We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin

eBook - 2011
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That neither nature nor nurture bears exclusive responsibility for a child's character is self-evident. But generalizations about genes are likely to provide cold comfort if it's your own child who just opened fire on his feellow algebra students and whose class photograph—with its unseemly grin—is shown on the evening news coast-to-coast.If the question of who's to blame for teenage atrocity intrigues news-watching voyeurs, it tortures our narrator, Eva Khatchadourian. Two years before the opening of the novel, her son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and the much-beloved teacher who had tried to befriend him. Because his sixteenth birthday arrived two days after the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is currently in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York.In relating the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses her estranged husband, Frank, through a series of startingly direct letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son became, 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 at 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 the most prosperous country in history. Instead, Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story with an explosive, haunting ending. She considers motherhood, marriage, family, career—while framing these horrifying tableaus of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.
Publisher: 2011
ISBN: 9781582438870
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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EljayJohnson
Jul 14, 2019

The story of a family and a school shooting (in that order), told from the POV of the mother of the shooter. So dark and grim, so amazingly well-written. Shriver's gift for language is superlative. Difficult to read on many levels - the subject matter, the dense writing, the unfolding events - but so worth it.

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robynouimet
Apr 17, 2019

author recommended by Katherine H

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Anita_Dickey
Apr 03, 2019

I read this book to fulfill the goal read A book with no chapters/unusual headings/ uncoventually numbered chapters. it has to be one of the saddest, most creepy books out there. i can't imagine what this mother went through. at times this book, scared me. i pray i never feel this way, or that my kids would never experience.

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melaniebrownster
Dec 18, 2018

Amazing book - very black.... about a school shooting and a disconnection between mother and child at birth, and possibly the consequences of that disconnection.

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dmd1949
Nov 18, 2016

Unlike other readers, I was unable to get through it...the self pity was too much to put up with.

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angelvicki
Mar 08, 2016

You can probably skim over the first 70 pages or so and not miss much. The narrator tends to use unnecessary "big" words to explain things, which to me came off as somewhat pretentious; and literally none of the characters are likable. All that being said, We Need To Talk About Kevin eventually becomes an interesting, worthwhile read.

CMLibrary_akeller Jan 20, 2016

While I did occasionally get annoyed at the narrator, this book kept me reading well into the night. It really got me thinking and the ending shocked me. I liked seeing the progression of Kevin (and his mom-the narrator) over the years. I also appreciated the back and forth from the present day to the past. It probably could have been edited better, but overall a good read.

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KShaheed321
Aug 20, 2015

the movie was quite moving

g
glenna14
Jul 14, 2015

This story disturbed me. The actions of Kevin and the after math he left behind is hard to accept. The story brings to light if nurture vs. nature play into violent acts of children. The author tells a compelling story but I felt it was too wordy and a thesaurus was over used.

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wilqser
Jul 09, 2015

Disturbing novel about a mother - who has reservations about having a child - and a son she eventually has who does not get the attention he deserves -the resultant consequences can be devastating.
Very well written novel; written by the perspective of the mother as she was writing to her husband about what lead to the boy in predicament. Does she believes it's her fault for not being the mother she should have been?

I almost gave up in the beginning ( too many descriptive phrases and words- not enough action) but hung in there till the end. Very well written.

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KShaheed321
Aug 20, 2015

KShaheed321 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 14

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lisatofts
Apr 27, 2015

lisatofts thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 25 and 99

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