I first have to say that when I started listening to this book, I found Eva's affected and verbose manner of speech to be overwhelmingly off-putting. Within the first 15 minutes I stopped listening and reread the reviews to see if it would be worth trying to slog through. One reviewer specifically addressed this, saying it was Eva's character and not Shriver's writing style. With that in mind, I continued listening from that perspective. I'm so glad I did.
I didn't 'like' any of the characters; Franklin was especially frustrating. And, although I could foresee one of the major plot twists (probably because I read too many reviews), the performance and story grabbed me. The ending (her last conversation with Kevin) clicked the whole thing into place, kind of like when the ring drops in the Sixth Sense. I know I'm being vague, but I don't want to ruin the experience for any future readers.
This book left an impression on me. I can't love it in a warm-fuzzy way, but it sticks with me. I was so intrigued by the book, that I was naturally interested in how it might be made into a movie. This isn't meant to be a review of the movie, so I'll just say the movie was a huge disappointment in my opinion. I hope if you've watched the movie, you'll still give the book a chance.
I have only just started listening to audiobooks, but I found this one to be very well done although the performance was a little inconsistent.
I found the narrator (Eva) to be a really compelling character. I was put off by her at times, but gradually drawn in by her. She appears to be cold and unattached but this also gives her the ability to have a kind of clear-eyed view of her son that no one else does. As the book goes on, you also find out why she often sounds so unattached -- she has to be.
I thought she did a fantastic job of evoking Eva's voice. It really brought her alive as a character.
We Need to Talk About Kevin's Mother
While I think the performer generally did a great job, there were time when she was voicing the character of Kevin that she slid into a southern accent.. not a deep South drawl but a definitely a bit of twang. I found that odd for a character who is born in NYC and grows up in Rockland County, NY. I don't remember any characterization of Kevan as affecting a southern accent and the use of the accent wasn't consistent. I found it distracting during longer blocks of Kevin's speech.
I downloaded this book because it was on sale and I wanted something to listen to. I wasn't prepared for how sad the narrative actually was. In a society where we are quick to blame the parents for the unwarranted violence of teenagers and young adults, this book did an excellent job of giving insight into the fallout a mother faces after her troubled son commits a terrible tragedy. Overall, the book was a bit hard to get into but once I started to understand the characters, I found this to be a very satisfying selection.
Doubt it - I reread very few books
The ending is stunning. All the clues were there, I just managed to go right by them.
The scene in Eva's map covered office.
No - it was difficult to find anything to like about Eva (main character and narrator); she is vain, arrogant, and opinionated. She had nothing but contempt for the peripheral characters and treated the main characters (her husband and children) in a very cold and disdainful manner. Eva had her own world with her own rules and she had no problem spitting them out in her very haughty way. She has no friends and she doesn't seem to want any.
I had to be able to turn the narration off so I could walk away and think about what I'd heard.
Every once in a while a book has a profund effect on me - I was deeply moved by Still Alice, Love in the Time of Cholera, and the House of Sand and Fog. 'Kevin" is another book that will stay with me for a long time. I'm looking forward to discussing it with my friends who read it for their book clubs and get their reactions. This book was very provocative to me because of its premise; I did not expect the very visceral responses I experienced.
This is a most unusually written book! It starts slowly, and builds in intrigue! The topic is timely, and throughout, gives just occasional hints to tempt the listener to continue. The perspective is that of the mother's - and I was amazed to learn that the author is a man. Just enough 'bait' to keep you listening at the first - and then BAM! some horrific hints that made me keep listening after I got out of the car and into the house - something I rarely do! Don't miss this one! It's rarely that I do not guess the outcome of a tale early in the reading - this one --- I was into the last fourth of the reading that I began to even guess the outcome! A haunting tale to be sure. Full of the emotional struggles of parenthood, relationships and guilt. Don't miss this one!
Definitely, because it is just a gripping story.
Great audiobook. The story unfolds wonderfully. The narration is strong throughout. I kept finding excuses to return to listen to a little more.
Didn't read the print
Eva throwing baby Kevin across the room in frustration
A bit wordy, but well worth it. A page turner. Provocative subject matter ... makes you wish you could have a glimpse into the early lives of other infamous sociopaths. What were they all like as children, babies even. Were there signs? Eva knew it from the beginning.
Yes. I think the narrator added a lot of emotion to the story.
The complexity of the relationships. The story was complicated and perverse while remaining very real and compassionate.
Eva. She is the only character that we really get to understand and whose mind we get to delve into.
I felt very emotionally drained at the end. Not only does the conclusion surprise, it also adds a level or realness and sorrow that I found extremely moving.
This has been one of my favorite audiobooks, not only because of the story but also because of the performance. Overall I think the novel is well worth a read.
Wasn't really sure what to expect but I was blown away. Complex, deep characters, great story. It was a surprisingly easy listen despite the grave subject matter. I didn't want it to end!
I listen to audio books every day. I am hooked!
Yes. But not the book version. It is too wordy, w/ no inflections of emotion.
Even-toned, but w/ great voice inflection.
I just listened to a different book on CD and the narrator blasted half the time and spoke in a whimper the rest of it.
This is an easy listen.
The part that affected me was one line,
Have not seen the movie.
I re-listened to this about two months ago, having listened to it about 5 years ago.
You will not forget this one.
It gives me chills.
Only snakes give me chills.