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Summary

Soon to be a Netflix film directed by Charlie Kaufman

Jake and his girlfriend are on a drive to visit his parents at their remote farm. After dinner at the family home, things begin to get worryingly strange. And when he leaves her stranded in a snowstorm at an abandoned high school later that night, what follows is a chilling exploration of psychological frailty and the limitations of reality. 

Iain Reid's intense, suspenseful debut novel will have listeners' nerves jangling. A series of tiny clues sprinkled through the relentlessly paced narrative culminate in a haunting twist. Reminiscent of Michael Faber's Under the Skin, Stephen King's Misery and the novels of José Saramago, I'm Thinking of Ending Things is an astonishing and highly original literary thriller that grabs you from the start - and never lets go.

©2016 Iain Reid (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

Critic reviews

"In a novel this engaging, bizarre and twisted, it shouldn't come as a surprise that its ending is even stranger than the narrative route that takes us there...but it does. Reid's novel is a road trip to the heart of creepyness." (Sjon)  

"I'm Thinking of Ending Things is one of the best debut novels I've ever read. Iain Reid has crafted a tight, ferocious little book, with a persistent tenor of suspense that tightens and mounts toward its visionary, harrowing final pages." (Scott Heim)  

"Here are some near-certainties about I'm Thinking of Ending Things. Number One: You're going to read it fast. Over the course of an afternoon or an evening. The momentum is unstoppable once you start, you won't be able to stop. And Two: once you race to the end and understand the significance of those final pages, you won't be able to stop thinking about it. This novel will find a spot in your heart and head and it will live there - for days, weeks, months, or (in my case) the rest of your life. Yes. It really is that good." (Nick Cutter)

What listeners say about I'm Thinking of Ending Things

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Like a very long Black Mirror episode

Outstanding narration, gripping storytelling. This audiobook is in essence a 5 hour Black Mirror episode.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I was both bored and intrigued

Spoilers To be honest I have no clue what actually just happened, I'm very confused. At the end it felt as if I'd just watched the movie Identity, with the guy who tells a story, but all the characters were parts of his personality and it was all in his head. Is that what happened here? I found it intriguing but it was also pretty boring for the most part. I'm glad i read it, but I doubt I will still be thinking about it by tomorrow.

1 person found this helpful

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I'm Thinking of The Ending... A Lot!

I'll be honest, this book was probably a 2, maybe 3-star at best, before the final third. This is definitely one of those that hinges on the ending whether someone will like the book or not. For me, it makes everything I read up to that point make sense and has had me replaying the events of story over in my head ever since. It completely floored me. Which isn’t something I thought about 4 hours into this 5-and-a-half hours audiobook as, while I was never bored, I was oftentimes thinking where the seemingly meandering plot was heading. I’m glad I knew nothing about the plot when starting the read as I felt it was incredibly rewarding to discover the story as it was being told, regardless of how frustrating some of the elements were. Would highly recommend for fans of horror, and as said before, try going into this one cold.

1 person found this helpful

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Treats the reader like they are stupid

I was mostly enjoying the book, until the ending which felt the need to over explain the entire plot to the reader. It felt like there were so many more interesting routes that it could have taken but it settled on an over used trope. I thought some moments were red herrings but now I'm wondering if they were just outright plot holes. It's a genuine shame because parts of the book had me on the edge of my seat, and I was thoroughly enjoying learning more about the characters as the story progressed. Also, this is a personal gripe, but it felt like the author was trying incredibly hard to flex copious amounts of knowledge on certain topics, to the detriment of the actual dialogue. The narrator was fantastic, with a brilliant range of emotion and a noticeable (but not annoying) differentiation between characters speaking.

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Great story - probably better in paper form

Loved this story and listened to the whole thing over a few days. However, I think this might be one of those books which is better in paper form. I have subsequently bought the book and especially towards the end, there were certain aspects, like italicised writing and repeated phrases, which have a greater visual impact. Still thoroughly enjoyed.

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Strong End - a bit dead in the middle

I’m not going to lie, I read/listened to this after seeing the film so it was more “enjoyable” when picturing the film at times. Around 3/4 I did start to find it hard to follow but the final chapter or so really pulled me back in, and really got me going. Great read/listen, but I wouldn’t do it again! 3.5 / 5

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An enveloping sense of unease and wonder

Powerful story, compelling journey. Watched the movie, and both book and film are captivating in their own separate ways. The tension towards the end really crept up on me. A wonderful sense of unease. Enjoyed this immensely.

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I'm thinking of this book

Reading this book I felt uneasy most of the way through it. There were some intense and scary parts, but I didn't know why. It really captured my attention and the reveal left me in a daze as its hard hitting. A good story about our thoughts and what might happen if we just answered some hard questions, if we take a chance.

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Takes some time to get going

At first I was pretty disappointed with how long and drawn out it is. A bit boring and highly descriptive if things that don't seem important. But when it kicked off it gets pretty good! I saw the twist coming, not that irional but still well told. Very down to earth and makes you relate to the main charecter.

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atmospheric and creepy but ultimately fizzles out

An intriguing narrative draws you in and gives genuine creeps without it being clear why. ultimately though the story falls into the trappings of a lot of 'twist' narratives where most of the narrative feels redundant once you know then ending.

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Profile Image for Sylvia Polini
  • Sylvia Polini
  • 25-08-20

Thrilling

I love the ending, it’s definitely one that will leave you thinking a lot ! I can’t wait to watch the movie once it’s out.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Walter Medenbach
  • Walter Medenbach
  • 14-11-20

Excptional

This is an example of a book that is best listened to rather than read. Looking back, seeing the film first only heightened the ending when listening to the book. I need to see the film again, did I miss something.