Junior and Hen enjoy an easy, quiet life on their farm outside the city. This all changes when a man shows up on their doorstep to notify Junior that he has been randomly selected to travel a great distance from home without Hen. He needn’t worry though – Hen will be well taken care of by some.. familiar company. Making waves in 2016 with his psychological thriller I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Iain Reid returns with his sophomore fiction effort, Foe.
I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
To be honest, Reid had completely flown under my radar despite the heaps of critical praise he’s been receiving. He only recently popped up with the announcement that Charlie Kaufman (the award winning writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – a favorite of mine) would be adapting I’m Thinking of Ending Things for Netflix. Given my appreciation for Kaufman and the fact that Reid had a new book available for consumption on Netgalley, I thought I would check him out
This was a hell of a read. The narration comes in short, stinging bursts coupled with hasty dialogue to boot. While Reid doesn’t have the stylistic punchiness of James Ellroy, he carries the same urgency with his writing that lends itself to gobbling multiple chapters in scarce sittings.
The vagueness of the location (they live outside “the city”) as well as keeping the year unspecified adds another layer of disorientation on top of an already dizzying plot. I had my mind working overtime trying to figure out where Reid was taking all this. In fact, there were no fewer than three times where I assumed I had nailed it down only to be blindsided at the finish line.
It’s difficult to say too much without going into spoiler territory. The best advice I can muster up is to go into this as blind as possible. Foe is the kind of novel that probably benefits from the shock of it all; the need to get out there and find someone else who has read it just so you can discuss it endlessly over coffee.
Release date: August 07th, 2018