Published on February 22nd, 2018 | by Lana Aurise0
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Author Iain Reid’s bestseller ‘I am Thinking of Ending Things’ is being adapted for Netflix by Charlie Kaufman, so we look at the book itself.
The realistic portrayal of human feeling is why we create, right? It’s an expression used to relate to others on a universal level. We all want to feel something when we’re watching a movie or reading a book because creativity is a form of escapism, and there’s nothing we want more than to separate ourselves from the cyclical norm of the everyday.
This is why I’m drawn to horror — it makes me feel something different.
2016 international bestseller, I’m Thinking of Ending Things paralyzed my heart, which is what I told the author, Iain Reid, via Twitter about his debut novel. Looking back, the tweet was impulsive, and I thought, I hope that wasn’t the wrong thing to say. He tweeted back and said, “Thank you very much.”
Thank fucking god because that sentiment was well-intentioned. I loved this book.
“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” takes the reader on a road trip with Jake and his new, nameless girlfriend – who narrates the book – on their way to meet Jake’s parents, who live on a secluded farm out in the sticks.
As the title suggests, Jake’s girlfriend is thinking of ending things between them, and we, as readers, have a fly-on-the-wall invitation to all of their real-life conversations and inner thoughts about fear, relationships, consciousness, the value of life, and human interaction.
An unexpected detour guides the story while simultaneously encapsulating the fear of the unknown: How can you trust a lover if you don’t know what they’re really thinking? How can we really know anyone at all? We can’t. This calls into question trust and truth and what’s real. As Reid suggests, the only thing pure about us is our thoughts. We can’t fake a thought, but we can fake our actions. How do we cope with that?
Clocking in at a tense 240 pages, you’ll likely read this book in one sitting. I took a few breaks because I identified with the characters a little too closely, and my core was shaken. My heart was pounding, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen next – I just knew the dread was percolating at a quick and fastened rate – like when someone else is driving too fast.
The detriment and destruction are one thing; we all tear ourselves apart individually and, in a relationship, but the final few pages and what they mean is something else altogether. It’s true psychological terror – an exploration of the human psyche, and the reasons we choose to live the way we do, how our experiences and other’s perceptions of us can shape us for the worse, how we think and feel a little too deeply until there’s nothing left but fragments.
Buckle up. It’s a deeply horrifying and unsettling ride. It will stay with you, but it might make you feel more alive than ever before, until the very end that is.
And, good news, get ready for the film adaptation written and directed by Oscar-winning Charlie Kaufman, to be released on Netflix and coming soon.