We Need to Talk About Kevin

by Lionel Shriver | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1852428899 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Heaven-Ali of Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on 9/8/2005
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17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, September 08, 2005
From Amazon

Two years ago, Eva Khatchadourian's son, Kevin, murdered seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker, and a popular algebra teacher. Because he was only fifteen at the time of the killings, he received a lenient sentence and is now in a prison for young offenders in upstate New York. Telling the story of Kevin's upbringing, Eva addresses herself to her estranged husband through a series of letters. Fearing that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become, she confesses to a deep, long-standing ambivalence about both motherhood in general and Kevin in particular. How much is her fault? Lionel Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy - the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose



I loved this so much, despite it being a novel about a fairly dark subject. A compelling story of a disturbed young man, his mother and their relationship. It may well be a stark metaphor of the modern America, and indeed the wider world. Lionel Shrivers writing is wonderful, she creates in Kevin a character terrifyingly real, his childhood rages and cynical calculations are chilling, and unfortunately all too believable.

Journal Entry 2 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, September 16, 2005
Book ring starting soon.

Brumbie - Birmingham - England
Decembermum -Hampshire - England
TracyR - Cardiff -Wales
niccij1- Bradford - England
Ratwoman-Birmingham England
arturogrande-Leicestershire - England
Snowy652- British Columbia -Canada - asked to be skipped
Karenzero - New York - USA
rern -New York - USA - couldn't be contacted
Angelfirestar - Nebraska -USA
amymaew -Pennsylvania -USA
Scotsbookie - Scottish Borders- UK - its here
Elestr - Nottinghamshire - England - couldn't be contacted
Normy -Lancaster-England - asked to be skipped
caffcaff - Kent - England - asked to be skipped
Back to me Heaven-Ali Birmingham England

Ring will start 24th Sept. when I pass the book to Brumbie at the Birmingham meet up.


This is a long list and this book will be travelling for a long time I hope you all enjoy this book and it makes it home much travelled and well thumbed.

Journal Entry 3 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, September 25, 2005
Released to Brumbie at the Birmingham meet up - enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by Brumbie from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Thanks Ali - am looking forward to reading this book.

Journal Entry 5 by Brumbie from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, October 07, 2005
Difficult to rate this book because I only got about a third of the way through before I had to give up. Wonderfully written with exceptional insight but I found it too depressing both as a story of a sad family and as a metaphor for the USA today. Am sending it on to Decembermum as part of Ali's bookring.

Journal Entry 6 by Decembermum from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Saturday, October 15, 2005
This arrived a couple of days ago and is now sitting in mount tbr

Journal Entry 7 by Decembermum from Basingstoke, Hampshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 10, 2005
I give up! I really can't get into this, which is a pity because I thought it was going to be good from what I'd heard about it.

I'll send it on to the next person.

Journal Entry 8 by TracyR on Thursday, December 01, 2005
Received in the post this morning.
I have another book on a ring that arrived yesterday to get through first but i will get to this as soon as i can.

Journal Entry 9 by TracyR on Friday, December 09, 2005
I found this book a bit of a struggle to be honest. Almost gave up on a number of occasions. However, i'm glad i persevered as the ending was totally unexpected to me.
Thanks for sharing this Heaven-Ali. I have already sent a pm to the next person on the list but have not heard anything yet. Will leave it a couple of days and then try again.

Journal Entry 10 by TracyR on Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Sent on to niccij today. I hope you enjoy it.

Journal Entry 11 by niccijl from Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Received safely today. Have another couple of rings before this but will get to it asap.

Journal Entry 12 by niccijl from Bradford, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 18, 2006
This has to be one of the best books I've read in the last few years, I thought it was extremely well written and quite understated for its subject matter, but still managed to pack a huge emotional punch. I found it quite difficult to read at times, but well worth it. I'll be mailing this out to ratwoman in the next couple of days.

Thanks to heaven-ali for sharing.

Released 14 yrs ago (1/21/2006 UTC) at mailed to the next participant in by mail, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Mailed out to Ratwoman today.

Journal Entry 14 by ratwoman from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Hooraaaaayyy! I've been wanting to read this book for so long it's unreal!!! I was tremendously excited to receive this today (thank you niccijl!) and intend to get stuck in right away.

Journal Entry 15 by ratwoman from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, February 16, 2006
As soon as I started reading this the lyrics of 'Sunday Morning Call' by Oasis sprang to mind- "And in your head do you feel what you're not supposed to feel?"

