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We Need To Talk About Kevin (Five Star Paperback) Paperback – 9 May 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 916 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 500 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail (9 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1852424672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1852424671
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (916 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

In fact everybody needs to talk about Kevin. 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 superb, many-layered novel intelligently weighs the culpability of parental nurture against the nightmarish possibilities of an innately evil child (Daily Telegraph 2006-05-06)

Urgent, unblinking and articulate fiction (Sunday Times 2006-05-07)

Cleverly balances the grand guignol and the mundane (Guardian 2006-05-06)

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 (The Sunday Telegraph 2006-05-21)

A study of despair, a book of ideas and a deconstruction of modern American morality (David Baddiel The Times)

One of my favourite novels... the best thing I've read in years (Jeremy Vine London Magazine)

Book Description

The Orange prize winning, million copy bestseller: now a Serpent's Tail classic, with a new foreword by Kate Mosse --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
So after my first time read I found major aspects of this book to be extremely annoying (see spoilers at the end) but also, from around the mid point, as Kevin reached adolescence, just as enthralling as it was annoying.

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The complete lack of any attempt to form a stable relationship with Kevin, taking umbridge with him from the point of his refusal to breastfeed. Attitudes from the mother surely had a hand in the way he grew up (although the way his father was clearly worked out no better in the end).
Why he did what he did!?!?! The "accountability" aspect that bothered him so much makes me think that he selected one person to represent each different type of person and held them accountable for the entire type of people that he had issues with.
His quick turn around from one Saturday, clearly not caring about what or why he did it to the next visit (close to his 18th birthday) suddenly appearing as though he actually had remorse over the event seemed a bit too sudden for me.
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It took me a while to get into and I must admit I skipped a few minor details, but actually they are not minor! Read every single words carefully. It will all come to light at the end.
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This excellent novel held me gripped from the first page. In classic Shriver style, the majority of the central characters are very hard to like and subsequently more realistic. The relationship between Kevin, Franklin and Eva is so complex and able to be interpreted in so many ways that you leave the book with more questions than answers.
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I saw the film some time ago but only just got around to reading the book. It is not an easy read. The vocabulary is complex, the insights disturbing and I still have ambivalent feelings towards the narrator. However it is a moving and haunting account of when family relationships go awry through no ones design and the devastating consequences for all touched by the seemingly omnipotent Kevin.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent. Exploring uncomfortable topics (such as a mother not bonding with her child in infancy or how to parent a terror) in a mesmerizing way. Highly recommend.
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It took me 2 attempts to get into this book but once in I enjoyed it. It is a strange book but as the subject matter is not an everyday occurrence (thank god) it was a compelling read. I feel better to have read the book than sit through what would be a harrowing film.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The subject matter of this book is highly disturbing. There's nothing I've read or watched recently that has made me feel quite so ill-at-ease than this book and it is definitely not for everyone.

The reason I'm giving this five stars is because the writing is simply superb. I found it easy to read and I love the way she has formatted the work as a series of letters. I think Lionel Shriver is operating on a level that makes her an excellent writer rather than just a good one. It's hard to describe but the foreshadowing is subtle and obvious at the same time. We all know what Kevin has done but Shriver makes us want to know the fascinating details. An excellent work.
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It took a while to get used to the unusual and slightly off putting overcomplicated language and style, but I am so glad I persevered. This is a compelling haunting story, really well written and one that will stay with me for a longtime. It throws up more questions than it answers but I loved it!
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