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Property: Stories Between Two Novellas
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Property: Stories Between Two Novellas

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,439 ratings  ·  240 reviews
A striking new collection of ten short stories and two novellas that explores the idea of property in every meaning of the word, from the acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin.

Intermingling settings in America and Britain, Lionel Shriver’s first collection expl
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Harper
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Ross Jillian should have gotten it back; though her request was somewhat selfish. Shriver's book is a gem. Very well written. I her use of language and the…moreJillian should have gotten it back; though her request was somewhat selfish. Shriver's book is a gem. Very well written. I her use of language and the rhythm of her writing. The first novella, and the story about a thirty something child who won’t leave his parents and their house, are gems. (less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,439 ratings  ·  240 reviews

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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
My god....I love Lionel Shriver. I should have my head examined for taking so long to return to the ‘queen-of -spectator’!!!
Lionel is so damn brilliant- intelligent beyond intelligent....She gets your blood pumping..
Her prose is irresistible - perceptive - unnerving - dark - and totally entertaining...not ha ha entertaining- ( but I did laugh plenty)....more RICHLY SATISFYING entertaining.
I looked up several exciting unfamiliar vocabulary words - and people I
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Be careful what you wish for -

I'm not a great fan of the short story format – so often they fail to live up to my expectations and peter out without a satisfactory conclusion. But Lionel Shriver’s stories are in a different class. These cautionary tales of the pitfalls of property-owning fulfil their promise and deliver the goods in Shriver’s caustic satirical style.

For all its postclass pretensions, modern Britain was just as feudally cleaved into serfs and landowning
Sharon Metcalf
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, edelweiss
Having heard great things about Lionel Shrivers writing, and already owning several of her titles -though as yet unread - I couldn't resist requesting this review copy.       Described as a book of short stories I figured it would be a great opportunity to sample her style.   It was!     After one story I already felt convinced she was going to find her way onto my list of favourite authors.  
Sometimes short stories can be a hit and miss affair for me but in this case the hits were definitely i
Roman Clodia
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two novellas and ten short stories from Shriver, all of which, in some way, are concerned with property or possessions, often transferred to or from people or contested between them. As ever, Shriver's tone is cool, sardonic, watchful and merciless in its exposure.

The darkly humorous novella 'The Standing Chandelier' subverts the idea of the love triangle while also giving us an artifact in the 'chandelier' itself which is hilarious, grotesque and yet uniquely personal. 'Repossession
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Lionel.

Two novellas sandwiching a collection of short stories. The Standing Chandelier has already been published as a stand-alone novella (reviewed on the product page). But for me it’s Shriver’s first short story, The Self-Seeding Sycamore, that wins the day and alone is worth the price of admission. As a rule, I’m not a lover of the short story format but these thirteen pages about a recently widowed fifty-something who has no choice but to take over her late husband’s onerous garden
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was my first Lionel Shriver book and wow, was it a good one. Loved almost all of the stories here (except one, which I thought could've been left out, but this is a very minor quibble) - all, somehow, related to the theme of property. This sounds like a kind of odd theme to bind a short story collection tomorrow, and I was sceptical to begin with. But there are so many memorable stories to enjoy here, set in the UK, U.S. and Kenya. I don't know about other countries but most people i
Michelle Keill
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2018
Lionel Shriver is one of my favourite authors, and this collection did not disappoint. Property is an interesting topic for me (I can't help it; I'm British - we love talking about houses) and Shriver shows exactly why the concept of home and having a space of our own - or not - is so pivotal to our lives. She crafts characters so well, and I recognised some of my own (less than desirable, it has to be said) traits in many of the protagonists on display here. Highly recommended if you like short ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I am a huge fan of Lionel Shriver and am warming to the short story format the more I have delved into various collections over the past few months, so this one ticked both my boxes. I expected to enjoy them and certainly did. The two longer stories at the beginning and end are my favourites - ‘The Standing Chandelier’ and particularly ‘The Subletter’ - but there isn’t one I didn’t like.

