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Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

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How do you rate We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver?

1 star - poor, recommend against reading it
2
11%
2 stars - okay, fair
3
16%
3 stars- good, recommend it
8
42%
4 stars - excellent, amazing
6
32%
 
Total votes : 19

Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#16  Postby Sadmag » 13 Feb 2012, 13:30

I think Eva did everything she could to understand Kevin. I think Franklin wanted a child so much that he saw Kevin as he wanted him to be. I could never figure out Kevin. He was intelligent but he definitely had some social issues. I thought he showed more respect for his mother because she saw him as he was, and he knew it.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#17  Postby Bookwurms » 13 Feb 2012, 18:52

I started this book about a week ago and I've had a real hard time reading it. But I wanted to force myself to read something out of my comfort zone but its not working so well. I read 30% of the book and I've had enough!LOL! Life is too short to read a book I don't like, so I've quit! I don't have kids so I can really feel the woman's pain of giving up her freedom for a child that never seemed to bond with her anyway! But maybe it was her reluctance to accept being a mother that caused him to be so deranged to begin with??? As I said I'm not a parent and I don't really get it, I guess that's why I'm not a parent!! LOL! :roll:
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#18  Postby Doyag » 13 Feb 2012, 22:38

Bookwurms wrote:I started this book about a week ago and I've had a real hard time reading it. But I wanted to force myself to read something out of my comfort zone but its not working so well. I read 30% of the book and I've had enough!LOL! Life is too short to read a book I don't like, so I've quit! I don't have kids so I can really feel the woman's pain of giving up her freedom for a child that never seemed to bond with her anyway! But maybe it was her reluctance to accept being a mother that caused him to be so deranged to begin with??? As I said I'm not a parent and I don't really get it, I guess that's why I'm not a parent!! LOL! :roll:


Haha.. my thoughts exactly!I also forced myself to read something out of my comfort zone. I quit half way, skimmed the rest, and went online to see what happened in the end.
as you said, life's too short!
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#19  Postby amilypotter » 15 Feb 2012, 05:16

Hello Everyone.. I am still reading this book.. I rated it 3 star..
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#20  Postby mouseofcards89 » 18 Feb 2012, 16:31

2/4. It was very prosaic (self-effacingly so) in parts, but my main problem with this one is not stylistic. I interpreted the exact ending about 200 pages in. So, then, why did I open with a remark on style? Well, this novel is structured as an epistolary novel...it's written in letters, in other words...and every one of the letters is written by one person. Kevin's mother seemed really supercilious and petty and conceited. She obviously didn't want a kid from square one, and the big question here is whether Kevin was a self-fulfilling prophecy or not. Maybe I'm looking at this the wrong way. After all, this is one of those contextual books. You already know from square one what's going to end up happening, and it's up to the author to structure a narrative which ultimately either creates ambivalence in the reader towards the moral stance of one or more of the characters or reinforces an existing stigma. So, we know from page 1 that Kevin is going to shoot up his school. You have the option of making his parents unwitting dupes (which his father apparently was), creators of a self-fulfilling prophecy, etc. It reminded me a lot of Nabokov at his most flowery. Mind you, as far as school shooting novels go, this is one of the better ones out there (though the first half of it is endless rambling about Kevin in diapers and the truculent mother's attempts to handle being a mom) but it's still a step above "The Hour I First Believed."
"The world is a vampire/sent to drain/secret destroyers hold you up to the flames/And what do I get for my pains?/Betrayed desires, and a piece of the game."
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#21  Postby Schmunzelmonster » 20 Feb 2012, 17:05

I finished the book last week and while reading it I was swaying between boredom and disbelief. That Eva shouldn´t have had kids in the first place is out of the question. But kids don´t turn evil because they lack love. They might be less courteous or even mean. In some cases they are even more obliging because they are desperate for attention/love, but they don´t turn evil and I have a hard time believing that they are born evil. Love is not something you can will into happening. In my opinion Eva did her best in her current situation, concerning Kevins education. Her attitude is a whole other ballgame, that I don´t feel like going into too deep. To me she felt pathetic. If you are so fed up, if your husband neither believes nor trusts you, why not leave? As far as I can see there was nothing in her life that made her happy in the first 8 years of Kevin´s life. If this would have been real it wouldn´t have been healthy for anyone in that family. I am not one for giving up, but sometimes you just have to see reason.