I think it's more than a human fascination with the macabre that has got so many people reading this book. Who doesn't feel things they're not supposed to feel? Most of us will never dare voice these - we even try to suppress them from ourselves. But Eva's feelings break one of the all-time biggest taboos - she does not love her own child and never did. She does not try to prettify her emotions, and through the lack of self-censorship in her account we find a kind of vicarious release for our own 'shouldn't feel that' feelings.

The florid language of this book does make it extremely difficult to read and it is a great pity this has put many people off. However, it is used to brilliant effect when describing complex feelings which are otherwise experienced as just shapeless blobs of raw emotion. Several times I found myself thinking 'That's EXACTLY how it is' when Eva described in detail a familiar feeling that has no actual name.

Even as a jaded difficult-to-shock fan of horror fiction, the twists of events in the final chapter didn't so much send a shiver down my spine as positively convulse it. However, I was extremely disappointed with the novel's ending, particularly the description of Eva visiting Kevin on the anniversary of the massacre. I won't spoil it for other readers, but will just say I felt it was unforgiveably out of sync with other events and the tone of the whole novel.

Overall though, it's a spectacular read. Since finishing I haven't been able to start another fiction book, because I know I'll be disappointed. Few things will match up to this.

RELEASE NOTES:

Sent on to arturogrande - enjoy!! And thank you Heaven-Ali for letting me take part in such a great ring.

Journal Entry 17 by arturogrande from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, February 18, 2006
This looks like a very challenging and satisfying read - thanks very much.

Journal Entry 18 by arturogrande from Coalville, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 05, 2006
Wow - what an amazing book! I can't remember the last time I read anything that packed such an emotional punch as this one. Other readers were right - it's not easy to read, but it's well worth the effort.
Eva Khatchadourian is a terribly pretentious and self-centred woman - and this is reflected in the book's florid language - but that makes her more real.
The idea that a woman may not love - or even like - her own child is one of the last taboos, and Lionel Shriver is very brave to tackle it.
Although we know right from the beginning that Kevin has killed some schoolmates, a cafeteria worker and a teacher, when the full horror of his crimes is revealed at the end, it hits you like a crossbow bolt to the chest (note to author - crossbows fire bolts, not arrows).
And the last sentence, with its promise of forgiveness and redemption, is heartbreaking.

Thanks you, Heaven-Ali, for starting this ring.

Snowy652 has asked to be skipped, so I'm now sending the book on to KarenZero.

Journal Entry 19 by KarenZero from Maplewood, New Jersey USA on Thursday, March 09, 2006
Will read ASAP!

Journal Entry 20 by KarenZero from Maplewood, New Jersey USA on Thursday, April 27, 2006
I found this book to be so depressing! They didn't raise their children in a partnership at all, and Franklin undermined all of Eva's attempts at discipline so that Kevin was never disciplined at all. Kevin's inability to feel any emotion towards others made him seem like a sociopath who needed psychiatric help, yet his father was in complete denial about any wrong-doing Kevin ever did. It was sad! I enjoyed this book, but it took me forever to get through it because it was so depressing.

I PM'ed rern several times and haven't heard from her so I will PM the next reader. Thanks Heaven-Ali for sharing the book!

RELEASE NOTES:

On its way to AngelFireStar!

Journal Entry 22 by AngelfireStar from Falls City, Nebraska USA on Saturday, May 06, 2006
TBR

Journal Entry 23 by AngelfireStar from Falls City, Nebraska USA on Sunday, September 03, 2006
Long read but not a bad book. It's kinda sad to read and makes you think about why kids do shoot up schools.

RELEASE NOTES:

sent to amymaew. Sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 25 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Received today! I'm not reading anything right now, so I'll start it tonight. Thanks for including me!

Journal Entry 26 by amymaew from Worland, Wyoming USA on Sunday, January 07, 2007
ACK! I've had this forever!!! My bad - I started it, then had a baby and totally forgot about everything, including this bookring. I'm so so so sorry! I'm pming the next person right now, so hopefully it'll go out tomorrow.

Journal Entry 27 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, February 23, 2007
Arrived safely this morning thank you. I've had a few rings/rays arrive over the past few days, so this is #4 on Mount TBR, I will get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 28 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Saturday, March 17, 2007
Despite its dark subject matter I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I especially liked the way the story was told, via letters & inretrospect 2 years after 'Thursday'. I was totally unprepared for the events told in the last letter & it changed my fellings towards Eva greatly.

Thank you Heaven-Ali for the chance to read this book.

I've already PM'd elestr.

Journal Entry 29 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 03, 2007
I've had no reply from elestr either from PMs or ISOs so with Heaven-Ali's okay I'm now PMing Normy.

