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eBook We Need to Talk About Kevin epub

by Lionel Shriver

eBook We Need to Talk About Kevin epub
  • ISBN: 1852428899
  • Author: Lionel Shriver
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: Contemporary
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Serpents Tail (February 28, 2005)
  • Pages: 436 pages
  • ePUB size: 1748 kb
  • FB2 size 1586 kb
  • Formats lit txt azw lrf

The outfit needed pressing, and the padded shoulders bore the faint stripe of fading from a wire hanger.

We need to talk about kevin. One worst-case scenario we’ve both escaped. A child needs your love most when he deserves it least. The outfit needed pressing, and the padded shoulders bore the faint stripe of fading from a wire hanger. Something from the nether regions of the closet, I concluded, what you reach for when everything else is filthy or on the floor. As the woman’s head tilted toward the processed cheese, I caught the crease of a double chin.

Home Lionel Shriver We Need to Talk About Kevin. But I felt I should stay within driving distance of Kevin. Besides, much as I crave anonymity, it's not that I want my neighbors to forget w h o I am; I want to, and that is not. We need to talk about k. .We Need to Talk About Kevin, . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49. - 4 -.

An epic book like "We Need to Talk About Kevin" is rare, yeah. I can see this as some rather strikingly beautiful monster composed of the few scary parts from Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby" and the more ominous tones of "The Omen" something.

The author of We Need to Talk About Kevin explains. It has now entered the cultural canon that, on completion in 2001, the manuscript of Lionel Shriver's seventh novel was widely rejected by publishers and literary agents alike. In retrospect, this incidental fact being widely known is alone a little weird. After all, every day writers numbly receive curt, dismissive rejections of work they've slaved over for years. Writers should have some grasp of publishing's brutality, and this morose process of having your beloved creations stepped on and pissed over comes with the territory.

We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2003 novel by Lionel Shriver, published by Serpent's Tail, about a fictional school massacre. It is written from the first person perspective of the teenage killer's mother, Eva Khatchadourian, and documents her attempt to come to terms with her son Kevin and the murders he committed, as told in a series of letters from Eva to her husband. The novel, Shriver's 7th, won the 2005 Orange Prize, a . based prize for female authors of any country writing in English

These talks of ours had a gameliness, and your opening play was noncommittal. Stop it. I’m talking about story. In fairy tales, ‘And they lived happily ever after’ is the last line

These talks of ours had a gameliness, and your opening play was noncommittal. One of us always got lodged into the role of parental party pooper, and I had rained on the progeny parade in our previous session: A child was loud, messy, constraining, and ungrateful. This time I bid for the more daring role: At least if I got pregnant, something would happen Stop it. In fairy tales, ‘And they lived happily ever after’ is the last line. Do me a favor: Talk down to me. Oh, you knew exactly what I meant.

Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

How much is her fault?We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no at explanations for why so many white . Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending.

How much is her fault?We Need To Talk About Kevin offers no at explanations for why so many white, well-to-do adolescents-whether in Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, or Littleton-have gone nihilistically off the rails while growing up in the most prosperous country in history. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, career-while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can.

We Need to Talk About Kevin (film). We Need to Talk About Kevin is a 2011 psychological thriller directed by Lynne Ramsay, and adapted from Lionel Shriver's novel of the same title. A long process of development and financing began in 2005, with filming commencing in April 2010.

Two years ago, Eva Khatchadourian's son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. Telling the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy - the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
Comments: (7)
"We Need To Talk About Kevin" is a disquieting, provocative, and brilliantly written novel about a mother, desperately attempting to understand why her son, 15-year-old Kevin, brutally, with premeditation, murdered seven of his fellow classmates, a cafeteria worker and his English teacher in a Columbine-style school massacre. There have been nationwide discussions on the cause of events like these - especially during the 1990s when it seemed like school shootings ran rampant throughout the US. In Pearl, Paducah, Springfield, Littleton, seemingly normal kids, kids who had almost everything a child could want, became terribly derailed. Some argue that the proliferation of and easy access to guns is the cause; others that the excess of violence in movies, TV programs and video games induce violent behavior in children and adolescents. The one question almost everyone seems to have in common is, "What were these murderous kids' parents like?" "Didn't they recognize symptoms of violence in their own children?"

Eva Khatchadourian, Kevin's bereft mother, narrates this novel through a series of compelling letters to her estranged husband, Franklin. She examines her son's life, from conception to his terrible act of violence, trying to understand the why of it. What becomes clear early on is that Eva tortures herself with blame. She is guilt-ridden that her shortcomings as a parent might have caused Kevin's evil act, his violent behavior, his very nature. She must have failed, she must have been deficient as a mother, for her boy to commit such a chilling crime. She also considers that neither nature nor nurture are solely responsible for shaping a child's character. Her honest, introspective correspondence to her beloved husband causes the reader to consider that some children just might be born bad. How and when are psychopaths created? The reader is pulled back and forth between empathy and blame, anger and grief, and perhaps, ultimately to forgiveness.