Another thing that bothered me is the narration. It is supposed to come across as non-fiction. Well, to me most of the storyline felt far fetched and yes I do know about children with dysfunctions. I think the book could have touched me if the scenes of "evil" Kevin and his "poor" mother would have been less exaggerated, more subtle.

At least one good thing came from reading this book. I thought I am ready for children of my own, but I realised I am not, yet. I´ll give myself a couple more years although I am already feeling pressure from my environment.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#22  Postby katarina66 » 21 Feb 2012, 04:05

I gave up after struggling to about half five chapters. Sorry, but although it is about a subject in am interested in, it did nothing for me.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#23  Postby Inna » 23 Feb 2012, 11:57

I enjoyed the book very much and I find it hard to put it down,so I finished it in 3 days.I sympathise with Kevin's mum,especially after watching the movie.From my point of view,I don't know if she could have done more about Kevin's upbringing.I red the book 1 year ago so I don't remember the details very well,but in the film Kevin is tremendously ennoying.There is not one small reason why to like him and bringing up such a difficult and unemotional child, for me is the utmost sacrifice.I felt really sorry for the poor woman.She is a heroine in my view.
Why do you think Kevin killed those people?Was it for the fame,for the pure pleasure of rebelling or what?I'm curious about your opinions.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#24  Postby lvbooks » 24 Feb 2012, 21:51

I had a difficult time getting into the book. I made myself read page after page. Until finally I just couldn't put it down. I felt her pain on not being able to bond with her baby. I think that might be a mothers worst nightmare. What do you do? Kevin had everything. Was he just bored?
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#25  Postby Bookwurms » 25 Feb 2012, 23:27

Well as I said before, I tried reading the book only got thru 30% of it. Then I quit because I just couldn't get into it. Tonight I watched the movie and found it rather interesting... It's very much like the book but of course less detailed which was fine with me. I have to say I much preferred the movie over the book!
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#26  Postby smurphy- » 26 Feb 2012, 00:36

I think with somebody like Kevin, there had to have been some sort of chemical imbalance since birth. I think he did not feel emotions the same as other people and (in a way) was jealous of what he didn't understand.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#27  Postby hayley194 » 27 Feb 2012, 16:46

I really enjoyed We Need To Talk About Kevin, however, it really put me off having children!!
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#28  Postby bermudasyl » 19 Mar 2012, 14:42

I read the book several months ago, and it was definitely a struggle to finish it. I did not find any of the characters likeable and had a difficult time with the premise of "it's the mother's fault." I also found her desire for a second child unbelievable, given the circumstances. This is not a book I recommend and I have absolutely no desire to see it on film.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#29  Postby BraverGal » 21 Mar 2012, 12:51

I found this book difficult to read mostly due to the heavy, burdensome language. I was about halfway through and was about to give up when I decided that the language was intentional and was helping to paint a picture of a very stilted, haughty, arrogant, and detached woman/mother/wife. I do not think that her attitude and demeanor created the problem child Lionel Shriver gave us, however. Then I read the back matter. Lionel Shriver used the same burdensome language there in talking about her book as she did throughout the book. In fact, she repeated some of the same vocabulary. Therefore, she managed to demonstrate that language was not intentional for the character, but simply the author's way. She also managed to talk down to her readers, describing how surprised she was that comments on Amazon and elsewhere from readers were actually more intelligent that she had expected, not favorable, but better written. Her anti-American sentiment was also not appreciated given the setting, which was clearly all-American.

Although I think this book had a lot of potential, I think it fell short and proved to be a difficult read and not quite on target.
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Re: Discussion of "We Need to Talk about Kevin"

Post Number:#30  Postby jayceeme2010 » 16 May 2012, 14:59

I want to read this book!
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