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Game Control [Paperback]

Lionel Shriver
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Mar 2009

Following the success of ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ and ‘The Post-Birthday World’, ‘Game Control’ is coming back into print after being unavailable for years.

Eleanor Merritt, a do-gooding American family-planning worker, was drawn to Kenya to improve the lot of the poor. Unnervingly, she finds herself falling in love with the beguiling Calvin Piper despite, or perhaps because of, his misanthropic theories about population control and the future of the human race. Surely, Calvin whispers seductively in Eleanor's ear, if the poor are a responsibility they are also an imposition.

Set against the vivid backdrop of shambolic modern-day Africa – a continent now primarily populated with wildlife of the two-legged sort – Lionel Shriver's ‘Game Control’ is a wry, grimly comic tale of bad ideas and good intentions. With a deft, droll touch, Shriver highlights the hypocrisy of lofty intellectuals who would ‘save’ humanity but who don't like people.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (5 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007271123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007271122
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lionel Shriver's novels include The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and A Perfectly Good Family. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.

Product Description


Praise for The Post-Birthday World:

‘Those of us who rave about the dash and dare of Lionel Shriver’s fiction can rejoice that The Post-Birthday World, a ‘Sliding Doors’-style joint tale of alternative loves and lives, will garner the attention she always deserves’

‘Shriver gives us another passionate novel…Like Sliding Doors, the tale splits into two, following the dramatic turns of each choice. Brilliant’

‘It's another domestic drama with a compelling twist…the power struggle between the sexes is spot-on. Shriver chalks her narrative cue with relish and, once the story gets underway, it's hard to take your eyes off the green baize’

‘’The Post-Birthday World’ is Lionel Shriver’s forthcoming work about the dilemmas of love – a must if you were gripped by ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’’
Harper’s Bazaar

About the Author

Lionel Shriver's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Earlier books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and Checker and the Derailleurs. Her novels have been translated into twenty-five different languages. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book Shriver seems to have got bored with... 31 Aug 2009
By Jeremy Bevan TOP 500 REVIEWER
A tale of clashing liberal and conservative ideals, with Africa's poverty and colonial legacy as backdrop, ought to be entertaining stuff. And so it is, for about three-quarters of its length, as weary proponent of serious population control (or more straighforwardly put, a cull) Calvin Piper spars with earnest birth control project worker Eleanor Merritt. Into the mouths of these complex and evolving characters, Shriver puts some serious and thought-provoking, if often somewhat tongue-in-cheek, arguments about how best to deal with `the population issue'.

But then, with the advent of the Quietus project for mass extermination, and a conference assassination, things take on the slightly surreal air of a James Bond adventure. And although things end both farcically enough and with a kind of catharsis for the two main characters, you can't escape the feeling that somehow the author got bored with her creations, and began to tinker with them as marionettes rather than plotted characters. This spoils the overall effect of what is otherwise an entertaining, nicely-structured and engaging read. In summary then: OK, but rather lacking in its execution.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Don't you sometimes just want them to go away?" 19 April 2009
Eleanor Merritt is an American do-gooder, a family planning worker working in Kenya.
Despite noticing that the Kenyan women continue visiting the clinics for perinatal care and continue having children notwithstanding the difficulty feeding them Eleanor continues doggedly her work pushing for the use of contraceptives at the family planning clinics.
Calvin Piper, "I don't like human beings", is obsessed with population.
Calvin who due to his very strong and unorthodox views has been fired from USAID, believes in culling elephants to curb their population and protect their habitat, spends his time studying demographics and searching for a way to curb population growth.

Two very different people who have differing views on how the world's growing population in the 1990's should be dealt with. Despite temperamental and opposing characters they are not only drawn to each other but cannot seem to live without the other.
The book is well researched and there are quite a lot of facts of epidemiology and demography.
I was not particularly keen on the characters (so well potrayed that, to be honest, I hated them both) and I found this to be the book that I liked least from Lionel Shriver.
If you have not read other books by LS stay away and start elsewhere, either at Kevin or Post Birthday World.
If you have read the other books by LS be prepared for reading facts on demography and some controversial characters and ideas. LS has been brave in having her characters voice their not politically correct thoughts.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Style and Substance 9 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like the lack of P. C. here
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By madamR
Format:Kindle Edition
Absolutely brilliant ... Sharp no nonsense inside into human nature as is - taking away all artificial niceness into which we all like to wrap ourselves . If you want to keep pink glasses on please do not read this book . If you can bear brutal reality and still keep laughing go it .
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yes or no? 31 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I thoroughly enjoyed this book,
And found the ending unexpected and hilarious, I found many of the sentences somewhat convoluted and unnecessarily complicated for someone of a less literary mind ( is that correct?) But a good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 23 Aug 2013
By lizmag
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What I found most interesting about this book were the wildly politically incorrect opinions voiced by Calvin. Is this the reason it went out of print? Population growth is clearly a thorny issue and the conflicting standpoints were extremely well depicted - I was also fascinated to see that Dan Brown has picked up on the theme in his latest novel, Inferno. In my view, he does it rather less well than Lionel Shriver.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Game Control is the fifth novel by American author, Lionel Shriver. This novel is set in Kenya in the early 1990s and concerns demographics and AIDs. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Cloggie Downunder
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, disturbing & occasionally funny too
Lionel Shriver is very good at saying the unsayable and Calvin Piper is the perfect mouthpiece. It is a story of of clashing ideals - save the world or kill the world, with... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Jo Brookes
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product
The product delivered very qucikly within recommended dates. In good condition exactly as advertised. Very pleased. Would recommend to all.
Published 18 months ago by Emily Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Shriver - intelligent and politically incorrect as usual
An adherent of Paul Ehrlich ("The Population Bomb") takes the Malthusian theme to its logical conclusion and devises a plot to kill billions.
Published 20 months ago by MR RICHARD NORTH
4.0 out of 5 stars Science and statistics meet unsavory characters and passion
the characters are captivating and moving. What I like most about this book is mixing in of credible science in a style that has nothing to do with science fiction. Read more
Published on 30 July 2011 by Daniel_writer
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I liked all the other books by Lionel Shriver, like Double-fault, We need to talk about Kevin, A perfectly good family and The post-birthday world. But this one... Read more
Published on 11 May 2011 by Marette Sophie
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