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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 (1161 )
5 star
 (634)
4 star
 (317)
3 star
 (127)
2 star
 (39)
1 star
 (44)
Overall
4.3 (1012 )
5 star
 (575)
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3 star
 (105)
2 star
 (26)
1 star
 (44)
Story
4.3 (1007 )
5 star
 (562)
4 star
 (282)
3 star
 (91)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (39)
Performance
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  •  
    joanilla45 05-15-12
    joanilla45 05-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    9
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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
  •  
    Katie Bonanno 05-18-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "Mixed feelings"

    My favorite books are murder mysteries so this is a little outside of my taste. At first, the perfect pronunciation of every word drove me insane & (I wont lie) I didn't know half of the "big words" that were used. After while it grew on me because the character is clearly educated so it makes sense. In my opinion, the book had a lot of fluff. When I was about half way through I couldn't wait for the book to end. Oddly enough, not because I hated it but because A. I wanted to know my theory was correct B. there was so much extra detail I could have lived without. I will say I was expecting a more of an easy read (...or listen) but this book is definitely geared towards adults. This book didn't have me hooked at any point. There were a few times I wanted to just google what happened and be done with it. It wasnt my cup of tea & I'm glad it's over, but it really wasnt terrible. Side note: I figured out why she writing letters almost instantly. I thought it was very ovbious. The book is rated highly so give it a try!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Brozek 05-14-17 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    34
    8
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    0
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    Story
    "Awash with sesquipedalian tendencies."

    The story was good if not fairly predictable. It took awhile to really get into it, but never truly hooked me. When it's over there's allot to think about. The writer seems to be quite in love with his thesaurus... if there's an opportunity to use a longer word than is necessary, he jumps on it. I like a book to have flourishes and read with intelligence, but this was done to the point of distraction. Perhaps it was an aspect of the character that is writing the story, but it's hard to tell. It could be the author loves to flash his vocabulary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nickabod. 05-10-17
    Nickabod. 05-10-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the audible version of this book is terrible."

    okay, I couldn't finish this book. Not because the book I'm sure. I've heard great things about it and I'm sure it's great. But the voice that is narrating it for audible, is so terrible I couldn't finish. yuck.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Hibbs 05-03-17
    T. Hibbs 05-03-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    6
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    0
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    Story
    "Couldn't Finish It"

    Based on the reviews, I had thought this would be a book I would enjoy. I was wrong in that assumption. The premise: a mother coming to terms with the fact that her child is a sociopath and a murder sounded interesting, challenging, promising in emotional depth. Unfortunately, that is not this book. This book is 16 hours of a woman whining about how her life was ruined by the birth of her son. It is no surprise that Kevin turned out so damaged with such a narcissist as Eva. I held on for about five hours hoping that Eva would experience some self-realization. However, in keeping with the narcissistic personality, Eva remains oblivious to the damage she causes--other than to give the expected lip service. I might add that I have no issue with narrators who are damaged or unreliable. Some of my favorite literary characters are not people whom I'd want to spend time with in real life. However, these characters have something about them that makes them compelling. I can relate to them in some way, understand their pain, their struggles even as I might cringe. With Eva, the only reaction she elicited was a strong desire to tell her: "Get over yourself."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Em Northern Virginia 04-18-17
    Em Northern Virginia 04-18-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wasn't sure at first, but it sucked me in."
    Any additional comments?

    I thought the characters were a little one-dimensional, but the story held my attention through to the end. This is a good psychological thriller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nona's Momma 04-12-17

    loving motherhood

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    173
    15
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    0
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    Story
    "Movie great, book not so much"

    I usually feel the book is better than the movie but not in this case. Great plot but too many monologues and analysis of the story and not enough of the actual story. Disappointed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Minnesota 12-21-16
    Amazon Customer Minnesota 12-21-16 Member Since 2014

    Susan B. Susanberger

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    7
    Overall
    "interesting but unusual"

    format was odd, but it worked & the story was engaging the whole way through. narrator was good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabriel J. Garcia 10-30-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    17
    8
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    0
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    Story
    "terrifying"

    although the story seems to drag on and starts slow, it proves itself to be exciting and incredibly dark towards the finale

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 08-08-16
    Matthew 08-08-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sad and disgusting and yet reaches a parent"

    This made me sick and scared and sad at the same time. I don't have the words for this. The book will keep you going, but difficult to handle and listen to the thoughts and words at many points. So relatable is what made it scary. My heart hurts for parents of any child who experiences this, but even more so for the child. They are at some indescribable disadvantage that turns out anger and hate from fear. Wish there were more answers, more options...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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