A taut, philosophical mind-bender from the bestselling author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things.
We don’t get visitors. Not out here. We never have.
Junior and Hen are a quiet married couple. They live a comfortable, solitary life on their farm, far from the city lights, but in close quarters with each other. One day, a stranger from the city arrives with surprising news: Junior has been randomly selected to travel far away from the farm...very far away. The most unusual part? Arrangements have already been made so that when he leaves, Hen won’t have a chance to miss him at all, because she won’t be left alone—not even for a moment. Hen will have company. Familiar company.
Foe examines the nature of domestic relationships, self-determination, and what it means to be (or not to be) a person. An eerily entrancing page-turner, it churns with unease and suspense from the first words to its shocking finale.
About the author
Iain Reid is the author of two critically acclaimed, award-winning books of nonfiction; One Bird's Choice and The Truth About Luck, which was selected by The Globe and Mail as one of the best books of 2013. Reid’s essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in a variety of publications throughout North America. In 2015, he was the recipient of the prestigious RBC Taylor Emerging Writer award. Reid is a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied history, English literature, and philosophy. I’m Thinking of Ending Things is his first novel.
Excerpt: Foe (by (author) Iain Reid)
“This slim first novel packs a big psychological punch with a twisty story line and an ending that will leave readers breathless.”
Library Journal, (Starred Review)
“I’m not sure that humans have hackles, but something was creeping up my spine as I read this book, and I welcomed the shivers of shock and delight. A mind-bending and genre-defying work of genius.”
Liz Nugent, author of Unraveling Oliver and Lying in Wait
“The boldest and most original literary thriller to appear in some time. . . . In addition to Cronenberg, the ghost of Stephen King hovers over these pages.”
"Spare, consuming, unforgettable. Foe is a dark arrow from a truly original mind. Page by eerie page, Iain Reid pulls the known world out from under you, and leaves you trapped inside a marriage’s most haunting question: can I be replaced? This is a book that seeps into your bloodstream––and crowns Iain Reid the king of deadpan, philosophical horror."
Claudia Dey, author of Heartbreaker
“From the opening page, you’ll have an uneasy feeling as you settle in to Iain’s Reid’s brilliant new novel, Foe. . . . A masterful and breathtakingly unique read. I can’t stop thinking about it.”
Amy Stuart, author of the #1 bestseller Still Mine and Still Water
“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."
Praise for Foe
“Foe reads like a house on fire, and is almost impossible not to finish in one sitting...an otherworldly hothouse of introversion and fantasy.”
“Movie producers are simply confirming what the literary community already knows: Iain Reid just might be the most exciting and excitingly unclassifiable author working in Canadian fiction today.”
The Globe and Mail
“Touching on themes of love, isolation, mental illness and fear, this is a terrifying and totally engrossing psychological thriller.”
“An unnerving exploration of identity, regret and longing. Delightfully frightening.”
The Globe and Mail
“Foe . . . [is] one of the most unsettling novels of the year.”
Literary Review of Canada
“Reid draws his suspense from the same places where we find it in our lives: not knowing what's going to happen next, not truly knowing the people we love, and not even really knowing ourselves.”
Nathan Ripley, author of Find You in the Dark
“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 I’m Thinking of Ending Things. It 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.”
Craig Davidson (aka Nick Cutter), author of Cataract City and The Deep
“I couldn’t put it down. It infected my dreams. A creepy and brilliant book.”
Zoe Whittall, Giller Prize shortlisted author of The Best Kind of People
“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)
“As a reader, it’s impossible to tell if you’re reading a horror story, a love story, or even perhaps a vampire story. This is a genre-twisting novel, and one that is delightfully confusing. It’s smart and it will keep readers guessing until the very end.”
“An existential whodunit.”
“Reid proves once again that he is a master of atmosphere and suspense. Readers won’t be able to put this one down.”
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things is haunting me long long after I've read it."
Larry King, award-winning television and radio host
“Reid builds to a deeply unsettling climax. As much a surgical dissection of what makes a marriage as an expertly paced, sparsely detailed psychological thriller, this is one to read with the lights on.”
Iain Reid is Canada's next big author.
Praise for I'm Thinking of Ending Things
“An ingeniously twisted nightmare road trip through the fragile psyches of two young lovers. My kind of fun!”
Charlie Kaufman, Academy Award winning writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Adaptation
“Reid is a master storyteller with a knack for absorbing prose. Most of the action takes place in the microcosm of the couple’s house, but Reid writes about the relationship so well that it becomes a universe full of questions and possibilities.”
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 has written a superbly crafted psychological thriller, with forays into the metaphysical, which promises to keep you up at night on both counts.”
“A tale of implacably mounting peril that feels all the more terrifying for being told in such a quiet, elegantly stripped-down voice. Iain Reid knows how to do ‘ominous’ as well as anyone I’ve ever read.”
Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
“Reid is at it again, exploiting readers with plot twists, narrative unease, and explosive conclusions in his second novel . . . [he] has the rare ability to make readers both uncomfortable and engaged, and this drama will surely send them back to the beginning pages to track the clues he left to the surprise ending.”
Booklist (starred review)
“An addictive metaphysical investigation into the nature of identity, one which seduces and horrifies in equal measure. Reid masterfully explores the perversity of loneliness and somehow also creates a very entertaining thriller. I found myself yelling at the characters to put their feet on the pedal and drive.”
Heather O'Neill, author of Lullabies for Little Criminals and Daydreams of Angels