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 feel low 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: [United States] : Counterpoint : Made available through hoopla, 2011
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: hoopla digital
ISBN: 9781582438870


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Nov 18, 2016

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

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.

Aug 20, 2015

the movie was quite moving

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.

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.

Apr 27, 2015

After a terrifying school shooting, “We Need To Talk About Kevin” explores the aftermath from a mother’s perspective.

Seeing the damage he has caused so many families, Eva has to come to terms with what her son has done. One seemingly ordinary school day, Kevin takes a gun with him and shoots several classmates, a cafeteria worker and a beloved teacher. Not only will he have to live with what he has done, his mother has to somehow grasp her new reality. Speaking to her husband through the narrative and letters, Eva desperately needs to talk about Kevin; the once adorable, loving little boy she gave birth to. How could one perfect little boy turn into such a monster? While readers need to check themselves regularly, they need to keep in mind this story is a piece of fiction. Lionel Shriver does a breath-taking job creating scenes and making characters believable, even likeable. The author does an impeccable job disclosing the devastation through the eyes of the boy’s mother. Reaching the plateau of accepting her son is a spawn of evil is what Eva tries not to do.

While this book is heartbreaking to read, it is a mind jerker from a very different perspective. It makes the reader see the destruction from a loving and dear perspective.
-- Tofts Reviews

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

A teenage boy goes to his school one day and kills 7 students and 2 adults. Why? This compelling story told through a series of letters written by his mother to her husband explores her feelings and relationships with her son and her family. The book on CD also includes an interview with the author.

FederalWayEdna Nov 05, 2014

Formatted as letters written to her husband a year later, this is the painful and reflective voice of a mother recognizing what went wrong when her teenage son methodically plans and kills 9 people at his high school.

May 16, 2014

I was ready to bring this book back to the library. The way this woman writes letters to her husband and the words she uses reminded me of watching Dawson's Creek when I was younger - people in read life do not talk like this. As the story goes on, I sort of warmed up to her, she isn't the perfect mother. She wasn't horrible either - how could her children turn out so completely different from each other - they were born like that. Why do I think he spares his mother that Thursday? Because she is the only one who has ever known the real Kevin, who has seen him for who he really is not someone they want him to be.

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Aug 20, 2015

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

Apr 27, 2015

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


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