Foe by Iain Reid (3.5 out of 5)

This one was really OUT THERE. In a good way. I read his last book, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and it really messed with my head. Other customers told me the same thing. This one was in the wrong place when I was straightening one Saturday. Having a hell of a time deciding what to read the week after my Dad passed proved to be quite a challenge. This book fit perfectly, along with my mind being gone and full of questions. For the book left me full of questions. As in, how the hell would this happen and hold true in today’s world? You know what? It COULD almost happen. That’s how convincing of a book Reid has presented to us.

They have this in fiction. I am not sure it doesn’t belong in science fiction. I am convinced of it.

Junior and Henrietta live out on a farm in the middle of nowhere. No one visits, but that’s ok. They have a very normal life, marriage, and a safe, albeit a little boring, existence. Until one night, a car with green headlights (there has to be some significance there, although 5 weeks has passed since I read it, and I still haven’t figured out what it is) pulls up to the dark farm, and a man named Sebastian enters the house to talk to the couple. He seems very familiar to Junior, and Henrietta and Sebastian seem to have a familiar vibe between the two of them that makes Junior nervous. He informs Junior that he was randomly selected to be part of a program where he will be traveling away from the farm…very far away. For some great opportunity which isn’t ever made clear. Junior objects, as does Henrietta, but after she speaks to Sebastian alone, she seems to shift her thoughts to it being a good idea, indicating she may not be happy with her life after all. Junior is very confused, but goes along with this crazy idea after Sebastian reminds him that someone will stay with Henrietta the whole time he is gone. Seems Sebastian will be, along with another familiar face. Junior goes, with great and understandable hesitation, and we see how things change. But do they really? Junior eventually gets home, but things have changed. Not for the better. If nothing else, things are more confusing! One thing is clear. Life for Junior and Henrietta down on the farm will never be the same.

Iain Reid really knows how to mess with your mind in a short time. This book was a little over 200 pages, and it reads like a science fiction book that would be 400+ pages. He is very good at giving the reader a headache as we try to figure out what the hell is going on. This one confounded me, but in a way that I closed the book and said, “What the hell happened there”? I was not in the least annoyed with the book at all; I just wished we had gotten more of an idea of what brought all this about. Instead, more questions. And that’s why this author is so good. You are all over the damn place with questions, hypotheses, and scenarios, but he manages to do it so effectively in the small span of the book. There could be 4 or 5 different things going on, and they would all work. It’s crazy but good, yet the unceasing questions and open ended conclusion will drive you nuts. Good stuff. Would definitely recommend to anyone who wants to read a book that is anything but the norm.

~ by generationgbooks on July 28, 2019.

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