her new boyfriend. Doubts about the relationship claw at the back of her mind. An unexpected detour unravels into nightmare.

In his acclaimed literary fiction debut, Iain Reid explores the darkest depths of the human psyche, confronting the value we find in relationships and the limitations of solitude. Taut with dread, this novel will haunt you long after the last page is turned.


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.

About The Author

Photograph by AJR

Iain Reid is the author of four previous books, including his New York Times bestselling debut novel I’m Thinking of Ending Things, which has been translated into more than twenty languages. Oscar winner Charlie Kaufman wrote and directed the film adaptation for Netflix. His second novel, Foe, is being adapted for film, starring Saoirse Ronan, with Reid cowriting the screenplay. His latest novel is We Spread. Reid lives in Ontario, Canada. Follow him on Twitter @Reid_Iain.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 25, 2020)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982152611

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Raves and Reviews

“An ingeniously twisted nightmare road trip through the fragile psyches of two young lovers. My kind of fun!”
CHARLIE KAUFMAN, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation

“Swift and sharply rendered, I’m Thinking of Ending Things contains psychic traces of Alfred Hitchcock (Vertigo) and Margaret Atwood (Surfacing) for the way that Reid massages facts through the filter of extreme anxiety. . . . An unnerving exploration of identity, regret and longing. Delightfully frightening.”
The Globe and Mail

“Generally speaking, there are two types of twists characteristic of the contemporary thriller: the twist the reader doesn’t see coming, and the twist the reader senses, but can’t quite put together on their own. The twist in I’m Thinking of Ending Things is of the latter sort, and powerfully so. . . . It has the sort of ending that will inspire readers to re-read the novel immediately, to try to figure out just how it was done. . . . Reid builds tension with a Hitchcockian intensity. . . . When the pieces fall into place, the novel comes together with a rush.”
Toronto Star

“In addition to Cronenberg, the ghost of Stephen King hovers over these pages. . . . With its deep enigmas, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is the kind of book that encourages at least one re-reading—and a slow and attentive reading at that. The characters themselves may not have more secrets to reveal, but the dense psychological space they’re traveling through remains as full of dark surprises as your friendly neighborhood black hole. . . . This is the boldest and most original literary thriller to appear in some time.”
Chicago Tribune

“A deviously smart, suspenseful, intense, and truly haunting book with a fuse long and masterfully laid. . . . [Reid has] found a way to make us feel old fears fresh again.”
The Los Angeles Review of Books

“Reid’s tightly crafted tale toys with the nature of identity and comes by its terror honestly, building a wall of intricately layered psychological torment so impenetrable it’s impossible to escape.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“Reid fuses suspense with philosophy, psychology, and horror in his unsettling first novel. . . . Capped with an ending that will shock and chill, this twisty tale invites multiple readings.”
Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“In this massive departure from his earlier efforts—in both genre and style—Reid has written a superbly crafted psychological thriller, with forays into the metaphysical, which promises to keep you up at night on both counts. . . . The writing is so absorbing you’ll zoom through to see how it ends.”
Maclean’s Magazine

“I’m thinking I don’t know what to think other than this novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a brilliant, well-constructed Hitchcockian tale with a huge creep factor that will leave you scheduling a manicure for wrecked nails. . . . An unusual and truly unique tale, and the very first thing I thought of after closing this book; a straight-on crazy win.”
The Huffington Post

“This is a deliciously frightening novel, Reid has a light, idiosyncratic touch but never lets his vice-like grip of suspense slacken for a second. Once finished, you will be hard pressed not to start the whole terrifying journey all over again.”
The Independent

Awards and Honors

  • Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors Shortlist
  • Shirley Jackson Award Finalist

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More books from this author: Iain Reid

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