Book Club: We Need to Talk About Kevin

  1. Hi everyone!

    I've been thinking about starting a book club thread, but figure it's not really practical, as we'd need a whole book club section, with each book requiring its own thread. Maybe if enough people think it's a good idea, we could submit something to the mods?

    Anyway, the reason I'm starting this thread is I've just finished reading We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. OMG has anyone read this? It's strangely distressing. It's about a woman who's son goes on a school shooting rampage. She is writing to her husband a while after the incident and she questions her role as mother, as well as relating some of things that happen to her on a day to day basis (people's reactions, seeing the parents of the children her son murdered.

    It may sound a bit trite, but it's really very well written. The author (and main character) has a practical voice - absolutely not dramatic. I strongly recommend it, even if you don't enjoy it. I skimmed trough really quickly the first time, as I didn't think it was my cup of tea, but after going back and reading bits and pieces again, I am beginning to love it.
  2. OMG - the weirdest thing! After starting this thread, I noticed that the thread directly above mine is a book club thread - I swear I did a search!

    Sorry - this is mindboggling LOL

    Mods please feel free to delete this if it's not appropriate!
  3. Is this a true story? It sounds intriguing. When I have seen these stories on the news I have always wondered, how it must feel to be the parents of a child who has done something so terrible. I am going to look for this book today.
  4. We read this for my co-ed book club, it's really disturbing and generated good discussion. It's such a little-understood and tort of taboo subject in our culture - "What kind of kid does this? What kind of parents raise this kind of child?" and the author does a great job of delving into these topics. (I should mention that it's fiction.)
  5. I read this book last year. Two thumbs up.
  6. As balihai says, it's fictional but it's a great exploration of the nature/nurture debate and parental responsibility in general. The more I read bits and pieces again, the more things I notice, especially about how much the parents of the perpetrators are victims of their children's terrible crimes.

    Before reading it, I was one of those people who was like "Yeah, the parents deserve the misery they have to suffer, after all, their kids destroyed innocent families for no reason." Now I realise that the parents of the perpetrators also suffer, especially when they have tried their hardest to give their kids the best possible life.

    There's a line in the book where the main character reflects on how the media accused her of being ambivalent about what was happening. In reality, her stony faced expression is all she can manage while she tried not to cry.

    It's such an interesting read - really multidimensional!
  7. I read a review of this and have been wanting to read it ever since.
  8. I read it as well and had mixed feelings...the mother and the son's relationship is interesting but I had a hard time believing that Kevin would not have simply been removed from the home or sent to school.
    In order to move the story, they had to paint the mother as uncaring and the son as a sociopath. And I think I would have preferred something more relatable. I agree that it was a fascinating read...I just preferred the author's latest book, 'The Post Birthday World.'
  9. What's wrong with having two book discussions going? I don't think that's inappropriate at all.
  10. I loved We Need to Talk About Kevin! I'm reading Game Control by the same author but I'm finding it a bit preachy. Funny, though.

    I agree with Caitlin, no reason why we couldn't have two bookclubs.
  11. Do you think the mother was uncaring? I thought her attitude towards her son (after he was born and started to exhibit signs of "evil") was a reaction to his attitude and his constant goading. I think there's an implication in the book that if he'd been a "normal" kid, she would have reacted very positively to him, despite her initial doubts about being a mother.

    The hardest thing i found to deal with was the father's attitude towards both Kevin and his wife - I think I might have screamed at the book out loud a few times because it was so frustrating!

    And I'll have to get a copy of the Post Birthday World - the title is intriguing!
  12. Thanks caitlin - are you the mod for general discussion? I've read (and enjoyed!) your posts all over this forum and you certainly have the post count for it LOL

    And madamefifi, what did you like about WNTTAK? It's funny that you say Game Control is a bit preachy; I found bits of WNTTAK a bit preachy, in the sense that I felt that the author was venting a lot of her conceptions about Americans through the voice of her protagonist.
  13. Nola - just do it! Even if you dont like it, it's worth the read. As I said, I wasn't big on it the first time around (in fact, I was like "yeah... so what?") but the mroe I read back, the more complex it seemed to be.
  14. I just picked this book from the library yesterday. I have read several books off the recommendation of the tPFs ad they have all been great. Thanks everyone for chiming in not only on purses but everything else as well.
  15. ^ ooh I'm so excited! Come back and let us know what you think!