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We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel…
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We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel (original 2003; edition 2011)

by Lionel Shriver

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,406342931 (4.09)1 / 660
Member:allyflower15
Title:We Need to Talk About Kevin tie-in: A Novel
Authors:Lionel Shriver
Info:Harper Perennial (2011), Edition: Mti Rep, Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Wishlist
Rating:
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Work details

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (2003)

  1. 91
    Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (bnbookgirl, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these novels are about school shootings and the alienated teenage boys responsible for them. 'We need to talk about Kevin' depicts the complex relationships within the shooter's family, whereas 'Nineteen minutes' focuses on the larger community affected by the event.… (more)
  2. 81
    Columbine by Dave Cullen (GCPLreader)
  3. 60
    The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing (christiguc, humppabeibi)
    christiguc: Both are books that explore the nature vs. nurture question in disturbing situations.
  4. 50
    Before and After by Rosellen Brown (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these novels tell haunting, harrowing stories about the family relationships of teenage boys who commit unthinkable crimes: in 'We need to talk about Kevin' a school shooting, and in 'Before and after' a teenager's murder of his girlfriend.… (more)
  5. 62
    Defending Jacob by William Landay (arielfl, Booksloth)
    arielfl: Both books are about bad seed boys who murder and who have mothers who have an inkling about their true nature and with fathers who deny, deny, deny.
  6. 30
    The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (freddlerabbit)
  7. 30
    Hey Nostradamus! by Douglas Coupland (verenka)
    verenka: Both books deal with the aftermath of school shootings but from different perspectives.
  8. 10
    The Wrong Mother by Sophie Hannah (JeaniusOak)
    JeaniusOak: Both novels explore difficult themes surrounding Motherhood.
  9. 10
    The Dinner by Herman Koch (INTPLibrarian)
    INTPLibrarian: Disturbed child and parents dealing with it. Both with twists / unexpected parts.
  10. 00
    A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold (TheLittlePhrase)
  11. 22
    The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (RidgewayGirl)
  12. 00
    Boy A by Jonathan Trigell (FemmeNoiresque)
  13. 00
    Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist (julienne_preacher)
  14. 12
    The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (Monika_L)
  15. 03
    Empire Falls by Richard Russo (mcenroeucsb)
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English (326)  French (3)  German (3)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (342)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
A twitch in your stomach is the feeling left behind by this book. There is also suffocation, great sadness, and distress. It's been a day since I finished reading it, and it still does not get out of my mind. Well, it's annoying. The truth is that the book struck me in amazement. It is true that there are those who have depression after having a baby, it is difficult for them to love or accept the child but never heard of such hatred of one towards his son.
We always tend to read about the best in the world. Even though books of horror and suspense also read once in a while, but usually in those books, good wins over bad. So now the question is - how shall we define a mother who hates her son?

Despite it all, this book is eloquent and well written.
A book that is hard to read, yet gave me something to think off. ( )
  Denizhorowits | Jan 17, 2019 |
Wow. I just finished reading this moments ago. I'm wrung out. This novel is just about perfect, but it's a tough read--unremittingly bleak, dark and hopeless. 468 pages of this can wear you down. Yet, I couldn't put it down. The plotting and pacing is near perfect, dragging you along with a twist, a new fright or horror that demands you press on. Shriver has a thesaurus sized vocabulary and uses it all with skill and occasional wry humour.

It's not a spoiler to say that Kevin is a teenager who kills a bunch of students at his school. The story is written in the first person by his mother as a series of letters to her husband (apparently estranged in view of Kevin's actions). There is something off-centre about the way the mother discusses her husband. I got the feeling that she was writing the kind of letter you might write, but never send. I worried that this was a flaw in Shriver's technique. Until about page 450. Neatly resolved in a way I did not see coming. My worry resolved into appreciation of the writer's art. ( )
1 vote PhilipJHunt | Jan 6, 2019 |


Very dark! Hard to read, but hard to stop reading, too. ( )
  loveleelisa | Jan 5, 2019 |
Not sure why I liked this book so much. I shouldn't have. I tend no to like books written in letters, books on "hot topics" or books that contain public trials. But this one... Here the format, the "hot topic" and the trials weren't the main point. What the book was... it was Real. Disturbing. Mesmerizing. ( )
  Firewild | Jan 3, 2019 |
This fictional book tells of Kevin who deliberately killed classmates and a teacher in his school. Kevin was a difficult baby and life with him, especially for his mother, never got any easier as he got older. Kevin lacks emotion but at the same time seems to be deliberately seeking an audience (his mother) for his actions. The story of Kevin's development and relationship with his family is related in letters to Kevin's father who for some reason is estranged. In fact, the letters tell the entire story.

Reading the book takes one's full attention and a dictionary because Shriver uses many unusual words with a very detailed writing style and a very limited amount of dialogue. But being persistent definitely offer the reader a sense of satisfaction upon completion of the book. It is not a book for the "faint of heart" and the narrative causes one to ponder the nurture versus nature argument. It will make you cry and wonder "why" and then you will begin to take the fictional account and compare it to real world events.
( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
A powerful, gripping and original meditation on evil
 
At a time when fiction by women has once again been criticised for its dull domesticity, here is a fierce challenge of a novel by a woman that forces the reader to confront assumptions about love and parenting, about how and why we apportion blame, about crime and punishment, forgiveness and redemption and, perhaps most significantly, about how we can manage when the answer to the question why? is either too complex for human comprehension, or simply non-existent.
 
The epistolary method Shriver uses, letters to Eva's absent husband, strains belief, yet ultimately that's not what trips us up. It's Eva's relentless negativity that becomes boring and repetitive in the first half of the book, the endless recounting of her loss of svelteness, her loss of freedom.
added by stephmo | editSalon.com, Barbara O'Dair (Aug 12, 2004)
 
Maybe there are books to be written about teenage killers and about motherhood, but this discordant and misguided novel isn't one of them.
added by stephmo | editThe Guardian, Sarah A. Smith (Nov 15, 2003)
 
A little less, however, might have done a lot more for this book. A guilt-stricken Eva Khatchadourian digs into her own history, her son's and the nation's in her search for the responsible party, and her fierceness and honesty sustain the narrative; this is an impressive novel, once you get to the end.

 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lionel Shriverprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mosse, KateIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trouw, MiekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A child needs your love most when he deserves it least.
--Erma Bombeck
Dedication
For Terri
One worst-case scenario we've both escaped.
First words
I'm unsure why one trifling incident this afternoon has moved me to write to you.
Every now again, one of those books comes along that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end when you read it. (Introduction)
I can roughly divide my novels into two stacks. (Afterword)
Quotations
You were ambitious - for your life, what it was like when you woke up in the morning, and not for some attainment.  Like most people who did not answer a particular calling from an early age, you placed work beside yourself; any occupation would fill up your day but not your heart.  I liked that about you.  I liked it enormously.
Only a country that feels invulnerable can afford political turmoil as entertainment.
You never wanted to have me, did you?
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Eva never really wanted to be a mother; certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher who tried to befriend him. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her absent husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 006112429X, Paperback)

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry

Eva never really wanted to be a mother—and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The gripping international bestseller about motherhood gone awry."Eva never really wanted to be a mother -- and certainly not the mother of the unlovable boy who murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his sixteenth birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin's horrific rampage in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklyn. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails."--Cover, p. [4].… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 1921145080, 192175849X

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