I think the whole set hangs together really well - there are recurring themes of mental tracking of favours o
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! Great entertainment, serious food for thought and a vocabulary so rich you could get indigestion from devouring if it were the edible!
Sid Nuncius
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought Property was very good indeed. I don’t always get on very well with short stories but I found this collection to be beautifully written, insightful and thought-provoking.

The supposed binding theme of property is pretty tenuous, to be honest; the stories are about far more than that, with an aspect of property and ownership being just one theme of each story, but that didn’t matter at all to me. These are primarily character studies and feature what Lionel Shriver does so we
I guess like a lot of short story collections this was uneven in quality. Some of it was great but some of it was really boring to me. I read this via audiobook too which probably prevented me from enjoying some of the stories more as Lionel Shriver herself narrates the book and she is AWFUL at accents. Truly dreadful. A lot of the stories take place in America so that's fine but some of them take place in the UK or other places and I could barely tell what she was saying. It was bizarre. In my ...more
Leo Robertson
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Her most accessible yet I think :)

I read in an interview that she prefers novels—so, maybe the idea that short stories/ novellas can do less led to less serious subject matter than her usual fare.

Her characters as always are excellent, and even with somewhat familiar premises at times, more than any book I've read in a long while, I really wanted to know how each story ended, because it's access to how Shriver sees the world.

Her sentences are torturous af some
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not once ever before have I laughed while reading something written by Lionel Shriver. Her work is just so intense all the time that I wasn't sure what to expect with this collection.
The first novella, The Standing Chandelier, was exactly what I thought it would be: dark, painful, sad. I grew to like Frisk and to despise Baba and Paige. My heart broke for Frisk.
To my surprise, I found humour and a certain lightheartedness in some of the stories but most had a dark edge that was true to fo
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hilarious, riveting stories that are an absolute delight to read. If you're looking for an arresting read bubbling with wit, humour, provocation, and tension, you can totally count on Shriver. This collection of short stories and novellas are centred around the effect of property on character. 'Ownership is as much state of mind as legal entitlement', claims a character in one of the stories; in several interesting scenarios this sense of property is explored. Naturally, I liked some stories mor ...more
Mairead Hearne (
A quirky collection of short stories.

It admittedly took me quite some time to get through them. I had difficulty connecting with any of the characters. A book to pick up at random and peruse. No particular order to the stories making it easy to dip in and out when you choose.

The writing style is very unusual and took a little getting used to. I'm happy to have read it though as it has been on my radar for quite some time.
Marc Faoite
Lionel Shriver courts controversy. Her ill-received keynote address at the 2016 Brisbane writers festival saw at least as much written about her opinions as about her fiction. Hot on the heels of the launch of her latest book, Property, she is making waves and headlines again. In a recent article in The Spectator she castigates publishers espousing diversity, saying they are “drunk on virtue.”
Interestingly, Shriver won, and accepted, the 2005 Orange Prize for her chilling novel We Need to Talk
Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Harper Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

If you have followed my reviews for awhile, then you'll know that I'm a big fan of short stories and novellas. I know they're hit or miss for a lot of people, but I have a huge appreciation for authors that can really pack a punch or leave an impression in a smaller book. PROPERTY by Lionel Shriver (author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN) is 10 short stories between 2 novellas. The common theme? Our relation
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
These stories all make you think about the emotional relationship we have with things we own. Each story is different and interesting enough that the book doesn't feel like a slog. Some of the stories were even cheerful instead of depressing! "Exchange Rates" was my favorite story. It was truly affecting and didn't need to be long and bloated with detail (as the novellas were) to really capture a character and pack an emotional punch.
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I like this author a lot, so even though I don't like modern short stories, I was lured into this book by the promise of the two novellas. I enjoyed the two novellas and most of the short stories, though not as much as some of her other books. I liked the concept of analyzing our complex relationship with property: the acquiring, collecting, storing, dispensing, maintaining, and possessing property. It really takes over our lives to a certain degree. There are so many varying degrees of possessi ...more
Jean Brown
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars...ARC to be published April 2018
Robert Wechsler
The novellas are the best part of this collection, especially the first, "The Standing Chandelier." This novella deals with two sorts of property: the other person in a relationship (here, both a long-term boy-girl friendship and a romantic relationship) and a wedding present, which is and is not a symbol of the friendship contributed to the other two-thirds of the odd triangle.

