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We need to talk about Kevin!

(98 Posts)
MyIronLung Sat 13-Feb-16 13:16:22

Has anyone read this? I'm about half way through And I'm struggling to put it down!
It's almost like approaching a car accident and not being able to look away. You know you're going to see something truly awful but can't stop yourself!

What an amazing book.

I found myself looking at my gorgeous 4 yo ds this morning and wondering...this book has truely gotten under my skin.

I'd be interested to hear what others think about it.

ProfGrammaticus Sat 13-Feb-16 13:20:04

It's amazing. But i strongly recommend not starting to discuss it until you have finished it 😄

Savagebeauty Sat 13-Feb-16 13:21:07

I loved it. But then I like disturbing books like The Road.

TeamEponine Sat 13-Feb-16 13:22:29

Yes! It is amazing but disturbing. I finished it in one day with barely a break to pee and eat blush

I know some people have not been able to finish it and hated it though.

Not sure I'd say I enjoyed it, but it is an excellent book that I would highly recommend.

allegretto Sat 13-Feb-16 13:22:32

I read it years ago before having ds2 - who reminds me somewhat of Kevin....

Room101isWhereIUsedToLive Sat 13-Feb-16 13:22:33

I enjoyed it, much better than the film. But it's also a highly distressing read!

MisguidedAngel Sat 13-Feb-16 13:22:51

I agree with Prof. Don't set yourself up for a spoiler.

It was the first of Lionel Shriver's books I'd read (I didn't know she was a woman then). I have looked out for others and enjoyed them all. They're not easy reads, but very rewarding.

moptopp Sat 13-Feb-16 13:23:24

I hated it. I'm aware my strong reaction to the 'voice' of the book - the mother - is a sign that it is actually very well written, but I couldn't bear it.

Muskey Sat 13-Feb-16 13:23:40

I really enjoyed it and like you couldn't put it down. I think I read it all in one go. It is a truly compelling book which asks the question are children born bad or do they become that way. In Kevin's case the implication was that he was born bad, loving home nurturing environment, although I do think his dad was too permissive but I don't think it was the reason for his behaviour. There is some very dark humour which does break the tension. The aftermath (I won't give anything away here) was quite eye opening as you wonder who the victims actually are.

elspethmcgillicuddy Sat 13-Feb-16 13:25:11

I enjoyed it but am so so glad I read it before having children. I don't think I could bear it now.

BifsWif Sat 13-Feb-16 13:25:24

It is a fantastic book. Quick, finish reading it and come back to discuss. You really need to finish it.

moptopp Sat 13-Feb-16 13:25:32

In Kevin's case the implication was that he was born bad, loving home nurturing environment Funny, that's not how I remember it at all.

Angeladelight Sat 13-Feb-16 13:25:49

Fantastic book, read it last summer and it is probably one of the best books I've read. Feels weird to say it's enjoyable but it's so well put together and it's incredibly thought provoking. But beware of potential spoilers! Has anyone read any of Shriver's other novels?

Muskey Sat 13-Feb-16 13:27:38

That is interesting mop top

museumum Sat 13-Feb-16 13:29:06

I thought it was utterly ambiguous (in a good way). There's no way to know if the son and mother didn't bond due to her or him.
Was he just bad and she tried her best?
Or was she cold and didn't take to motherhood?
Why did he seem OK with his dad? Or hide his actual feelings about his dad?
Was he awful to his mum cause he hated her or was she the only person he could truly be himself for and he put in an act for everyone else?

I thought it was a great book.

doleritedinosaur Sat 13-Feb-16 13:29:53

I could not put it down when I first read it, the style is amazing. I keep meaning to pick up other novels by Shriver.

The whole topic is eye opening & makes you question nature versus nurture.
& I very rarely say this but the movie is also very good!

HopeClearwater Sat 13-Feb-16 13:31:11

Moptopp I thought she balanced the nature / nurture argument really well. I don't think you can say that either comes over more strongly than the other. That's why I think it's such a clever book. She was also very clever in the choice of er... execution method.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 13-Feb-16 13:32:22

Hated it too. Wouldn't ever read it again, or touch the film with a 10 ft barge pole.

I suppose it was well written but the subject matter was just too foul for me - I have an overactive imagination that paints pictures as I go with reading, and the pictures were too much. sad

MyIronLung Sat 13-Feb-16 13:56:17

Oh dear...I didn't think about spoilers. Maybe I'll leave the thread and come back when I've finished the book (tomorrow probably).

Looking at the number of posts shows that this is clearly a book that provokes strong emotions.

savage I enjoyed (seems wrong to use the word 'enjoyed' :-/) The Road too. The lack of punctuation drove me potty though!

guthriegirl Sat 13-Feb-16 19:07:14

I loved this book. I had it before I had kids( when I thought I wasn't 't going to have any ) and found it utterly compelling. The nurture/ nature debate within it was handled really well as was the realities of motherhood. Read a few more of hers bit this is definitely her best.

ImperialBlether Sat 13-Feb-16 19:13:37

In Kevin's case the implication was that he was born bad, loving home nurturing environment

Funny, that's not how I remember it at all.

Just what I was going to say!

TeamEponine Sat 13-Feb-16 19:57:12

Thinking back on it, I wouldn't have said it was a perfect home life and upbringing, but certainly not dreadful. I seem to remember the mother being quite cold and struggling.

evilgiraffe Sat 13-Feb-16 21:14:43

I really enjoyed it. I hated everyone in it except - weirdly - for Kevin (particularly his mother), but it was compelling nonetheless.

Bambooshoots14 Sat 13-Feb-16 22:15:05

Brilliant book, much much better than the film

MuseumOfHam Sat 13-Feb-16 22:25:46

This is the only book I've ever read that I wish I could unread. Plain old bad books I can just forget, but this was undeniably well written. It has never left me, and I wish it would. I timed my reading incredibly badly, as at the time I was struggling with some of DS's behaviours, and my own reactions to them.

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