Big Brother: A Novel

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HarperCollins, Jun 4, 2013 - Fiction - 384 pages
37 Reviews

From the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin comes a striking new novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity.

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn't recognize him. In the four years since the siblings last saw each other, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened?

And it's not just the weight. Imposing himself on Pandora's world, Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, makes overkill breakfasts for the family, and entices her stepson not only to forgo college but to drop out of high school.

After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me. Putting her marriage and adopted family on the line, Pandora chooses her brother—who, without her support in losing weight, will surely eat himself into an early grave.

Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat—an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much we'll sacrifice to rescue single members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ImperfectCJ - LibraryThing

Aside from an ending that feels a little like a cheat, I enjoyed reading this novel. I was sometimes incredulous about the way it progressed, which I suppose makes sense given the ending, but there ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

Big Brother It's hard to know what to say about a book in which the author is so obviously laying out her own personal issues. (As described here.) I can't help but wonder if she would have been ... Read full review

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About the author (2013)

Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, the National Book Award finalist So Much for That, the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World, and the Orange Prize winner 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. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.

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