(HarperCollins, 384 pp., $26.99)
Lionel Shriver’s novel about a school massacre, We Need to Talk About Kevin, was a nasty piece of work, populated by thin-lipped characters that were so unlikeable they might have walked straight out of a cautionary German folktale. Her latest, Big Brother, is about a woman’s relationship with her brother (not her son, as is the case in Kevin—a distinction that is sometimes uncomfortably blurred), who is eating himself to death. Both books are about the sacrifices we are forced to make for filial relations.
Lionel Shriver wrote her latest novel, The New Republic, before the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and, according to the book’s foreword, held it back until both her sales record and the public appetite for a terrorism-themed satire increased. Her first stroke of good fortune came swiftly when her 2003 novel We Need Read More
We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsey‘s adaptation of Lionel Shriver‘s deeply disturbing novel of motherhood and America and school shootings and baby sociopaths (also, eyeballs) is coming out tomorrow in theaters. So far the reviews have been mixed. Some people who have already seen the film like the adaptation (people like Lionel Shriver). Some people did not like it. It’s probably going to come down to a matter of personal taste.
But already there’s a trend that needs to be addressed regarding this film. So can we all be on the same page about the We Need to Talk About Kevin parodies being this year’s Inception parodies? Look, it’s already starting…
For the last few weeks, just about the only word I’ve heard from literate women I know has been “Kevin.” It began when the novelist Pearson Marx overnighted a copy of Lionel Shriver’s novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin , to my wife, saying she had to read a book narrated by the mother Read More