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We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:21 am
by Tony Farg
I've just finished this, and now I can, I hope, regain my composure.
It is a very disturbing book about a teenager who massacres some of his schoolmates (yes, in the USA) and others.
It reveals his family background in glimpses along the way, and allows one to draw some conclusions as to why Kevin made the choices he did.
Whether there is any comparison with other, real, deranged teenagers I would not know, but Lionel Shriver guides us to think about some of the influences on us all...the media, the celebrity-worship culture, and about relationships and parenting.
The book was apparently awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction; I found it a compelling read, but my wife had to stop reading it for a while to take a break from its awfulness.

We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:43 am
by Erik_Kowal
I can't help being struck by the fact that when an ordinary individual does something heinous society rushes to make that person accountable, whereas when you're a president or a prime minister you can do worse things by far and still be worshipped as a hero, even in a so-called democracy.

We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 10:30 am
by gdwdwrkr
TF,
"parents" allowing children to be in control is the whole problem. Of course, children are just doing their jobs when they push the limits and try to break the rules in order to find out what exactly they are, but when parents do not limit them, and do not discipline them, they become incredibly angry. They have been handed control when they are certain that they can not handle the responsibility.

The parents should be punished for the crimes of their children!

I can't imagine reading such stuff when one trip to the grocery store is usually more of the subject than one should have to take. But, if any parents learn this one lesson through the book, it deserves a prize.

We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 1:40 am
by Shelley
Gee. Hm. Sounds like a real fun read, Tony!
Well, I just happen to have this book on my shelf, so . . .


Yikes.
I just finished it. Pretty intense. Relentless, you might say. A couple of people recommended other books by this author -- she's good. Lionel Shriver. Think I'll read some cheery non-fiction now -- something lighthearted like In Cold Blood!

We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 7:53 am
by Ken Greenwald
Shelley, If you really want something to cheer you up try The Road by Cormac McCarthy - it's on the New York Times best sellers list. It's a lighthearted father and son romp across post nuclear holocaust America. My book group made me read it and it took me about a week to recover from the experience. As a teaser, check out these Amazon reviews.

Cheers,

Ken - January 26, 2008

We need to talk about Kevin. Lionel Shriver.

Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:42 am
by Erik_Kowal
According to Jacob Weisberg, the first person to bring us the Bushism, we need to talk about Dubya.