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So Much for That

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  6,627 Ratings  ·  1,190 Reviews
Shep Knacker has long saved for “The Afterlife”: an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with “talking, thinking, seeing, and being”—and enough sleep. When he sells his business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet his wife Glynis has concocte ...more
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Published March 8th 2011 by Brilliance Audio (first published 2010)
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B the BookAddict
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: highly recommended
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Goodreads
Shelves: literary-fiction


A powerful novel with some pretty tough issues; cancer, FD (familial dysautonomia), suicide and the health care system in America. Although that all sounds pretty bleak, remember Lionel Shriver usually does offer a mostly sober read. That is not to say the novel is all bleak; it is not. While the book is mostly dialogue, it is really strong dialogue from all characters, a couple of the characters do possess a very satiric attitude and that makes for some humorous reading. A long novel with some
...more
Will Byrnes
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: public-health
Lionel Shriver has written a very grown-up story that deals with serious subjects in a serious way. Shepherd Knacker has been saving all his life for what he calls the “Afterlife,” retirement to some sort of desert isle, away from the world in which he must work in order to finance his dream. But his plans hit a snag when his wife, Glynis, is diagnosed with a particularly virulent strain of cancer. His best friend, Jackson, has a teenage child with a rare genetic disease and the clear prospect o ...more
Jennifer (aka EM)
Left it at p. 46 and turned my attention to something else, thinking it was maybe my mood influencing the strong negative reaction I was having. Alas, no. Abandoned at p. 66. Those last twenty pages contained more hyperbole, overblown language, pontificating and exposition than I could stomach.

This is the speech Glynis makes to her husband, Shep, after a medical appointment during which she's learned that asbestos is likely the cause of her cancer -- asbestos her husband most likely brought hom
...more
Kinga
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh, how I wanted to like this book. How I wanted to like Lionel Shriver! Alas, Lionel Shriver is not a very likeable writer.

"So Much For That" is about Shep who has been saving all his life so he can retire early to run away to a place where people bask in the sun and live on a dollar per day and he is now ready to go. And then his wife goes and spoils it all by saying something stupid like 'I have cancer'. So rather than living on a dollar a day, they live on a few thousand a day covering all t
...more
Alecia
Mar 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are parts of this book that I would actually rate no more than 2 stars. Sometimes the writing gets overwrought, awkward, and has the characters thinking or talking about the healthcare system or other issues in a preachy, pedantic way. But, in the end, the powerful writing and subject matter of the book impelled me to give it 4 stars (which, as one can see by my list, I do not give easily).

If you want to read a gifted writer describe how it is to be a terminally ill patient, a husband/car
...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
POW POWPOW Holy shit, this book!!

I guess I’m not all that surprised at my reversal of star rating from 2* to 5*. Last I attempted this I was having existential crises twice a week, in the air space between Stavanger and London, while drinking too much, in the winter, alone. (On a plane I should point out. I have never personally achieved flight.) So when it came to a book about death and taxes, I had NIL emotional capacity. This left me in the most dangerous state of all when trying to read a no
...more
Elyse
Apr 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
This is a book everyone could be talking about ---
The story is fiction, with compelling characters, yet the parts about the health care system is a decent representation of what is going on in this country today.
Parts of this book was difficult to read--yet impossible to put down--
with many tender at moments at times, too---mixed with dry humor.
It deals with marriage, illness, intimacy, shocking loss, friendships, family dynamics, disillusionment, betrayal, a range of emotions, love, death, choi
...more
Judith
Apr 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a compelling story this is! I picked it up late last night and couldn't put it down till I fell asleep at 3 a.m. Then got up and couldn't do anything till I finished the book. The hero of this book is a hardworking long-suffering everyman whose lifelong dream to get away from it all is about to be realized. After scrimping and saving his whole life he finally has the funds and the guts to leave New York with his wife and son and move to a tropical island where he hopes to live the simple li ...more
Denise
Fictionalized account of lived experience of life threatening and chronic illness within America's health system. At the risk of leaving nothing to inference the author has made some of the dialogues/monologue on health care somewhat overbearing and put-on. At times this can be irritating. But I have to say that the issues are real, the character's situations seem real and the fault in health care are wide. The upbeat ending makes for a fairytale which few are fortunate to experience. Thoroughly ...more
Wanda
Shriver has produced a disquieting book, but for me ultimately satisfying. There are so many inter-related issues swirling around in it that it’s hard to get a grip on any one thing. But I’ll try to share some of my thoughts.

Number one, I’m so grateful to live in a country where a life-threatening illness won’t bankrupt me. Not to say that there are no expenses involved, but certainly not the bloodletting that happens in the United States. Yes, I’m Canadian and I will be staying here, thankyouve
...more
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This is a stunning book 2 29 Apr 08, 2013 01:35PM  
Are you a mug or a mooch? 2 29 Aug 21, 2012 07:13PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9780007271078 3 30 Feb 09, 2012 10:09PM  
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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 h ...more
More about Lionel Shriver...
“What would I like to get away from? Complexity. Anxiety. A feeling I've had my whole life that at any given time there's something I'm forgetting, some detail or chore, something that I'm supposed to be doing or should have already done. That nagging sensation - I get up with it, I go through the day with it, I go to sleep with it. When I was a kid, I had a habit of coming home from school on Friday afternoons and immediately doing my homework. So I'd wake up on Saturday morning with this wonderful sensation, a clean, open feeling of relief and possibility and calm. There'd be nothing I had to do. Those Saturday mornings, they were a taste of real freedom that I've hardly ever experienced as an adult. I never wake up in Elmsford with the feeling that I've done my homework.” 15 likes
“I have never in all my life considered you other people.” 10 likes
More quotes…