We Need To Talk About Kevin (Five Star Paperback) Paperback – 9 May 2006
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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)
The Orange prize-winning, million copy bestseller: now a Serpent's Tail classic --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As a mother, Eva blames herself for not bonding with a son who is incapable of bonding or, indeed, of forming normal relationships. She does her best to understand and cope with his aberrant behaviour, but faced with her husband's refusal to acknowlege the problem and his inability to see through Kevin's play-acting, she is out-manoeuvred by her own son. Through it all she loves her son as best she can, but his inability to respond in a normal fashion stymies her attempts to mitigate his behavioural and deep psychological problems.
It takes a while to get into the book, but as the story progresses, it becomes hard to put it down. The real reason for Eva's estrangement from husband and daughter is a twist I didn't see coming until a few pages from it. The final scene, however, seems out of place.
This book is gripping from beginning to end, thought provoking, funny, scary and sad... well worth a read.
The story is narrated by Eva, in letter form, as she writes to her estranged husband. Eva's son, Kevin, is in a juvenile detention centre, as at the age of 15yrs he went on a killing spree at his high school. He killed 7 fellow students, a teacher and a cafeteria worker. Through Eva's letters, the reader is taken through Kevin and her story, going right back into their past, even before Kevin was born. As Eva spills her heart out onto the paper, you are struck by how she is debating the point of just how to blame, if at all, she is for Kevin's actions.
The exploration of the past, especially Eva's relationship with her husband, brings up many areas of life and truth that are often not spoken about. This, I think, is why this novel is so good; the book is not just about Kevin's terrible crime. The dynamics of Eva and Frianklin's relationship are also explored, both as a young couple and as a family once Kevin is born.
This novel really does stay with you long after you have finished the last page. The ideas, suggestions and debates it raises are complex and intriguing, something to really get your teeth into.
This is a great book, one of the best I have read, and that really is saying something.
In other senses the work has flaws. Though a personal account, Franklin is so ludicrious in places as to beg wider questions as to how or why Eva would have married him in the first place. Even on this side of the pond, a fraction of Kevin's antics would have landed him in some sort of therapy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book takes a while to get going but is really good towards the end, would recommend. I would also recommend for people to watch the film as well, very good representation of... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Leanne B.
Was highly recommended but I couldn't get into it due to the layout and 'letter' style it was written in. Read morePublished 28 days ago by baggybird
I loved the way this book was written, a challenging but excellent read.Published 1 month ago by mand
After reading this book - Lionel Shriver has made my list of favourite authors. A great examination of what happens to us when life does not go "according to plan" and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by P. Penn-Low
Chilling tale of a personality-disordered teenager raised by a mother who found him unlovable (or was he unlovable because he wasn't shown love?? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs B-C