Journal Entry 30 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, April 08, 2007
So when the book gets back to me another ray will be starting as I now have a brand new copy of this for my PC.

so new list.

brunton11 - UK (int)
weesisj - UK (int)
borina - portugal (int)
timollie5502 - PA - USA (US only)- wants to be skipped
Jare - NM - USA (int) - it's here
Kobie03 - canada (int)
Veganmedusa - New Zealand (Asia/Pacific/ or int)
Sharky13 Austrailia - (Aus/or last on list)
freepages - Aus

last person on the ray to make futher travel plans for this book

Journal Entry 31 by scotsbookie from Peebles, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Popped in the post back to Heaven-Ali this morning.

Journal Entry 32 by Heaven-Ali from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Thursday, April 12, 2007
Well its back home for now - I was intrested to see it looking just as would imagine after quite a long journey. Well it will be off on its travels again soon - not coming back again this time as this is now a ray.

Released 12 yrs ago (4/14/2007 UTC) at to a bookcrosser in sent by mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:


RELEASE NOTES:


Journal Entry 35 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Monday, April 16, 2007
Received today from Heaven-Ali :)

Journal Entry 36 by wingbrunton11wing from Chester, Cheshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 27, 2007
I found the style of the book very difficult to get into and think if this hadn't been a ring it would have been one of those books that took a couple of months rather than weeks to read. I'm glad I persevered as I found the book interesting if a little dark.

Posted to weesisj today.

Journal Entry 37 by weesisj from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, May 11, 2007
Sorry, the book arrived last week I think, but we are in the middle of painting and de-cluttering our house to sell it.... So it might take a wee bit longer for me to read and pass on, hope that isn't a problem.

Journal Entry 38 by weesisj from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, July 06, 2007
I am glad I picked this book up before we move houses as it got me back to reading at almost any free minute.
The thought of having a kid that ends up killing school mates is unbearable, that is what made me want to read this book when I stumbled across a journal entry for it. Even though this story might be a bit constructed I think it is very well written and almost believable. I am sure that there are plenty of examples where 2 kids brought up by the same parents develop completely different, even though in most cases (thank god) not to the extreme described in this book. Is that only down to parents, circumstances or to what extend is it in someone's genes? Thanks a lot for sharing such a thought provoking book, it will travel on to Portugal on Monday.

Journal Entry 39 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Monday, July 16, 2007
The book got here safely today.

Thanks for sharing it!!!

Journal Entry 40 by boirina from Calvià, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Wednesday, August 01, 2007
I must say I've really, really enjoyed this book. I was shocked at times, but I just couldn't put it down. I don't think any kid had given me the creeps as much since I read "The Omen". :) I can't say much more, because I don't want to spoil the reading for anyone.

I mailed the book to Jare today, as timollie is currently reading the book and told me to skip her.

Thanks very much for sharing it!

Journal Entry 41 by jare from Port Richey, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 08, 2007
This book arrived safe and sound today! Wow, what a well-traveled book! Thanks for sharing. I should be done with my current read today and will read this one next!

Journal Entry 42 by jare from Port Richey, Florida USA on Tuesday, September 18, 2007
This has taken me a bit longer than expected to read. I enjoyed the book, it was a bit hard to take too much at one time though. Very thought provoking. I have Kobie03's address and will ship to her this week. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 43 by kobie03 from Lewins Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada on Thursday, November 15, 2007
Book arrived . its next on my TBR list

Journal Entry 44 by kobie03 from Lewins Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada on Tuesday, November 20, 2007
A well-written compelling story but very demanding to read, the complex feelings, the parenting styles, the demands of todays society, the author examines it all. Very thought provoking, well worth the read.
It's in the post tomorrow to VeganMedusa.

Journal Entry 45 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Tuesday, February 19, 2008
For some reason I thought this would be quite a small book, but it's really not! I'm not sure that I'll enjoy this book exactly, but hopefully it'll be thought-provoking.
Thanks kobie03 for posting this on its long voyage! :)

Journal Entry 46 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wow. A truly horrific book (way more horror in this than most books in the horror genre!). So well written. And so difficult to read - it was too true. So many of the feelings she described were all too familiar.
I'd read a few chapters and then have to go and hug my son (thankfully not showing any Kevin-like tendencies).
Hard to comment on the book without giving away too much (plus it's one that'll stay in my head for a long, long time to be mulled over).

Off to Sharky13 as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 47 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Monday, March 03, 2008
Posted to Sharky13 this morning (air, 4-10 days).

Journal Entry 48 by VeganMedusa from Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Monday, August 18, 2008
Holy crap, I hadn't realized this was still traveling! I'll PM sharky now and see what's up.

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