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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Description of Clinical Psychopathy in a Child
Schriver is frequently slated for writing a book about motherhood when she is childless. In slating Schriver and in condemning Eva (Kevin's mother) reviewers overlook the fact that Kevin scores highly on the Cleckley checklist used to identify clinical psychopathy and Eva also alludes to all 3 of the classic triad of childhood indicators of psychopathy. She's done her...
Published on 30 July 2007 by S. Hartwell

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not convinced...
I can't make my mind up about Kevin...

On the one hand, I stayed up reading this book until nearly 3am on a night when I had work the next day. It wasn't that I was enjoying it, or that I needed to know what happened (it tells you on the back cover), but it was more like I needed to sweat out a fever. I knew I wouldn't rest properly until I'd finished it, so I...
Published on 23 Mar. 2012 by littlegreenfrog


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 May 2015
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Very interesting / disturbing and beautifully written
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, Shocking, A Brilliant Read!, 7 Jan. 2007
By 
Sally Humphries (Wellingborough, Northamptonshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have just finished this book. Couldn't wait to finish it mainly because I found it so disturbing reading it at bedtime, it was interfering with my sleep! That said, it is an absolutely brilliant book, probably the best I've read in the last year. As a mother I found it disturbing to enter into the world of Eva and to feel empathy for her feelings towards Kevin. Yet enter her world I did, and wow what powerful emotions it evoked within me. I can't agree with the reviewers who said they found it unbelievable that Eva stuck it out for so long. Apart from the fact that she loved her husband so much, there was an underlying thread that she so desperately wanted to bond with her first born. This wasn't a book destined to have a predictable 'Happy Ending'. The final pages were shocking and difficult to read. The last meeting described between Eva and Kevin had me crying so much I had to get out of bed and walk around the house to compose myself! Yet I found myself thinking at the end of the last page that yes, there was a happy ending for mother and son in a strange way. An ending I didn't realise I was hoping for until it happened. A truly magnificent book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Depressing to read (but well written), 6 Feb. 2015
By 
Mr. James Newton "videostar" (Bedford, UK) - See all my reviews
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Depressing to read, sorry but not enjoyable for me.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this., 6 Aug. 2007
I loved this book. Loved and hated and couldn't put it down.

I found the writing style absolutely fantastic; I'm definitely tempted to read others of her novels purely for the style. I thought the plot was convincing and I was desperate to find out what happened and the details.
I loathed the mother and found her despicable, also rather unrealistic. The father I found irritating and also unrealistic. I wasn't convinced by any of the characterisations in fact and yet I still loved the book. Kevin was interesting and more realistically portrayed in my opinion but still I felt he was quite black and white. The 2 week illness portrayed in the middle of the book was very irritating - I found that totally unbelievable.

I know many people have slated Lionel Shriver for trying to write this book as a woman without children - I don't think she shouldn't have written it but I do think her lack of children is obvious. I don't think it's possible to feel like the mother in this book. The bit that really annoyed me was that the mother was clearly portrayed as someone with post natal depression and someone who had no feelings for Kevin - and i felt it was sad in this day and age that those 2 aspects should be linked together when PND doesn't cause a mother not to love her child. Also my experience with children would suggest that a child who receives little love at home compensates by being overly and indiscriminately affectionate to others rather than reacting in the way in which Kevin did. It reminded me of the 1970s theories about "refrigerator mothers" linking with autism (clearly been discredited).

I say I loved this book - I did love the style. I am soooo glad I read it. I'd recommend it every time. I also did hate it and found it intensely annoying and frustrating. I could not put it down and was glued to it for the week or so it took me to read it. I think it's an amazing achievement.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding novel about a truly evil child, 9 Dec. 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: We Need To Talk About Kevin (Paperback)
This book was written as Ms Shriver was confronting the fact that since the age of eight she had decided never to have children, and at fort two was in a stable relationship with a partner who supported whatever she decided, and was dreading the finality of a decision not to have a child.
The book comprises a series of letters writen by Eva to her husband Franklin about her uncertainty of having children, and then the awful reality when their son Kevin is born and she knows immediately she holds him that they hate each other.
As the author confronts her own fears she creates the character of Eva with a depth and intensity I have never encountered before.
This is a much longer book than the four hundred pages implies, it is not a page turner, but with every sentence one is drawn into the world of Eva, and she and Kevin become ever more real. And as this happens one questions if Eva is constructing a partially fictional view of her life and of Kevin in order to bear the agony she is feeling.
After I finished I was thinking of Kevin as if he was a real person and why he was like he was. It was over a day before I could think of him as a fictional character, and as far as I can remember the only truly evil character I have ever encountered in a novel. Like the violence of a psychopath there is absolutely no reason for his carefully planned and meticulously executed killing of nine carefully selected people at his school. When on a prison visit Eva asks him if it was her fault he answers “I am not letting you take the credit for what I have done”
It is impossible to express the effect this book has on a sympathetic reader, even now days later Eva is still almost real and I fear for her future when Kevin is finally released from prison.
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22 of 45 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars contrived, 3 Nov. 2007
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This review is from: We Need To Talk About Kevin (Paperback)
This book apparently came top of the list of books that people bought and failed to finish. A depressing, pointless yarn cashing in on the seemingly endless queue of students in America with nothing better to do than mow down their unsuspecting classmates.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars King-esque, 23 Feb. 2009
By 
John (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
This book could easily have been written by Stephen King, as much for its depth of detail as for its gruesome moments near the end (which is a shocker!), and does sometimes feel like you are reading a horror story, the impending sense of doom always present. I didn't give it 5 stars because the first half of the book is way too long, but get through that and it is worth it. As for the characters, well, they are all kind of annoying but I suppose that is the point, and you do grow sypathetic to Kevin's mother near the end.
That said, I think the whole thing could have been avoided had his mother given him a crack every time he was rude to her, or at least had any notion of discipline?! Then maybe he wouldn't have grown up with the superiority complex that led him to think it was OK to kill all those people. A great and thought-provoking read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shocking, 4 May 2015
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This is a really good read but very heavy going
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Annoying narrator., 13 Dec. 2011
I kept reading, hoping that the narrator would change, but it never varied from being a neurotic character's rantings in a letter to someone called Franklin. To be honest, I hate giving up on a book, especially one which was so highly recommended to me, but I had to put this one back on the shelf. No-one would ever write a letter like the one in the book. At least no-one that I know. I think the plot of the novel is probably very imaginative but I couldn't face it being relayed over hundreds of pages written from such an annoying narrator. Also, her style was very frustrating and would constantly allude to events later on in the plot e.g. ' that terrible thing Kevin did...' but we have to wait pages to find out what it was and endure her almost stream-of-consciousness babble in the meantime. Not for me, sorry!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 12 May 2015
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Quite bad condition but expected of the price
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We Need To Talk About Kevin
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (Paperback - 1 Mar. 2005)
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