We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Lionel Shriver, Introduction by Kate Mosse

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  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 32mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1846687349
  • ISBN 13: 9781846687341
  • Sales rank: 1,117

Product description

Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

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Author information

Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose previous books include The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire, and many others. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn, NY.

Customer reviews

By Don Dealga 16 May 2014 5

This is a searing read. I don't think I have ever read a book that moved me on so many levels and that terrified and shocked me as much.

By Nigel Leach 03 Aug 2013 5

A wonderful, compelling book about motherhood, guilt, loss, and love. And how it can all go wrong. This is a disturbing "must read".

By Helen hartley 03 Aug 2013 5

The topic was challenging and thought provoking. I loved the point of view and was frustrated and chilled in turn. Well written, easy to read - a real page turner.

By Amanda Gilder 24 Mar 2013 5

Challenges your ideas, views and opinions about child-rearing. A compelling story about a troubled boy from the perspective of his mother. Makes you ask the question: is it nature or nurture which determines the characteristics of Kevin?

A very compelling read. Highly recomended!

By Karen Glenny 22 Apr 2012 5

This book is not what it seems and it is very thought provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed the 'chase' - and then went to the movie which did not disappoint! Characters are very rich.

Review quote

Once in a while, a stunningly powerful novel comes along, knocks you sideways and takes your breath away: this is it... a horrifying, original, witty, brave and deliberately provocative investigation into all the casual assumptions we make about family life, and motherhood in particular Daily Mail This startling shocker strips bare motherhood... the most remarkable Orange prize victor so far -- Polly Toynbee Guardian An awesomely smart, stylish and pitiless achievement. Franz Kafka wrote that a book should be the ice-pick that breaks open the frozen seas inside us, because the books that make us happy we could have written ourselves. With We Need to Talk About Kevin, Shriver has wielded Kafka's axe with devastating force Independent One of the most striking works of fiction to be published this year. It is Desperate Housewives as written by Euripides... A powerful, gripping and original meditation on evil New Statesman Shriver keeps up an almost unbearable suspense. It's hard to imagine a more striking demolition job on the American myth of the perfect suburban family Sunday Telegraph One of the bravest books I've ever read... We Need to Talk About Kevin is an original, powerful, resonant, witty, fascinating and deeply intelligent work Sunday Business Post A study of despair, a book of ideas and a deconstruction of modern American morality -- David Baddiel The Times This superb, many-layered novel intelligently weighs the culpability of parental nurture against the nightmarish possibilities of an innately evil child Daily Telegraph Urgent, unblinking and articulate Sunday Times [A] powerful, painful novel... There are true, terrible things said here about family life Saga Magazine A fierce challenge of a novel that forces the reader to confront assumptions about love and parenting, about how and why we apportion blame, about crime and punishment, forgiveness and redemption and, perhaps most significantly, about how we can manage when the answer to the question why? is either too complex for human comprehension, or simply non-existent Independent Pitch-perfect, devastating and utterly convincing -- Geoff Dyer One of my favourite novels... the best thing I've read in years -- Jeremy Vine We Need to Talk About Kevin is not a treatise on crime prevention but a meditation on motherhood, and a terribly honest one Wall Street Journal What an amazing piece of storytelling. I could not put the book down. -- Shirley Henderson (Bridget Jones & Harry Potter actress) Daily Express One of the most powerful books I've read... brilliant -- Boy George Elle An original and startling story of family life. A brilliant and thought-provoking read. -- Jackie Brown Woman's Own