Michael's Reviews > We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
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's review
Jul 20, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: thriller, literary-fiction, orange-award, psychological, 2000s
Read from June 29 to July 14, 2011

Never in my life have I read something like Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin. I knew it would be dark and chilling, but I wasn’t expecting what I read. The book tells the story of Eva, who is writing a series of letters to her husband trying to recounting and trying to understand what happened to cause their son, Kevin into a sociopath. It’s no secret that Kevin killed nine of his classmates in a Columbine style attack (you find this out in the first 10 pages) but there is so much more to the story to keep you reading.

From the very start, you are going to hate Kevin – you’ll probably even hate Eva – their relationship is far from perfect and it is possible that this may scare you from wanting to have kids (definitely having kids like Kevin). There was nothing really wrong with Kevin’s childhood, he was given everything he could ever need; he was just stuck in suburban hell. The underlining theme of this book for me is the whole nature versus nurture debate. It could have been Eva’s ambivalence to Kevin and motherhood that affected him, or something else. I’m sure there is arguments about what caused Kevin to be the way he was; was he born with it, was it his parents, his home life, or something completely different.

For someone that never had kids, Lionel Shriver wrote rather well about motherhood and all the fears and worries that might come with the job. We Need to Talk about Kevin is very dark, so I don’t recommend it to everyone, but having said that, it is well worth the read if you think you can handle it. Apparently there is a movie adaptation of this coming soon, I don’t know how well that would work, I’m sure it will lose a lot of the feelings you get from the book.
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Reading Progress

07/04/2011 page 156
33.0% "I really hate that kid"
02/15/2016 marked as: read
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