Sunday, January 6, 2008

We Need To Talk About Kevin | Lionel Shriver

I had a lot of hangups with this book, though plotwise, it was interesting. I felt that it was engineered to discuss a TOPIC, and was less about the story itself. I disliked the structure of the book, written entirely in letters, I felt the narrator was pretentious and unsympathetic, and I found it hard to "buy" the authenticity of many of the characters. Also, I guessed the "surprise" ending too easily. I really like the school shooting idea -- I've thought about writing a novel to that effect myself -- and I also like the nurture vs. nature question, but I felt this book had too many pitfalls. The letter structure overclouded all the good parts. Scenes depicted were actually compelling but because it was in letter format, there weren't a LOT of scenes, and there was too much THINKING and NARRATIVE and also it just didn't feel REAL because it was within a letter. The plot itself was interesting, and it wasn't a hard read in that sense, but I just found myself getting frustrated at the author more than necessary. I wish she had done it in some other way.

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