The stories and the second novella are more straightforward (and often have nothing interesting to say abou
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really, really love Lionel Shriver’s writing, storytelling and characters. She is truly masterful, and one of my very faves. I am not normally a short story lover though so wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this book, but I enjoyed it a lot. The last story (more of a novella) wasn’t quite as good as the others but otherwise they were all perfect. Especially loved the first one.
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Property: Stories Between Two Novellas by Lionel Shriver is a very highly recommended collection of two novellas and ten short stories that focus on property and how ownership of homes and objects can affect the lives of those who own them. This is an excellent collection of well-written, thought provoking, engaging short stories full of insight into human nature. All the characters are complex and multi-dimensional, even in the briefest of stories. Property is an exceptional look at people and ...more
Danielle Trussoni
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lionel Shriver is not a subtle writer, but a force of nature whose characters are so singularly themselves, so filled with love, hate, bitterness, adoration, passion, disgust et al that they vibrate on the page. I loved this book, even as the characters made me uncomfortable. In fact, that is exactly why I admire it.
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I am not usually a fan of short stories, but I do like Lionel Shriver's writing. So I thought I'd give her latest venture of "stories between two novellas" a try. I thoroughly enjoyed the first novella and most of the short stories. The only one I was not enamored of was the last novella. So my rating would be between a 4 and 4.5 for this book. The writing is excellent, for the most part.

The settings of this short fiction are either in Britain or America, and Shriver is comfortable w
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
Thank you so much Harper Books for providing my free copy of PROPERTY by Lionel Shriver - all opinions are my own.

This is my first time reading Shriver’s work. I’ve seen so many wonderful reviews and who hasn’t heard of We Need to Talk About Kevin? So needless to say, I had to read this! This book is made up of ten short stories and two novellas. This is one of the BEST short story collections I have ever read. My standouts are The Standing Chandelier, Domestic Terrorism, ChapStick,
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories
I love Lionel Shriver's writing style--it's exactly how I think inside my head. This starts off strong with the novella Standing Chandelier, about a new wife damaging a longstanding male/female friendship. Domestic Terrorism was also extremely well-done, about a grown man who won't stop living with his parents. The ChapStick was poignant, and then there were several short, funny pieces. With this and the new collections by Curtis Sittenfeld and Kevin Wilson, I think this is going to be a good year for short story lovers!
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
These were really not for me. I've liked Shriver's full length novels before, but the tone of these stories were all very similar and sour, and honestly a little bit mean-spirited. There wasn't enough variation in this tone - story after story felt like this.
Lionel Shriver's new short fiction collection Property offers a more thematically cohesive experience than many authors' novels. To boot, it whizzes from tragedy to comedy from one sentence to the next, and it's exceptionally provocative, especially considering its subject matter--property, which is to say money--is member of the provocative topic triumvirate, smack dab between religion and politics.

"The trouble wasn't that she was incapable of generosity, but that if she was generous then she remember
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it

Ownership is as much a state of mind as legal entitlement, p204

In her erudite, swashbuckling way, LS here continues to demolish the distance between reader and text as she riffs on the theme of property; its upside, downside, backside. Dense with psychological insight and political wit. each story opens a door, offering the reader an extended, intimate glimpse of the lives revealed.

Many of these tableau seem vaguely familiar. Is that the enthusiastic woman who joined the
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Lionel Shriver's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Earlier books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and Checker and the Derailleurs. Her novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wal ...more
“After all, a forgivable shyness and social discomfort could easily be mistaken for their more aggressive counterparts: aloofness and hostility.” 0 likes
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