- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 43 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Abridged
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 13 Oct. 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQDLWS
The Post-Birthday World Audiobook – Abridged
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Top Customer Reviews
So, if you can get Kevin out of your head for five minutes, then please turn your attention to The Post-birthday World. And this is one novel that really is deserving of your attention. In the first chapter, Irina is faced with a life changing choice: does she stick with her decent, reliable yet slightly dull long-term partner Lawrence, or does she give it all up for a life of passion and unpredictability with hard living and exciting snooker player Ramsey? The book then branches into two; in alternate chapters it shows what happens when Irina leaves Lawrence, and what happens when she stays.
The result is an entrancing read. Now, I'll be the first to admit that snooker is not the sexiest of sports. But, as with Shriver's other sports novel Double Fault, it's almost not what Shriver writes about but the way she writes about it. On paper, her subject content sounds fairly dull; snooker, middle age people falling in love, the politics of Northern Ireland. And yet she still manages to intrigue and draw the reader in, and to make them care. Plus, anyone who is able to take the dull relation of the sports world and make it sound interesting and even a little bit sexy will always get my admiration.Read more ›
In fact, it hinges on a reasonably interesting idea (not totally original, it will be recognizable from 'Sliding Doors' and also from Jane Rogers's novel 'Her Living Image', but quite classily handled). Irina, an American children's book illustrator living in London with her partner Lawrence, a terrorism expert for a think tank, ends up going out to dinner with the couple's friend Ramsey Acton, a famous snooker player, to console him after his divorce on his birthday. Lawrence is in Sarajevo at the time but urges Irina to go alone. She and Ramsey enjoy a sumptuous Japanese meal, then go back to his house to enjoy a joint or two. Towards the end of the evening Irina has a powerful urge to kiss Ramsey. At this point the novel splits in two and Shriver gives Irina two optional lives - the life where she kisses Ramsey, goes on to leave Lawrence and marry him and becomes a 'snooker wife'; or the one where she resists temptation, stays with Lawrence and sees Ramsey less and less. Neither will turn out quite how she thinks.Read more ›
Other reviewers are disgusted by Irina's tendency to live her life around her boyfriend in this book, but it's a trap that many women fall into, well illustrated by the book, as is the financial insecurity that comes from an insecure, poorly paid creative career. It's feminism for people who don't like the word "feminism".
I was very interested to learn that the author married the ex-husband of one of the now-ex-agents who rejected "We need to talk about Kevin". So that's where Jude and Ramsey came from!
However, the author's inexplicable failure to grasp British English really marred my pleasure in this book. Several times Ramsey's ridiculous, cringe-inducing speech tempted me to give up reading, and when I read about things such as going to the loo for shampoo I had to stop short and try to work out what she meant. I'm not from the UK, but it seems easy enough to understand that Britons, while they may not use the US euphemism "going to the bathroom", still call their bathrooms "bathrooms". It was very disappointing to find a writer I admire behaving like the literary equivalent of Keanu Reeves in "Dracula".
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Some books just seem to grip hold of you and not let go. Thus it was with this book and me. I have not read " Kevin". Read morePublished 10 months ago by UMTdoc
Couldn't really recommend this as it's a bit depressing. Not that enthralling, and the moral seems to be, whichever relationship choice you make, your life is going to be c**p. Read morePublished 10 months ago by RDM
Lionel Shriver is without doubt a skilled writer. But this was deadly dull, like a mild toothache on a long weekend. Read morePublished 12 months ago by "Belgo Geordie"
I have now finished this book and I maintain my 2-star review. It is boring all the way through and the ending is just as boring. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Maureen Robson
I was on a river cruise and went to the boat’s library to find a book to read. I was happy to spot a book by Lionel Shriver, having read two of her books already. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Minijax
This book had such promise and reminded me of a modern day sliding doors... I.e. the consequence of action. In reality it was a bit of a slow read and predictable in parts. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Whizzy
Lionel Shriver is such a frustrating author. Rarely do I read someone who combines such utter brilliance with such a big fundamental flaw in her writing. Read morePublished 20 months ago by BookWorm
beautifully written, great story, broadened up my vocabulary - thank goodness for the dictionary function on the kindle!Published 20 months ago by Emma