We Need to Talk about Kevin: A Novel

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Serpent's Tail, 2005 - High school students - 400 pages
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.

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User Review  - Tytania - www.librarything.com

We need to talk about Kevin. Right now. This novel consumed me. In a way my daily world revolved around that hour or so per night I could get back to the story. Some nights the Disturbing factor was ... Read full review

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User Review  - PhilipJHunt - www.librarything.com

Wow. I just finished reading this moments ago. I'm wrung out. This novel is just about perfect, but it's a tough read--unremittingly bleak, dark and hopeless. 468 pages of this can wear you down. Yet ... Read full review

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
11
Section 3
25
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Lionel Shriver was born Margaret Ann Shriver on May 18, 1957 in Gastonia, North Carolina. She changed her first name because of her preference for it. She was educated at Barnard College, and Columbia University (BA, MFA). She has lived in Nairobi, Bangkok and Belfast, and currently lives in London. Shriver wrote seven novels and published six (one novel could not find a publisher) before writing We Need to Talk About Kevin, which she called her "make or break" novel. She won the 2005 Orange Prize for her eighth published novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, a thriller and close study of maternal ambivalence, and the role it might have played in the title character's decision to murder nine people at his high school. The book created a lot of controversy, and achieved success through word of mouth. The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 was published in May 2016.

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