Through Eva's perspective we watch a story unfold. A happy, almost idyllic marriage to Franklin; a brilliant career in a business which she, herself, created; her ambivalent feelings when she became pregnant, an event which interfered with her career; the indifference she felt when she held her son for the first time; Kevin's difficult infancy - he refused his mother's milk and didn't like to be held by her; his total manipulation of his father, who believed Kevin could do no wrong, putting a permanent strain on the marriage; Kevin's lack of empathy and cruel streak, which he blatantly flaunted in front of his mother and hid from his Dad; and Eva's fear that her dislike for her son, which she went overboard to conceal, would damage him - further escalating his already violent nature.

"We Need To Talk About Kevin" examines how a heinous event can impact a town, a marriage, a family and an individual. It also causes the reader to reflect on the concept of unconditional love. Lionel Shriver's clear, crisply crafted prose builds tension throughout her novel, ultimately leading to a stunning conclusion. Her narrative is almost perfectly paced. This is an extraordinary psychological study that gripped me, riveted me, from the first page to the last. And the author ably portrays the complexity and the horror of the act and the consequences. I was seriously left breathless and horribly saddened after finishing the book. This is most definitely not an "up" novel or a light read. However, it may be my favorite book of 2004 and I cannot recommend it highly enough. I have purchased 2 more of Ms. Shriver's novels as a result of reading this one.

According to my Kindle I'm only 29% through this book, but it's caused such an extreme reaction in me that I had to start my review early.

So far the book can be summed up as follows: Eva hates Kevin (and motherhood), Kevin hates everthing.

And I hate this book.

It received so much attention when it was released because it tackled the very difficult issue of high school shootings, and it's been on my TBR list for years. I was under the impression it would at least attempt to provide some insight into how and why young people can go off the rails so badly that they kill their classmates in cold blood, but it does absolutely nothing of the sort. Kevin is portrayed as unrelentingly evil literally from the moment he emerges from the womb and refuses to suckle. When he is a few weeks old he screams the house down every day until his father comes home, and then he shuts up, because apparently even at this age he is a manipulative little cretin who is smart enough to drive a wedge between his parents. He never smiles or laughs like a normal baby but gives his mother the evil eye and kicks away his toys when she attempts to play with him.

At first I thought Shriver was showing that Eva's ambivalence (or downright loathing) towards motherhoood is affecting her child, but when the saintly nanny, Siobhan also finds Kevin unbearable and has to leave, it is clear that the reader is meant to see Kevin as just plain wicked. He is so conniving that he actually hides the fact that he can speak from his parents for years and then starts spouting full sentences out of the blue one day. I'm by no means an expert on children, but don't they need to develop their vocal cords through "babytalk", starting with sounds that then turn into words? Kevin must have been practicing all this alone in his room at night, evil little genius that he is. The portrayal of Kevin is not realistic in any sense and I feel very cheated that this novel was promoted as serious fiction when this gross caricature belongs in a schlocky horror novel.

If Eva is meant to be an unrealiable narrator, and the purpose is to show that Kevin becomes a monster because that's how she sees him, it fails badly because she is such a one-dimensional character. She is selfish, shallow, self-pitying and spineless. Despite what her son has done, most of her pity is reserved for herself and she laments constantly over the ways his actions have affected her life. She is very jealous of her husband's attention to Kevin from birth, and she is also too gutless to stand up to him and tell him that her career as CEO of her own company is more important than his location-scouting freelance job. She has no good memories at all of Kevin's babyhood or any feelings of affection towards him at all, ever. It horrifies me that some critics have claimed that this is a "feminist" book because it explores the lack of maternal instinct in some women. It is far too unsubtle and heavy-handed for this. It is also not an exploration of the nature vs nurture debate, as it has been promoted by some.

The terrifying thing about the Columbine massacre and the many others that this book supposedly draws on, is that the teenagers who committed them were normal children who were perfectly cute babies and did not behave unusually or draw attention to themselves until it was too late. This book does absolutely nothing to explore the social and psychological forces that can lead a young person to lose touch with reality so completely that mass murder is a solution to their problems. To even suggest that it can in any way shed a light on these atrocities is a travesty in my opinion.

The book is set during the 2000 election debacle in the US when Bush came to power in very suspicious circumstances. I really can't see what the point of this is, except it gives Eva and opportunity to take swipes at those who care about the demise of democracy in their country. These problems are so irrelevant compared to her own.

The other thing that really bugs me about the book is the technique of using letters and reproducing entire conversations in them. It is just so false, like everything else about the novel. I've never said this about a book before but I'd give this zero if I could, I find it that offensive. Maybe my opinion will change as I continue reading, and I seriously hope it does because I paid good money for this book, but I'm not holding my breath. I've read one other book of Shriver's (Game Control) which I also found very unsatisfying and morally dubious, and I believe this one will be the same.

