Thursday, 29 September 2016

we need to talk about kevin

I decided to bail out of We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. I read about a quarter of it, mostly on holiday earlier this month when I picked it up secondhand, but it wasn't quite what I'd expected. I'd thought it was about the aftermath of a school atrocity, and its impact on a family and a community, which it was to an extent, but it was much more a detailed analysis of the relentlessly awful child Kevin's family's life from before conception to the atrocity, as if trying (without expectation of success) to understand or explain how and why he had turned out as he did. It was perfectly well written, but I just wasn't that interested in or desirous of reading such an account. A quarter of the way in he had just been born, and by then it had become clear the book was going to go through his whole life - and that of his family - in grim detail, and I thought to myself that I really wasn't up for that. I picked it up again last night for the first time since the holiday - and it's notable that I hadn't been inclined to pick it up at all since then - and quickly knew that I couldn't face the slog. I had a flick through, and a look at the end; and I looked at the plot summary on Wikipedia. It's bound for the charity shop bag now, and I am content.

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