We Need to Talk About Kevin

by Lionel Shriver | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1852428899 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Miss-R of Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on 5/27/2006
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Saturday, May 27, 2006
Going to read this on holiday.

Journal Entry 2 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Sunday, June 11, 2006
A book I didn't think I'd enjoy, purely because I've seen the author interviewed and didn't like her. How wrong I was. This is a very, very good novel. I read it in a day, wanting to know what happened next but at the same time dreading what Kevin was going to do. I'm going to offer this up on a ray as I want to know what other people think of Eva and Kevin. Kevin is a child with a lot of problems, but as Eva is the one telling the story it's hard to tell whether his behaviour was something he was born with or caused by Eva's rejection of him. Also, did Eva not love him because he was so difficult, or, because she didn't care for him did she exaggerate his behaviour.
I'd also like to know if anyone else can work out the twist. I guessed within about 30 pages or so.

Journal Entry 3 by Miss-R from Lingfield, Surrey United Kingdom on Monday, June 12, 2006
This is going to go out on a ray. Participants so far are
rennie1811 (UK, international shipping)
letra (Portugal, international)
sweetpea0678 (US only)
classicfox (US only)
roadrunner (US only)
mrsjones (US only)
Luintaurien (US, international)
jaglvr (US, international)
Fuzzywuzzy (NZ, international)
froggirlwendy (Australia, international)

Journal Entry 4 by rennie1811 from Oldham, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 4, 2006
Thanks very much for sending the book. Sorry for the delay in between, I received a card through the door saying that I had a package but when I went to teh post office they said there was nothing there. So I left it a couple of days and then I got another card so I went again on Saturday and this time they had it for me :) Ive got a work exam on Friday so will start reading on Saturday. Really looking forward to the book I have heard so many good things about it.

Journal Entry 5 by rennie1811 from Oldham, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Monday, July 24, 2006
I really enjoyed this book. Thanks Miss- R for offering it as a ring.
I thought this book was excellent, even though a part of me could guess at what was going to happen I was hoping that it wouldnt which made the book all the more enjoyable. You do have to think about whether Kevin was 'born bad' or whether it was out side factors (Eva) that made him that way. Even though what he did was awful I found myself feeling really sorry for him at times. It is pretty easy to guess the twist but this doesnt lessen the feeling when it is finally revealed.

I have posted this on to Letra today.

Journal Entry 6 by letra on Friday, August 4, 2006
Thank you, rennie1811, I'm really looking forward to reading this.

Journal Entry 7 by letra on Monday, September 4, 2006
I wonder if any of the other BCers on the list are parents and what they will have to say on this book (I have a 3 yr old daughter and will have a second daughter very soon). From the first pages of the book I had the feeling that the author wasn't a mother herself and that she didn't know much about children. Later I confirmed I was right when I found this interview: http://www.identitytheory.com/interviews/birnbaum118.php, although Lionel Shriver claims that many readers told her that they had, on the contrary, though her depiction of maternity very realistic. Thus said, I found the second half of the book much much better than the first one, and to the ending I could hardly put the book down. Throughout the first hundred pages I couldn't stop thinking how the epistolary format seemed badly chosen (who would narrate entire dialogs to the person they had them with?) and how unnatural it is that Celia is never mentioned before the letter in which Eva recalls the moment when she decided to get pregnant a second time.

Thank you Miss-R for sharing this :)
I will mail the book as soon as Froggirlwendy [asked to be skipped] Sweetpea0678 [also asked to be skipped] Classicfox sends me her address.

Journal Entry 8 by classicfox on Monday, September 18, 2006
Received in mail today along with another bookray book. I'll read the other one first as it is shorter and get to this just as soon as I finish the first one. Thanks for starting this ray, Miss-R and thanks, letra for air mailing it all the way from Portugal!

Update, 10/01/06: 1/2 way through. I've had to take this book a little bit at a time--it is intense, (but engrossing.)

POSSIBLE SPOILER! (but IMO it is not)
10/7/06: Really timely, considering all the recent school shootings. I Just finished this. I have to say after reading this, I'll never be the same. Yes, it actually had that much of an impact on me. After finishing the last page, I held the book to my chest and said aloud: "WOW." I have always wondered if some people are born sociopathic or does environment/upbringing cause it? I still don't have my answer but now am inclined to think it is just inbred in some people. Kevin was like this from day one to a degree. Did Eva help him along that course? Maybe, but I think mainly because he was the way he was to begin with. No, she didn't really want children, but she adored Celia.
Yes, this is fiction and I have no idea how much if any of the novel is based on reality (except for the actual, real school shootings she chronicles.) Therin lies the quandry I struggled with throughout the book. I also found it hard to believe when Eva says she never considered taking Celia and leaving. If it was me I would have thought about it every day and then done it!
Letra posted a very good interview with the author that is worth reading. She doesn't give anything away in the interview and it helped me with some of my questions.
Thank you for allowing me to participate in this ray!
On its way to next on list as soon as I get the address.

Released 15 yrs ago (10/10/2006 UTC) at To the next participant in Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Mailed today to roadrunner in Texas, next on list.

Journal Entry 10 by roadrunner from Spring, Texas USA on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Arrive safely yesterday. I'll get to this asap. Thanks for sending it on.

Journal Entry 11 by roadrunner from Spring, Texas USA on Tuesday, November 14, 2006
I had a little trouble getting into this book but once I did, yikes! I did see the ending coming (no spoilers) but it didn't lessen the tension at all. I really felt that Kevin was truly a bad seed and Eva's lack of mothering skills didn't do all that much damage. I think she really did try to *fix* Kevin but obviously failed miserably. She did a much better job with Celia although Celia was a much better child. This book gave me plenty to think about as I'm a mother to two grown sons. Would I be like Eva and still be able to love and forgive them if they did something as horrendous as what Kevin did? I still haven't come up with that answer but I suspect I would.

Mrsjones asked to be skipped and I have not been able to get in contact with Luintaurien so I will be sending this off to jaglvr as soon as I have her addy. Thanks so much Miss-R for sharing this book!

Journal Entry 12 by roadrunner from Spring, Texas USA on Thursday, November 16, 2006
I've heard back from Luintaurien so this on its way to her.

Journal Entry 13 by Luintaurien from York, Nebraska USA on Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Got it today. Will read and pass on ASAP. Thank you.

Journal Entry 14 by Luintaurien from York, Nebraska USA on Wednesday, April 4, 2007
Sending on when I get the address.

Journal Entry 15 by Luintaurien from York, Nebraska USA on Thursday, April 5, 2007
jaglvr asked to be skipped

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