I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2016) Will Upset Many and Believe it or Not, That’s a Good Sign

Finished Reading February 12, 2019

It’s a little upsetting to witness the negative reception Iain Reid’s uncanny debut I’m Thinking of Ending Things, is inheriting on GoodReads and other public platforms of its talking point. As to be expected by the unexpected of such a baffling book, I was floored by the philosophical undertones that dredges throughout its entirety and how keenly abstract yet, down-to-earth its themes sustained. This is a considerable surprise considering that Reid’s writing is fairly simplistic which at first, flustered me but, eventually worked since its substance outweighed its primary systems. Also, obviously, in a novel that already is conflicting many traditionalists and fixed-minded humans, the author’s last end goal would be to confuse them even more than the story at hand which is bound to already perplex.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a novel about a young women driving up with her boyfriend to meet his parents. That’s all you need to know in terms of plot. If I expose anymore of its devious twists and turns it might just jeopardize the whole experience for you. Then again, if you’re the average, YA-only addicted obsessionist who is adding on to the literature-pocalypse (the end of thought-provoking, original, and non-formulaic novels) then you will loathe it either way.

I’m almost certain that the precise reason why readers will either hate or love this book is solely dependent on how they apprehend the novel’s ending. What causes this novel to be so sturdy is Reid’s ability to make you infatuated with wanting to know the answers cause, let me tell you, there are a ton of questions thrown about that you are just dying to discover. The first time I read the conclusion, I’ll admit, I was a bit bemused. One of the reasons why was because of how this final twist/ultimate answer was literarily performed—which might I add, was done unlike anything else I’ve ever read before—and the other reason why being of how disappointed it made me feel. Let me reiterate, how disappointing it made me feel, at first. The climax of I’m Thinking of Ending Things is purely evil. It nearly changes the whole, entire book and at first it was off-putting. Plus, the chief “twist” admittedly, has been done before in previous movies, books, and TV shows. With that in mind though, it has never been done in such a disarranging, emotionally and psychologically draining manner as it was done in this masterful freshman outing. I went back and quickly scanned nearly the entire book after I had finished reading it and truthfully, the twist does indeed makes 100% sense. Reid gives plenty enough hints of what is to come and honestly, I’m stunned that I didn’t figure out the reveal myself before I even got to it.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things is a book I encourage ever mystery/thriller fanatic to analyze at least once. It is unspeakably intense; I was constantly engrossed in a great chunk of the petrifying scenarios the author displays throughout the story. Additionally, there is—like I mentioned before—undoubtedly so many philosophical discussions and precepts that ensue quite audibly, if not, quite rapidly in the stories runtime, and the ending is something that you will have to sit with for a while and either deem itas many have already done soas one of the worst, most pretentious wrap-ups of all-time or possibly, one of the most ingenious, melancholy, and mortifying closings ever written in a narrative. This novel caught me off guard and as someone who is a gargantuan cinephile, it’s nice to see that legendary writer Charlie Kauffman saw the brilliance in this book as I did. Puzzled? Charlie Kaufmanscreenwriter of such films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Synecdoche, New York—is adapting this novel into a movie. It’s almost guaranteed for success considering that his highbrow mind is joining forces with this cerebral account.

Verdict: A-

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