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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

4.2 (980 )
5 star
 (529)
4 star
 (272)
3 star
 (105)
2 star
 (34)
1 star
 (40)
Overall
4.3 (852 )
5 star
 (480)
4 star
 (226)
3 star
 (84)
2 star
 (22)
1 star
 (40)
Story
4.3 (848 )
5 star
 (475)
4 star
 (234)
3 star
 (77)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (34)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jessie OAKLAND, CA, United States 03-10-12
    Jessie OAKLAND, CA, United States 03-10-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    4
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    01-14-12
    01-14-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "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
    ratings
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    8
    8
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
    75
    ratings
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    158
    3
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    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
    ratings
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    2
    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
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    8
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    2
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    Story
    "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
    696
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    309
    115
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    FOLLOWING
    108
    16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    S. Potts 09-11-16
    S. Potts 09-11-16 Member Since 2016

    visualgirl

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gets Much Better A Couple Hours In"

    I didn't understand all the rave reviews as I listened in the beginning as Eva described interactions with neighbors and her husband, Franklin. It all becomes more clear and hooks you as time goes on, so stay with it. The writing was terrific - very smart with careful and exact phrasing that was just so good to listen to. I would relisten sometimes so I could hear certain paragraphs again. Usually, I listen in the car during my long commute, but I began to listen at work when I could and actually sat in the car with 15 minutes left so I could hear the end after a 1.5 hour drive. I guess I'll watch the movie again to see how much different it is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanessa Radcliffe 09-07-16 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Emotional seemingly true account"

    I had to look it up to figure out that this book was fiction. It's not only written very well but the narrator is amazing! At some points it's hard to listen to due to the depressing drama but all in all a very good book that makes one think twice about the mother's of children who do terrible things. Gonna go watch the movie next.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 09-04-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark and intriguing"
    Where does We Need to Talk About Kevin rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I felt like I was losing my mind along with Eva. This was a good story with compelling characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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