Update: Ok, I've finished reading this book in record time, mainly because I just wanted to get it over with, and I was also interested to see if it got any better. I've changed my opinion slightly in that I think it's worth 1 star now, rather than zero. The reasons being that the writing is actually very good and although it doesn't deal with the issues it raises in anywhere near a satisfactory way, it does provoke debate, and that's a good thing.

The problems I referred to above still remain though, and became more apparent with the introduction of Celia. In contrast to Kevin who has dark hair, is very smart and downright evil, Celia is blonde, dumb and saintly. I'm surprised she also didn't have a craving for sugar in opposition to Kevin's addiction to salt. She was also an extremely one-dimensional character, with no other purpose than to act as a foil for Kevin.

I agree with many other reviewers who have said that it beggars belief that a wealthy middle-class couple wouldn't seek help for a child like Kevin (or that Eva wouldn't get help on her own if her husband didn't agree. She did trick him into having another baby after all so going behind his back was not out of character for her), or that Eva would be so utterly pathetic that she would continue to live in the family home with a child she believed was responsible for destroying her daughter'seye and scarring her face for life. The whole eyeball thing at the end was creepy beyond belief.

Ironically the only character I liked in the entire book was Kevin when he called his mother on her hypocrisy. These were the only scenes that actually rang true. Kevin's defence of his mother when he was being interviewed on televsion at the end was so false it was laughable, and her claim that she felt pride for him as he blathered on about how the world needed people like him because he provided something for all the passive morons to watch, was truly sickening.When she tells him that he spoke well on television while spewing out this garbage, it was kind of the equivalent of saying: "Shame about all those people you shot down in cold blood, but nice marksmanship, honey." This section really showcased the moral vacuum at the heart of this story.

Kevin's transformation as he approached 18 was also ridiculous, as was his claim that he didn't really know why he'd murdered 13 people after all. Shriver's final message seems to be that we can never really know why people behave the way they do, and there are no answers. This is exactly the same line trotted out in the media when another mass murder takes place. It's the individual, not the larger society that is toxic. The book makes some references to gun control, but then Kevin committs his murders with a bow and arrow, undermining this argument to an extent. She also rants about how American teenagers have become so weak and pathetic that they use any excuse to go on a shooting spree instead of "sucking it up."

The theme running through this book is that the vast majority of people in the US are fat, lazy and stupid. This is a view shared by Kevin and Eva, and the reason she feels proud of him at the end.("Since I myself had craved a turn of the page, is it really such a stretch to say of KK that we need him?") No reference is ever made to the rise of American militarism overseas which coincides with the epidemic of shootings at home. A violent, murderous society begets violent, murderous individuals, and those who are most vulnerable and impressionable (like teenagers) will snap first. Bullying is not a minor problem but a soul-destroying experience for those who are the victims of it, and one that begets extreme levels of supressed rage that are very dangerous in a society that glorifies violence and provides easy access to high-powered firearms.

As for the whole political context of the story, Eva's conclusion about the US election debacle of 2000 is that in the end "there are only people and what happens to them. Even that fracas in Florida - to me it was about a man who wanted to be president since he was a little boy. Who got so close that he could taste it. About a person and his sadness to turn back the clock, to count again and again until the news is good at last - about his poignant denial."

WTF???? What about the supreme court decision to halt the counting of votes in Florida which would have shown that Gore actually WON the election? Is that not important? For someone who rants about passive, stupid Americans, Eva's final conclusions that nothing can be done about mass murderers who don't understand their own motives, or political crimes against democracy are the ultimate endorsement of passive acceptance.

I'm willing to consider the possibility that I've totally misinterpreted this book and that the author does not actually believe the conclusions she's reached. It's possible that Eva feels pride and love for Kevin at the end because inside she is exactly the same as him, and she secretly admires what he's done. Maybe Shriver is showing that her views and prejudices created the monster that is Kevin, and that he is her mirror-image. Maybe on some level she realizes this and that's why she continues to stand by him. If this is the case it's not done nearly well enough to be coherent. Sadly, I think Eva is meant to be seen as wise and compassionate, and Kevin's gesture of returning his sister's glass eye is meant to be a tender moment between them. *shudder*

I stand by my original assessment that this book does nothing at all to shed light on Columbine and other massacres. It is too confused and unbelievable. By referring constantly to real events and failing to address them seriously it is exploitative in the extreme, and in my view this is unforgivable.
This was one of the darkest books I have ever read. I threw it away upon finishing it. I can't remember if I've ever thrown a book away before - I would never pass it on to someone, recommend it to someone, even sell it second hand to someone.
Why would a teenager plan the brutal killing of classmates? This book offers the answer in characters that are so dark, it's unbelieveable. I'm sorry I bought it - as the mother of a 3 and 5 year old, my times to read are precious, fleeting and usually at the cost of sleep. This was a terrible waste of that time. I feel terribly sad that such people might really be walking among us and dread that my family might one day be horribly hurt by them.
I wish someone would have clued me in before I started it. I recommend you choose another book.
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