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We Need to Talk About Kevin Audiobook

We Need to Talk About Kevin: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his 16th birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

©2003 Lionel Shriver (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.” (Newark Star Ledger)

“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“Powerful [and] harrowing.” (Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1058 )
5 star
 (574)
4 star
 (297)
3 star
 (110)
2 star
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1 star
 (40)
Overall
4.3 (920 )
5 star
 (525)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (916 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (84)
2 star
 (29)
1 star
 (34)
Performance
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  •  
    Eduardo United States 05-07-12
    Eduardo United States 05-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "We Need to Read About Kevin."
    Would you consider the audio edition of We Need to Talk About Kevin to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I think the narrator added a lot of emotion to the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The complexity of the relationships. The story was complicated and perverse while remaining very real and compassionate.


    Which character – as performed by Coleen Marlo – was your favorite?

    Eva. She is the only character that we really get to understand and whose mind we get to delve into.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Girlbos 04-05-12
    Girlbos 04-05-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Blew me away...."
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecilia Des Moines, IA, United States 03-29-12
    Cecilia Des Moines, IA, United States 03-29-12

    I listen to audio books every day. I am hooked!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "The audio is 10x better than the book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. But not the book version. It is too wordy, w/ no inflections of emotion.


    What other book might you compare We Need to Talk About Kevin to and why?

    Maybe


    What about Coleen Marlo’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The part that affected me was one line,


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie OAKLAND, CA, United States 03-10-12
    Jessie OAKLAND, CA, United States 03-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Dark. Don't Shy Away from the Topic"
    Would you try another book from Lionel Shriver and/or Coleen Marlo?

    Yes


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It was hard to connect with the mother in this story.


    What about Coleen Marlo’s performance did you like?

    Well read.


    Was We Need to Talk About Kevin worth the listening time?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    There are lots of Kevin's in our society and all of them have mothers. It's a dark, at times too dark for me, story.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn F. 01-14-12
    Carolyn F. 01-14-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Intense, thought provoking novel"

    I've never felt compelled to write a review before this book. This book lead me to grapple with a lot of difficult questions because of its thought provoking nature. The story deals with the complexity of family relationships and the ways in which one individual's behavior can impact so many lives. I found the book extremely interesting, never dull, and very intense. The author develops the characters well considering that the entire story is told from one person (the narrator's) perspective. The subject matter is timely and pertinent. I felt this was an excellent book for a book club reading because of the many difficult questions it leaves the reader with. Although the story is painful and tragic, you may also consider it redemptive, depending on your perspective. I highly recommend this book.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndi HAGERSTOWN, MD, United States 01-06-12
    Cyndi HAGERSTOWN, MD, United States 01-06-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to We Need to Talk About Kevin the most enjoyable?

    what an interesting perspective this story is written from - so different than the other books I've read lately. Great character development and you really have feelings towards the characters..good and bad.


    Any additional comments?

    definite must read. I cant wait to get in my car each day to hear a little more!

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Memphis, TN, United States 12-31-11
    Toni Memphis, TN, United States 12-31-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen while doing something else!"
    Any additional comments?

    Great book if you like to work (I am a bookkeeper) at your desk on monotonous tasks while listening to an audiobook. It's not the type of story that will make you forget you are working. It is an easy listen and a very interesting story. It's like listening to someone spill their guts about every detail of their life for hours while you just work away. But I promise you won't be bored!!! The narrator was perfect (for this particular type of book). Personally, I am glad I took a chance on it.

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian E. Lutton Edgewood, KY United States 09-03-12
    Brian E. Lutton Edgewood, KY United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "One of my faves"
    What did you love best about We Need to Talk About Kevin?

    This story just continues to build on itself and on the characters. In the beginning I started off not feeling sure because it was more about how the couple met and their early life but this background is vitally important to the story overall. By the end of the book I literally could not stop listening, and when it was over...I wish there was more to listen to


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joanilla45 05-15-12
    joanilla45 05-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One-joke short story painfully stretched out"
    What would have made We Need to Talk About Kevin better?

    If only Shriver had read Doris Lessing's The Fifth Child and realized that any other version of this same story had to be kept to a short story (in The New Yorker?).


    Any additional comments?

    It might be a good movie (which is, essentially, the length of a New Yorker short story), but this was just ENDLESS. By the end, I was just disappointed Kevin didn't also kill his mom and spare us her narrative.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 05-22-12
    Kim Spokane, WA, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2009

    Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too one dimensional"

    I had a hard time getting to the end of this one. The entire story is told solely from the perspective of a wife & mother as she writes letters to her (ex) husband about her psychotic son. I really think the story would've benefited from some alternate perspectives or at least some other method of delivery instead of one driving monotonous voice. I found myself staying interested in the overall plot but wishing for another narrator even though I believe the narrator was quite limited by the content as it was written.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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