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We Need to Talk About Kevin
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
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...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780061124297
ISBN-10: 006112429X
Publication Date: 7/1/2006
Pages: 432
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 147

3.6 stars, based on 147 ratings
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
Haunting and Disturbing
What a book! I nearly abandoned this book several times in the beginning, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The ending was quite satisfying, as far as reading goes, and believable.

I cannot say I "enjoyed" this book -- the subject matter is not enjoyable, and the voice of the character is biting. But I will say this is a book that will definitely stay with me for a long time. It poses so many questions -- far more than it answers -- and is exquisitely written. The ending is one that will stay with me forever, I have no doubt. This is a book about a mother - son relationship, about what makes kids "good" or "bad," about motherhood, about the public school system... about a mass murder not unlike Virginia Tech and Columbine. Be prepared to hear it unfold one letter at a time -- the whole book is comprised of letters from the mother to the father... the history as she remembers it. Powerful. Haunting. Infuriating. Believable. Sad. DISTURBING
reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 209 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
depressing, dark, disturbing, disgusting........need I say more? I cannot imagine what kind of bizarre mind wrote this book. My book club read this book because the author is local and the story takes place in our county, it was just a horrible ordeal for me to read it. The author was very pretentious in her writing, each sentence was an attempt to "dazzle us" with her intellect. I was not dazzled.....dont waste your precious time reading this horror story, there is nothing redeamable about it in my humble opinion.
reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
While I agree that someone needed to talk about (and TO HIM about, oh 15 years earlier) Kevin, I wonder if we really needed to talk about him THIS much. I found myself screaming sometimes in the beginning of this book "NO! We do NOT need to talk about Kevin! Shut up!" The first half of this book could have easily been cut by 25%. It's meandering and I only finished it because I wanted to know the ending. I hated the main characters in this book (except for the daughter). The mother's ambivalence, the father's blindness, the son's - well, everything about him. I wanted to smack that child, deck the mother and castrate the father. The book made me very angry. Can you tell?

Once you get past the first half, things really pick up - esp those last 80 pages or so. The author just spends too much time getting us there. I think part of me knew the "twist" ending, but I didn't want to know it, so I was surprised. I, honestly, am not 100% sure I'd recommend the book, HOWEVER, this would be a really really great book club book. Conversation inducing. I probably won't recommend it to my club because I don't wanna read the blasted thing again.
reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Ok, to be honest...it took effort to get through not so much "parts" of this book, but perhaps "lengths" of this book. I am the type of reader who likes to be on the edge of my seat or at least have a very good "picture" painted for me making me dread putting the book down. The author writes in the narrative of Kevin's mother with letters to his father. Before i got to the end of this book, i did feel that Shriver's use of an overly descript vocabulary was exhausting. There's a line to be crossed between vivid portrayal of characters and events and sounding "gramatically self-absorbed". I am, however, verrry glad i finished this book, because the ENDING was unbelieveable...and i do feel, now that perhaps this style was pertinent in the portrayal of Eva's character.
As far as "talking about Kevin", the subject matter is thought-provoking, no doubt forcing one to stop and look at how we view motherhood and children's behavior, leaving us to wonder how much of a warning sign "bad" behavoir can be....
reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 526 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Haunting and Disturbing
What a book! I nearly abandoned this book several times in the beginning, but I am so glad that I stuck with it. The ending was quite satisfying, as far as reading goes, and believable.

I cannot say I "enjoyed" this book -- the subject matter is not enjoyable, and the voice of the character is biting. But I will say this is a book that will definitely stay with me for a long time. It poses so many questions -- far more than it answers -- and is exquisitely written. The ending is one that will stay with me forever, I have no doubt. This is a book about a mother - son relationship, about what makes kids "good" or "bad," about motherhood, about the public school system... about a mass murder not unlike Virginia Tech and Columbine. Be prepared to hear it unfold one letter at a time -- the whole book is comprised of letters from the mother to the father... the history as she remembers it. Powerful. Haunting. Infuriating. Believable. Sad. DISTURBING
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reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 901 more book reviews
It's well written, creative and scary. In fact, is one of the most violent books I've read including mysteries yet it won the Orange Prize. I have to wonder about that.

Was Kevin born bad, a bad seed, or was his mother's reaction to his birth and childhood responsible? And, his father's enthusiasm, too much to believe even for a child, might be at fault as well. Since this is fiction we can only speculate. I do know that some of the early signs of disturbance can be attributed to childhood and the changes a child experiences. Without a doubt, Kevin was pampered in every way, especially by his father. Why should a parent take so much responsibility for a what a child does? Why should society place full blame on the mother? Or, does it?

Did I like this book? I'm still trying to decide but I gave it three stars nonetheless. Can I recommend it to others? I'm not sure. Am I glad I read it? Again, I'm not sure. Maybe time will help me answer these questions.
reviewed We Need to Talk About Kevin on + 85 more book reviews
Although it took me 2 weeks to finish this book, it was a very good book. Story about Eva who is the mother of Kevin. At almost 16, Kevin murdered his classmates and teacher at his school. Eva tries to come to terms with this horror by writing letters to her husband. I wonder if the movie they made is as good as the book.


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