We Need To Talk About Kevin

We Need To Talk About Kevin

4.05 (155,126 ratings by Goodreads)
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Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of a boy named Kevin who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who had tried to befriend him. Now, two years after her son's horrific rampage, Eva comes to terms with her role as Kevin's mother in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband Franklyn about their son's upbringing. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about motherhood. How much is her fault? In Lionel Shriver's hands this sensational, chilling and memorable story of a woman who raised a monster becomes a metaphor for the larger tragedy - the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 496 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 29mm | 343g
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 1846687349
  • 9781846687341
  • 2,547

Review Text

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
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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 *
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About Lionel Shriver

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.
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Rating details

155,126 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 41% (64,181)
4 35% (54,648)
3 15% (22,754)
2 5% (8,025)
1 4% (5,518)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
by Don Dealga
A wonderful, compelling book about motherhood, guilt, loss, and love. And how it can all go wrong. This is a disturbing "must read".show more
by Nigel Leach
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.show more
by Helen hartley
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!show more
by Amanda Gilder
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.show more
by Karen Glenny
This is a book that if you are a woman is a very difficult and provokative read. It makes you challenge the one thing that is still taboo to openly discuss...what happens if your a bad mother. Full of twists, and absolutly heart breaking, but definitly worth the read.show more
by Kirsten Mackay
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