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We Need to Talk About Kevin

(Five Star Fiction)

By Lionel Shriver

(129)

| Paperback | 9781852424671

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Book Description

A stunning examination of how tragedy affects a town, a marriage, and a family, for readers of Rosellen Brown's Before and After and Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World.

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility f Continue

A stunning examination of how tragedy affects a town, a marriage, and a family, for readers of Rosellen Brown's Before and After and Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World.

That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But such generalizations provide cold comfort when it's your own son who's just opened fire on his fellow students and whose class photograph--with its unseemly grin--is blown up on the national news.

The question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years ago, her 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?

We Need to Talk About Kevin offers no pat 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 suburban comfort. Instead, 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.

203 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    I was warned by a few friends, most of whom are mothers, about how confronting this book is before I started reading it. Maybe my expectation of the disconcerting nature of the book is therefore over-inflated, which resulted in my initial disappointm ...(continue)

    I was warned by a few friends, most of whom are mothers, about how confronting this book is before I started reading it. Maybe my expectation of the disconcerting nature of the book is therefore over-inflated, which resulted in my initial disappointment of the effect the story has brought upon me. However, as a whole, I like the way the narrator traced back and reconstructed the history of her relationship with her family. From the very beginning the story is over-shadowed by the fact that Kevin kills 9 people three days before he turned 16. However, it is not until the last two letters that the most unbearable truth about the fate of the family is disclosed to the readers. I found some of the allusions to the American culture and slangs hard to get into sometimes, but it doesn't mine the "pleasure" (if this is right word to describe the process of reading) I experienced from its good story-telling.

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    Инда Туккан said on Jun 28, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Terribile e meraviglioso. La violenza e la crudeltà di un bambino vista dagli occhi orribilmente stupiti di sua madre. Angosciante.

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    Mauro Torquati57 said on Mar 10, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 2 people find this helpful

    Agghiacciante

    Se devo dare un voto gli darei il massimo. Il contenuto è agghiacciante, un pugno nello stomaco ma che stimola ampie riflessioni sul ruolo dei genitori e dei figli. Inoltre è scritto benissimo. Da leggere.

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    Tini Donatello said on Mar 10, 2014 | 1 feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Non è malaccio solo che questa indagine psicologica che la madre di Kevin compie a in forma epistolare alla fine mi ha stancato. Prevedibile, ma credo possa piacere alle lettrici di sesso femminile.

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    Friski70 said on Feb 15, 2014 | 2 feedbacks

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Altamente sconsigliato alle donne in dolce attesa, da qui forse il commento negativo!

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    Dedé said on Feb 7, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Che dire. Non mi sarei aspettata tutte le emozioni che questo libro mi ha fatto provare.

    Pazzesco veramente.

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    Eu said on Jan 30, 2014 | Add your feedback

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