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1-15 of 23 reviews Show most helpful reviews first Newest first

 

Why I'd rather not have to talk about Kevin

AdvantagesCompelling, gripping, haunting, etc

DisadvantagesLots of talk but not much insight, pointlessly obsessive

"We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver has been described as a psychological thriller, a philosophical investigation, a psycho-horror, a compelling drama, a moral tale, an American family nightmare, and a study of the age-old themes of nature versus nurture, mother-child relationships and parenting in general- amongst other things. The book is written in first person, and the story is told through a series of self-confessional letters written ..." Read review
25.07.2011

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Community Level 8Collingwoo...

Collingwood21

I Need To Talk About Kevin

AdvantagesElegantly written, Well researched, Gets you thinking, Compelling narrative

DisadvantagesNot a light read - can be heartbreaking and bleak in places

"...Early on in the book, we know that Kevin is in juvenile detention, convicted of shooting dead seven of his classmates, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker in his school gym shortly before his sixteenth birthday, something he clearly feels unrepentant about. As she struggles to understand this catastrophic event, Eva can only bring herself to call it "Thursday". Over the course of her letters, Eva looks back over the peculiar, strained relationship ..." Read review
21.10.2007

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Community Level 4bigmike33

bigmike33

A horrific novel that packs a punch.

AdvantagesGreat structure and characterisation, particularly on Kevin.

DisadvantagesMay be too dark for some.

"We Need to Talk About Kevin is a dark, disturbing yet thoroughly engrossing novel from American novelist Lionel Shriver, playing on her favourite themes of maternal ambivalence, family violence and internal strife in a psychological indictment of modern day society. Many of Shriver’s novels revolve around everyday family settings that become warped with time; in The Post Birthday World, Shriver looks at the depths a person will go to find happiness ..." Read review
13.05.2009

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We Need To Talk About Kevin

AdvantagesWell written, fast paced, good plot

DisadvantagesNone!

"I read We Need To Talk About Kevin on the recommendation of a friend, and thought that it might not be that great a book as I had read previous works by Lionel Shriver like the Post Birthday World and couldn't stand them. But seeing as We Need To Talk About Kevin had got so many reviews about what an amazing read it was, I decided to give it a try. It's around £8 from Waterstones, but you can get it cheap from Amazon for around £1.50. ..." Read review
11.04.2012

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What Kevin Wants

AdvantagesOriginal topic for a novel

DisadvantagesHard going in some earlier parts, tendancy to ramble

"...Once Kevin is born we see a bit more about the struggles she has with a son that she was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to bond with. Kevin does not seem to be a pleasant or contented child, and Eva struggles to relate to him although she tries her best. It seems that there is a battle of wills between her and a stubborn four year old, and often the four year old wins. Eva's recollections are interspersed with stories of her visit to the correctional ..." Read review
06.01.2007

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Community Level 3Mountainli...

Mountainlilly

Is it too late to talk about Kevin?

AdvantagesGripping writing of a subject that hits close to home

DisadvantagesHaunting

"...One can only hope that we too will escape such a fate. The cover of the book I have is different from that in the photo. I doubt this matters much. Original publication USA, Counterpoint, Perseus Books Group, New York, 2003 First UK publication Serpent's Tail, London, 2005 My 5-star edition Mackays of Chatham, 2006 ISBN: 1-85242-467-2 ISBN-13: 978-1-85242-467-1 Also published on dooyoo as waterlilly ..." Read review
17.07.2009

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Community Level 6MI9to5

MI9to5

Everyone Needs to Talk

AdvantagesYou'll never predic the end

DisadvantagesThe subject matter is harrowing

"We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver was a book that for some reason always caught my eye. Maybe it’s the striking front cover of a small boy staring endlessly out at you or maybe it was just the fact that so many people ad said so many positive things about it. Either way I knew that I just had to read it but despite this have only just got round to doing so, although it has been sat in my to read pile for quite some time. I must say ..." Read review
18.09.2009

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A chilling and disturbing read

Advantagesthought provoking, interesting read, engrossing

Disadvantagesstory quite grim and chilling

"...of him. In this way we are shown that Kevin is quite cold and calculating but also quite intelligent. The fact that Franklin would always undermine Eva’s authority really annoyed me. In fact his whole ‘lovey dovey’ attitude to parenting annoyed me! He has this idyllic view of parenthood and really doesn’t take Eva’s feelings into consideration and how much she has given up to have a family. In some ways though I thought his character was a bit ..." Read review
02.12.2011

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Community Level 2onlyliana

onlyliana

We Need to Talk About This Book

AdvantagesOriginal format. Fascinating story.

