Sunday, April 13, 2008

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN BY LIONEL SHRIVER


Just before I had Anna, everyone in my family started raving about We need to talk about Kevin (please DON'T read the spoilers if you intend to read it). First Amanda read it for some book group, then dad and finally mum got dragged into the circle. As the family's resident worm, I heard over and over how I just had to read it, apparently I had no choice in the matter! I was given a copy. 'Shortlisted for the Orange prize for literature', it said. I read the blurb - it sounded readable enough. I started it in December - 9 months pregnant, exhausted. I tried to read a few pages every night before bed. The style didn't lend itself to that - the sentences were long, the topic stressful, the tension tangible. I really couldn't see what the fuss was about. After Anna was born, I managed 2 or 3 pages a week and frankly the style was annoying me. But my whole family couldn't be wrong, could they? So I took it with me to Denmark this week and read it in one go. By half way through I couldn't put it down and as I wandered round Copenhagen and Amsterdam airports today majorly sleep-deprived, I still couldn't stop. I was banging into people reading the way most people walk around texting! I just finished it (holding it in one hand while changing Anna's nappy with the other - I just didn't want to put it down for that 3 minutes!)
Phew - I am exhausted, wrung out. Shit... wow. Eva is quite a character. I wonder if you need to be a parent to read it or if it knocks over even non-parents. Kids... the part of ourselves we know nothing of.

1 comment:

Scudder said...

So glad you finally read it ,,, and now we are ALL agreed ,,,
it really was the year's best book ?