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Let's Talk About Kevin

(47 Posts)
PrettySnowyPictures Sat 13-Dec-14 11:48:03

Has anyone read this book? I've just finished it, I'm kind of mixed about how I feel now.

On one hand I thought it was drawn out, the language and descriptions added and the way it was narrated seemed like the author didn't have a clue how they wanted the character to sound or how bitchy she actually came across and there wasn't really that much story over all or much focus on Kevin, most of it just seemed like the author was adding elaborate words and descriptions to fill out the story.

On the other hand, it was one of those books that no matter how much it irritated you at times you just couldn't put it down. It was emotional too (in my opinion) and the ending made me cry heaps which doesn't normally happen unless I'm reading a true story. It left me feeling kind of empty if that makes any sense whatsoever? (Not in a bad way though I doubt I've explained myself very well, more in a what now? I need more kind of way).

And it's one of those rare books for me that makes me want to go back to the start and read it all over again. It left me questioning a lot about myself too.

Can anyone recommend any similar sort of books? I'm going to have a look and see what else the author has written but atm I don't feel quite "over" the story so it'll be difficult to get stuck into another book atm grin

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 11:52:02

We Need To Talk About Kevin is one of the best books I've ever read. I thought it was perfect from beginning to end. I will read it again one day I'm sure.

TiddlesUpATree Sat 13-Dec-14 11:54:49

Brilliant book. Stuck with me for ages. Her other book post birthday world is the best I've ever read. Very moving. Xx

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 12:01:00

A Perfect Family was also good, as was Big Brother.

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 12:01:58

Sorry, it was A Perfectly Good Family.

Showy Sat 13-Dec-14 12:07:59

It was a turgid, psycologically inaccurate heap of nonsense. Shriver can write but her dislike of children is visceral.

ClashCityRocker Sat 13-Dec-14 12:12:43

I like Shriver and really enjoyed this book. I thought the fact that the author doesn't have children (I believe) actually added to the feeling that Eva was truly in a 'foreign' country with motherhood.

There are some glaring holes - I never understood why her and Franklin stayed together and didn't do anything to address the issues re Kevin and Eva's relationship. To be honest, I thought Franklin was a bit of a dick and didn't get what Eva saw in him.

I think my favourite of hers is 'so much for that'.

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 12:13:58

I couldn't get into So Much For That. I have it here, and will try again - perhaps it is worth persevering.

Jessicahyde85 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:14:04

I had to read it because my mother told me Kevin was like my son ( he has Asperger's and is fuck all like Kevin, thanks bitch!) I found it long winded and boring if I am honest.

CrispyFern Sat 13-Dec-14 12:17:48

Ha! Your mum said your son was like Kevin? Shoot her in the head!

I really liked the book.

ClashCityRocker Sat 13-Dec-14 12:21:13

pictish it's not as immediately grabbing as Kevin - I think I certainly enjoyed it more on the re-read.

I actually wasn't too keen on the ending of Kevin.

The film was absolute tripe though.

pictish Sat 13-Dec-14 12:23:08

I thought the film was brilliant. Really did. Came out of the cinema absolutely moved.

PrettySnowyPictures Sat 13-Dec-14 12:24:23

I'll have a look at the other books, do they come on kindle? (I've not actually got a kindle but I've the app for it). I've so many paper backs in this house that I've ran out of places to store them!

I thought that Kevin sounded unplausable but I've never had experience of a child that sounds similar, not even a child with additional needs. It was obvious from early on what had happened to franklin as well, it kind of ruined the plot line a bit but I really did love the ending.

Celticlass2 Sat 13-Dec-14 12:27:14

I read the book. Pretty unsettling, but brilliant. The post Birthday world was also a great book.
The Kevin film however was awful.

ShellyF Sat 13-Dec-14 12:27:55

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Fanfeckintastic Sat 13-Dec-14 12:30:06

Brilliant book, I loved it!

ClashCityRocker Sat 13-Dec-14 12:33:35

Yes, they're on kindle, the ones I liked least were female of the species and game control. The rest range, in my opinion, from very good to excellent.

I think part of the appeal of the book is that no-one knows a child like Kevin - we only have her viewpoint to trust and over the course of the book there is very little of Kevin's interaction with the wider world - just glimpses, and always from her perspective. I think it's the whole chicken and egg scenario - is Kevin an inherently 'evil' boy or is it caused by his cold mother who admits that she doesn't love him? I think that Shriver is very clever - most readers will feel sympathy for Eva, rather than Kevin, which kind of flips the whole 'childhood innocence' thing on it's head.

bilbodog Sat 13-Dec-14 12:40:51

I have read 'Kevin' about 3 times - I think its the sort of book that is worth reading more than once as now you know how it ends more things fall into place and make sense at the beginning. I had the same with the film as, of course, there are some differences to the book which you have to get used to - but the film gets better each time I see it and I now appreciate how they have converted the book into the film. I couldn't get on with any of her other books though......
If you want another 'interesting and different' book try Vernon God Little - you need to read it with a south american drawl though.............

JavelinArse Sat 13-Dec-14 12:43:34

The film was dreadful. I love the book though. I interpreted Kevin and Eva's relationship when he was small as an experience of post natal depression (this sounds strange but I could really relate with Eva and the way she felt about having Kevin).

mrsfarquhar Sat 13-Dec-14 12:51:48

I got the feeling of emptyness too.

I think it was such a desolate subject matter and you can never get to the truth, whether it was nature or nurture, in the book or in life.

mrsfarquhar Sat 13-Dec-14 12:52:38


duchesse Sat 13-Dec-14 13:02:32

I thought it was dreadful. Both the bleak subject matter and the sensationalist way it was written. But then Lionel Schriver has form for truly appalling novels (in my view). Some people like them.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 13-Dec-14 13:08:36

Which is the one where the man has the botched penis enlargement, and it all ends horrifically? That book started out quite promising, but by the end I was both confused and appalled. I really didn't get what the purpose of that was.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 13-Dec-14 13:12:11

Not read Kevin, but that device of showing a child entirely through the perspective of one very flawed adult is also used in Nabakovs Lolita, and is both the reason it's a genius book, and the reason it s often a completely misunderstood book.
If Shriver used the same device in Kevin, my bet would be that it's not children she hates/fears, it's mothers.

BOFster Sat 13-Dec-14 13:21:12

I listened to the author discussing it on Radio 4 for Bookclub- very interesting. She's quite spiky, but I do think she's an excellent writer.

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