Foe

Foe

A Novel

Book - 2018
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13
A taut, psychological 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.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Simon & Schuster Canada, 2018.
ISBN: 9781501103476
Branch Call Number: FIC Reid
Characteristics: 261 pages ; 22 cm

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j
jdight
Jun 07, 2019

Great concept, but this was a short story that the author painfully (painful for the reader, that is) stretched into a full-length book. Mind-numbingly repetitive and slow.

g
gr8_reader
Apr 10, 2019

I almost gave up at 80 pages in - how much belief do I have to suspend for this to make sense?!? - but gvoolich suggested it might be worth persevering... the writing was good so I figured I’d stick it out... very cool how it all became clear and a really unique story... glad I finished it for sure!

a
awhawley
Mar 31, 2019

This surreal novel is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury darker stories. It would be interesting to see Jordan Peele direct this as a new Twilight Zone episode.

j
JLMason
Jan 07, 2019

Another quick read from Reid. The repetitive inner dialogue of the protoganist that pads out the space to the end is wearing, but its purpose all becomes clear with a surprising and clever double twist. I can definitely see this as a psychological thriller movie.

p
Papadog
Jan 05, 2019

This book just takes too long to get to the big and final denouement. Yah, the unease slowly creeps up for 220 pages but there's just not enough substance to keep it interesting, and it was somewhat painful to get through those 200+ pages. The ending is not that unpredictable either, the title feels too strong for what's inside.

d
daysleeper236
Dec 23, 2018

A tense, addictive thriller that I finished in less than 24 hours.

g
gvoolich
Nov 28, 2018

I almost returned this book without finishing it and am SO happy I kept it up. The first half felt uncomfortable and just...off. However after I kept reading a little more, I realized the author was deliberately creating the weird tension I was feeling! Further on, the tension burst then twisted forward and backward again and the book became almost a parable for who we are and what individually makes us feel content in relationships and how it differs from our partners. I won’t spoil it, but will say that the ending made me completely hate the main character I had been rooting for the whole time and fist pump in the air for a different character. Solid and bizarre story!

m
mbenavent
Nov 08, 2018

Unlike Iain Reid's first novel "I am thinking of ending things"- which I enjoyed- 'Foe" didn't work for me. I found the dialogues between the different characters unrealistic and dull. For example if we consider Junior and Henrietta their marriage is presented to us at the beginning of the story as one that is working pretty well. They are supposed to be two people who care for each other and who matter to each other deeply. However I cannot see any of the power, strength and passion that a love like this would imprint onto their way of talking to one another. The dialogues are robotic and lifeless. Even if the author was trying to depict a marriage that is falling apart -as he said in an interview- the way they talk to each other seems so unrealistic that I was not able to believe them and get myself into their feelings. Moreover after finishing the last page I felt puzzled and annoyed. If the aim was to write something disconcerting then I guess the author managed to achieve his goal, but the book felt unfinished and it really left me unsettled.

agenesis Oct 30, 2018

Another great read from Reid. I enjoyed the slower pace, especially since "I'm Thinking of Ending Things," his previous work, taught me that there is a twist coming! And I didn't guess what it was. (Maybe write down your questions as you read, and see if they get answered at the end of the book!) Not as intense and nightmarish or shocking as his previous work, but I'm kinda thankful for that. That said, read his previous book if you haven't already! It's mindbending!

h
htliang
Oct 26, 2018

This is a suspenseful, engrossing and unusual novel.
It is, however, a true "slow-burn" so perhaps not for those who want a lot of action.
The ending is amazing and totally unexpected.

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