Culture Crash: Scary Winter Reads

 

“A movie adaptation of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is set to be released by Netflix later this year, directed by Charlie Kaufman. But I’d recommend people who enjoy the horror and thriller genres give the book a go before diving into any adaptation.”



Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture – what’s new and old in entertainment.

As an enthusiastic Stephen King reader, I’ve often had people ask me what’s the scariest book I’ve ever read. Now, for King books, that would be “Pet Sematary,” the only book of his to ever truly get under my skin and unnerve me. But the true answer to the question is that the scariest book I’ve ever read isn’t by Stephen King, it’s by an author named Iain Reid, and it’s called “I’m Thinking of Ending Things.”

A movie adaptation of “I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is set to be released by Netflix later this year, directed by Charlie Kaufman. But I’d recommend people who enjoy the horror and thriller genres give the book a go before diving into any adaptation.

The book is a quick read, it’s just 224 pages long and the story constantly moves at a brisk pace. Maybe I am just a mark for Reid’s storytelling style, and nothing scares everyone the same, but, despite its short length, or maybe in part because of its streamlined structure, I actually stopped a couple of times to let it breathe just because it was freaking me out too  much.

Reid describes the process of writing “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” tells the story of a boyfriend and a girlfriend of just a few months as they take a road trip to go meet his family at their farm. This well-worn concept is made entirely new with Reid constantly ratcheting up the tension. Even when you can’t put your finger on why exactly you’re on edge, something in the DNA of the book’s writing keeps you from ever truly feeling at ease in the story. When things begin to go wrong after all of that build-up, it doesn’t feel like a release, the thrills just kick up a notch.

I’ve read a lot of scary stories from famed writers like Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Paul Tremblay, Shirley Jackson and more. Still, the one that has scared me the most, and stuck with me for a year and counting, is the short, to-the-point debut novel from Iain Reid.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” is available in stores and online now.

I’m Evan Rook. 


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