So Much For That

by Lionel Shriver | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9781554682010 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 3/6/2010
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6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 06, 2010
Received from Harper Collins to review.

From Chapters:
Shep Knacker discovered long ago that the same money that lasts one year in Westchester lasts ten in the Developing World. That lesson has guided him towards fulfilling the dream he calls "The Afterlife." Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with days of "talking, thinking, seeing and being"-and enough sleep. When he sells the home-repair business he built from scratch for a cool $1 million, his dream finally seems within reach.
Yet instead of The Afterlife, Shep is stuck in the present one, thanks to the footdragging of his wife, Glynis. With no exit date in sight, the 48-year-old Shep reluctantly returns as an employee to the company he founded. Angry and humiliated, he gives Glynis an ultimatum: he's leaving for Tanzania, with or without her.
Glynis, too, has news: she has cancer. Shep cannot abandon her now; in addition to his love and support, she needs his health insurance. But this "health insurance
company from hell" only partially covers the staggering bills, and suddenly this once well-off family is hurtling toward bankruptcy.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, March 20, 2010
Shep Knacker has been planning his 'Afterlife' for a very long time. Ever since he was taken to Africa as a kid and realized that you can live on a couple of dollars a day, Shep made a plan to return in his adulthood and settle down. Shep sells his company and house in preparation but has to keep putting off his trip. When he finally purchases the tickets and gives the ultimatum to his wife Glynis, she can either come or stay behind, Glynis tells him she has cancer. This forces Shep to put the Afterlife on hold again, possibly forever, because Glynis needs him, his money, and his limited health insurance to live.

Shep notices that his friends start to withdraw, including his best friend Jackson. Jackson has troubles of his own though, which occupies a side story in this novel. With a child that has a rare genetic disease and a bad decision about plastic surgery, the normally vivacious Jackson starts to turn inward. Shep has to deal with this, a mooch of a sister, the failing health of his father, a kid that won't ever leave his room, and a quickly depleting bank account.

Shriver is a master character writer. Just like We Need to Talk About Kevin, each character in this novel has a major flaw. Sometimes those flaws are unforgivable and not many of the characters are sympathetic. As risky as this is, Shriver still manages to draw the reader in and keep you turning the pages quickly. Each time Beryl, the mooching sister to Shep, appeared I just wanted to reach through the pages in smack her. Even Glynis' frigid attitude made me uncomfortable.

The characters give interesting commentaries on government and specifics such as health care. What is the cost of a human life? Is there ever a right time to give up the fight against cancer and just enjoy life? The questions posed are direct and the answers are more honest than most of us ever get about these subjects. Shriver does a great job and I'm looking forward to her next work!

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, March 23, 2010
This book is with me now :)

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, May 28, 2010
Shep Knacker has had a dream for his 'Afterlife'. He wants to settle down in a third world country , relax and have a wonderful life on a few dollars a day. In preparation he has sold his home repair business and his house. His wife Glynis has always found reasons not to go but Shep has finally reached the end of his patience and has booked a one way ticket for his family. He is going no matter what.

On the eve of his departure Glynis returns home with devastating news. She has cancer. She needs Shep's medical insurance and his resources. Shep goes through the frustrations of dealing with doctors and their conflicting procedures which always seem to drain more and more money from his account. Shep has worked as a peon for his former company but when confronted with enormous medical bills, he is fired. Will Shep have his dream?

As a side story Shep's best friend is going through turmoils of his own: addiction, depression and a child with a disability.

This book delivers a bold statement about the health care system and the money involved and the moral issues behind it all.


Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Mailed today to VeganMedusa from the Everything VBB

Journal Entry 6 by VeganMedusa at Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Monday, November 15, 2010
Thanks Lauren!

Journal Entry 7 by VeganMedusa at Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Reminded me a lot of The Corrections. Generally unlikeable characters, and a health crisis. Loved Flicka, being her grumpy self instead of an angelic sick kid. And Glynis taking the opportunity of cancer to be a total bitch.
Beryl was the "love to hate her" kind of character. Yes, I wanted to slap her, but I also found it hilarious how she managed to turn everything around so she was always the victim.

Journal Entry 8 by VeganMedusa at Invercargill, Southland New Zealand on Sunday, October 14, 2012
This book is now travelling to Finland for a wishlist tag.

Journal Entry 9 by winglukutuoliwing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, November 13, 2012
This book has arrived today. Thanks, VeganMedusa!

Journal Entry 10 by winglukutuoliwing at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, May 23, 2013
I had high expectations of this book as 'We Need To Talk About Kevin' has been one of my all-time favourite books. This was almost as good as it, though rated 'only' 9/10 ;)
I'm 51 as Glynis, one of the main characters, who gets to know having cancer. I've also two sons aged as Zach, Glynis' son, so I became anxious already in the beginning of the book! The story contained lots of feelings and was really thought-provoking.
After having read this book I was proud of Finland and the Finnish health care system, which provides equal possibilities for us all, in spite of money.
Highly recommended!
The book is reserved for sakirmo, as I tagged her with this book in the wishlist tag game of the Finnish BC-forum. I'll take part in the Wishlist Challenge of MINKULA with this controlled release.


Journal Entry 11 by winglukutuoliwing at Wishlist tag game, RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Friday, May 24, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (5/24/2013 UTC) at Wishlist tag game, RABCK -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Hippakirja lähti SmartPostilla kohti Sakirmoa! Lukuiloa!

KTMC 2013 # 64

Journal Entry 12 by wingsakirmowing at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Wednesday, May 29, 2013
The book is here, thank you! :)

Journal Entry 13 by wingsakirmowing at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Sunday, July 20, 2014
Well, that was one depressing story with too many characters so annoying that you just want to kick them - particularly the spineless Shep, who luckily got a grip of himself towards the end though and made me respect him a little more. But still... every time I put the book down thinking 'gosh, I really need a break from this world' I just ended up going back to it and in the end read it in a couple of days. And it was full of moments & tidbits that I'm likely not going to forget in five minutes either, so I guess I have to admit that it was a good book after all! (also, it addressed quite a few important issues concerning cancer treatments etc. that I won't go into here, but am always impressed when someone says that sort of things out loud)

Journal Entry 14 by wingsakirmowing at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Thursday, August 14, 2014

Released 4 yrs ago (8/16/2014 UTC) at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This book is on someone's wishlist, so I'll bring it to Pukstaavi meet-up with me.

Journal Entry 15 by wingAnnimanniwing at Espoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, August 16, 2014
Book's with me now, thanks very much!

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