Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher, shortly before his 16th birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin's upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother. Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits his murderous act, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become. But how much is she to blame?
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©2003 Lionel Shriver; (P)2006 Orion Publishing Group Ltd
I had read this before. This was my first audio book. Very impressed with narrator and her change of voice to fit different characters.
Excellent story and performance.
What a writer! Beautiful prose, disturbing events and it built to a heart stopping climax. Add to this the excellent narrator and it becomes a 5 star audiobook.
An excellent portrayal of family dysfunction with quite a few thought provoking twists.
The reader is the perfect choice.
I loved this book. I was intrigued by how Shriver captured the nuanced personality of the mother Eva, and I think she captured the personality of Kevin really well. King's reading was excellent, with subtle undertones of sorrow that made the complexity of the characters so vivid. My only criticism is that I found the marriage between Eva and Franklin a bit implausible - it was hard to identify any of his redeeming qualities.
This book was recommended to me several years ago and with a long haul flight ahead of me I took the opportunity to see if We need to Talk About Kevin lived up to expectations. I was not disappointed. An emotionally hard read as a mother, exposing the universality of the experience of mothers - no matter what kind of a child you have the bond is always there.
The choice of point of view was instrumental in evoking emotion and shock in the reader at every turn with the final chapters leaving such an impact that I could not stop thinking about the tragic tale for days. The characters are well-developed and relatable and the narrative unfolds through the correspondence from Kevin's mother to his father which is unique in itself.
If we want to build tolerance and understanding in our world and appreciate that the victims of horrific events are not always the most obvious then everyone should read We need to Talk about Kevin.
"what a pity it was abridged!"
I bought this book by mistake. Had I realised I was going to listen to an abridged version, I'd have thought twice before downlaoding it. Anyway, I also read the complete book on my kindle device and I must say that the audible version doesn't do justice to this amazing novel. The performance is excellent, but a lot of the characters' depth and complexity goes lost. I hope Audible realise how important it'd be to give listeners the full version and bring it out soon. So my advice is, don't listen to this abridged edition, but do read the full novel, it's really worth it, however gruesome, cruel and shocking it may be.
"Not everything you read needs to be nice"
Great story, with a great performance. Story at times is a bit harsh. You see parts of yourself in the characters, could Kevin be your boy? Are you the doting dad or the detached mother. Not all in life is NICE..
Yes, it was even better than the movie.
When Kevin did his nuh-nuh-na-na-nuh response to his mother. Ms King portrayed it so perfectly, capturing the arrogance, spite and disdain in the child's voice in a way that chilled the listener.
Rivetting, shocking, sad
The end when you realize that she had lost everything
A mother's story that you will never forget
"A LITTLE OVER SIMPLIFIED"
A LOT OF TRUTH IN IT.
THE FIRST SECRET KEVIN SHARES WITH HIS MOM
WHEN AS A BABY , KEVIN CHANGES HIS ATTITUDE WHEN HIS FATHER SHOWS UP
"I didnt bother to finish it"
I was disappointed with this book, I found it was really of no interest to me yet was looking forward to it.
"Sensationalist: The Ultimate Birth Horror Story"
Women need positive attitudes when approaching birth, with this book the worst is dredged from the bottom of the steaming pile and laboured on for pages in the first birth. The second birth is fine and not even explained. I approached this book in half hour increments for a book club. I would have stopped if I didn’t have a reason for reading the book. It made me literally throw up. Sick making. IMHO only for those who want their worst fears about the most horrible things that can happen if you have kids confirmed. Interviews with the author after the boos audio confirm that the author wrote the book to explore her own confirmed opinion about childlessness’ in conjunction with an affinity with the mothers of
I feel that the father character had little depth, The book is written from the perspective of the mother, in letter form to the father. His voice is less than missing. His or even the boys voice could make the book more interesting, more balanced. It may even give an insight into the fathers ambivalence, bordering on ineptitude to the boys psychopathic tendencies.
Marvellous voice acting, very well done.
Well, it really made me mad, physically sick, horrified. It changed my mind as to the passive nature of books, and I will be more careful, from now on as to what I read, for this is now part of me, a cancer to be continually excised. Some say to me that makes it a good book. I disagree, Yes I had an extreme reaction, but that does not make it positive in any form. I now have to live with the burden of reading this tripe. Go see the movie, if you want a shock. Don’t read the book. Its just for shock or to confirm already held, rather conservative beliefs about the physical pain of childbirth and the possibility of stuffing up as a parent.
Ahhh. Cant wait to get onto the next audio, Possibly J.M.Coetzee, now thats a good writer.
"We need to talk about Kevin"
This is a compelling and thought provoking read, I found it a little disturbing but I couldnt put it down. It is beautifully written - download now!
I've already read this book twice, but when I saw that Lorei King was the narrator on this - I had to have it.
I wasn't disappointed. The story itself is riveting, an unusual and maybe difficult subject for some as it is in part about a parents honesty of their dislike of their child. The narration, which I think is actually acting, makes it even more believable and enjoyable.
A thought provoking and striking book- one which disturbed and fascinated me, and kept me thinking back to it long after it finished. Well worth a listen!
I resisted reading this book for a long time. I thought that it would be more difficult to stop it as an audiobook. I was really engrossed. I found it a very powerful story made even more powerful by one of the best readers I have ever heard. Lorelei King is magnificent in every book I have heard.
I love the way this is written, it keeps you enthralled. It is also very well read.
"Try it - worth a read!!"
Something I'd never normally go for, glad I did.
"something a little different"
i loved it, it was disturbing and amazing, some of it made me flinch it was so disturbing and sad, very, very thoughtprovoking. its a lot to take in, and really takes the nature/nurture debate to the next level. i would highly recommend this book to all.
"Unsettling but good!"
This is one of the most disturbing but engrossing audio books I've listened to and I had to constantly remind myself that this was actually a work of fiction!
I'll be honest, I was quite reticent about getting this after all the reviews I'd read/heard as there seemed to be 2 distinct camps who either loved it or hated it. I haven't watched the movie that is based on the book so after a lot of trepidation I bought the Audible version and listened to it whilst on holiday. All I can say is WOW,WOW,WOW! I felt a range of emotions whilst reading it, pity, sorrow, anger, disbelief etc. for all of the main characters Eva, Franklin and Kevin who to all intents and purposes was the most awful child ever born - I won't give it away - listen/read the book and come to your own conclusions.
Really good read. You are either going to love it or hate it - I'm in the love it camp!
"Brilliant but Harrowing!"
I found this audiobook a profoundly disturbing experience. It is brilliantly written and beautifully narrated, but it could put you off having kids.
What do you do if your child is a psychopath? This book charts the dread, shame and heartache of being just such a parent. A mothers place is in the wrong it seems.
I found this book unremittingly dark. If you have the stomach for it, it is a brilliant book, but it did nothing for my faith in human nature. The final "bonus" chapter is an excellent interview with the Lionel Shriver - she has no kids!
"Great characterisation from Lorelei"
This is such a good book, well paced and it unravels some surprises as it goes along culminating a shocking end to 'Thursday'. Further more, I'm a great fan of Lorelei King who manages to characterise the voice of each person without it sounding trite (not easy to do when you have a small boy and a grown man to portray too) I love her Margaret Atwood readings for the same reasons.
I found the book totally absorbing and very thought provoking and found my sympathies lay very firmly with Eva on so many levels.
A bonus at the end of the book is a short interview with Lionel as she explains a little about why she wrote the book which was also fascinating and insightful.
Excellent - download it now - I couldn't stop listening to it!
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