DisadvantagesSombre topic that may not be to everybodies taste.

"...raised many questions. Why do we never hear a reply from Franklin? Is Eva being completely truthful? Maybe her shame is causing her to censor the letters? Perhaps her loathing for her son could be projected into her letters, proportioning more blame onto him? ***My Opinion*** I found the book to be completely engrossing and deeply affecting. I felt that the wind had been knocked out of me when I reached the conclusion. There are so many ..." Read review
02.01.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

Yes, we need to talk but first you need to read

AdvantagesWill make you think and talk and talk some more

DisadvantagesIsn't the easiest read in the world

"...much about the other characters we really know, other than the bare facts, as the story is the world according to Eva. The secrets that she confesses to Franklin do suggest honesty yet all opinions (Including this one) present some bias. To quote a Barlow/Williams song, "Well there's three versions of this story, yours and mine and then the truth". Truth is a conceptual concept. This book reminds you of that. Wider Context The book does take some ..." Read review
08.06.2012

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Have you been talking about Kevin?

Advantages A brave and contraversial book, well written, compelling and with one hell of a twist at the end.

Disadvantages None.

" 'We need to talk about Kevin' written by Lionel Shriver* is wonderful and controversial book which was published in 2003 and which subsequently won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2005, a prize a feel in deserves. The book tells the story of Kevin Katchadourian, told from the perspective of his mother Eva and set in American. The book presents a series of letters written by Eva to Kevin's father and her husband, Franklin, in which she gradually ..." Read review
17.01.2007

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Community Level 1LadyI

LadyI

We Need to Talk About Kevin

AdvantagesFantastic read, really makes you think!

DisadvantagesDisturbing, distressing, chilling

"...to after the killing. We learn that Eva didn't really want Kevin and never really bonded with him. Eva's letters are a really clever way of telling the story and add to its ambiguity - how reliable is Eva's narration? Are there things that she might have omitted? Eva implies that she is the only person that can see the "real" Kevin, whom she describes as having sociopathic characteristics but is this her own skewed view? Is Kevin's behaviour innate ..." Read review
23.08.2006

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

We Need to Talk About Kevin

AdvantagesNone

DisadvantagesNone

"...is so much to discuss. We Need to Talk About Kevin is written from the perspective of Eva Khatchadourian, who writes a series of letters to her estranged husband analysing the upbringing of their son, Kevin. There is much to discuss because on Thursday April 8th, 1999, three days before his 16th birthday, Kevin goes to school and murders seven handpicked students, a teacher and a cafeteria worker using a highly unconventional method. The novel begins ..." Read review
10.03.2010

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

disturbing look at nature verses nurture debate

Advantageschilling,disturbing,hard to put down

Disadvantagesquestions at back of book may give away clues to the twist ending

"We need to talk about Kevin is one of those novels that really gets you thinking about the whole nature verses nurture debate and has had bookclubs talking all across the globe!!Some have described it as one of the most disturbing novels they have ever read in the same way that the exorcist was once thought to have been the scariest movie ever made-parents have even refused to keep the book in the house after reading it allegedly!!! So what is ..." Read review
23.08.2006

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Community Level 6burtybookw...

burtybookworm

Could Kevin Be Saved Before It Happened?

Advantageschilling, cleverly constructed and thoroughly engrossing

Disadvantagessome long-winded and unnecessary passages in the book

"We need to talk about Kevin is one of those books that sticks with you, and everytime I read something similar (such as 19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult) I find it hard not to compare them - this is so well written and is now one of my favourite books of all time. == Premise == We Need To Talk About Kevin is narrated by Kevins mother in letter form to her husband telling of her difficulty of getting along with her son since his birth. The ..." Read review
03.09.2008

Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful

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