Customer Reviews for

We Need to Talk about Kevin

Average Rating 4
( 236 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(96)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(31)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(27)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

Outstanding novel..very disturbing

I just finshed this excellent novel and I am overwhelmed. The writing is outstanding, and I have not been able to stop thinking about these characters. Kevin is a sociopath AND he is evil. Mostly, I am struck by Eva's love for Kevin, which is apparent throughout, but ...
I just finshed this excellent novel and I am overwhelmed. The writing is outstanding, and I have not been able to stop thinking about these characters. Kevin is a sociopath AND he is evil. Mostly, I am struck by Eva's love for Kevin, which is apparent throughout, but especially at the end of the story. This novel is thought- provoking, disturbing and frightening. I highly recommend this novel to readers who love to figure out the endings (I did, with the help of wonderfully placed clues) of incredibly well written books. Truly the best novel I've read in a long while!

posted by Anonymous on May 27, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

12 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

Atrocious!!!!!!

This book was AWFUL. It didn't have to be. It had so much potential with its plot. I liked how the author told the story through Eva's letters to her husband, but her use of language ... my God! I practically needed a dictionary to get through it. People just don't...
This book was AWFUL. It didn't have to be. It had so much potential with its plot. I liked how the author told the story through Eva's letters to her husband, but her use of language ... my God! I practically needed a dictionary to get through it. People just don't speak that way. It made her book incredibly difficult to navigate and care about. It was also horribly predictable. I knew the ending about 1/8 of the way through. I finished the book because I started it, but it took forever to do so, and I am sorry I even picked it up. I can think of five different authors who could have written this same exact story a million times better. What a shame.

posted by 720380 on December 28, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2007

    Outstanding novel..very disturbing

    I just finshed this excellent novel and I am overwhelmed. The writing is outstanding, and I have not been able to stop thinking about these characters. Kevin is a sociopath AND he is evil. Mostly, I am struck by Eva's love for Kevin, which is apparent throughout, but especially at the end of the story. This novel is thought- provoking, disturbing and frightening. I highly recommend this novel to readers who love to figure out the endings (I did, with the help of wonderfully placed clues) of incredibly well written books. Truly the best novel I've read in a long while!

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    One of the most brutally honest books I have ever read. Taking such a different slant on such a tragedy was thought provoking. An unforgettable look at our culture and getting right to the core.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Scrapbook of Horror

    This book is an incredible read. The narrator writes letters to her husband, revisiting their lives together both before and after the birth of their son. Fifteen year-old Kevin has murdered 7 of his classmates, a teacher and a cafeteria worker. The mother speaks matter-of-factly, talking about how she felt about the child from the moment he was born, how she is seen and treated by the community in general and by the families of her son's murdered classmates. She reminisces, scatters hints and then quietly drops bombshell after horrific bombshell concerning her life with her family. A well-crafted psychological sketch of the ultimate dysfunctional family- I highly recommend this tale.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Chilling subject matter

    I was taken by the book's honest portrayal of what can be a difficult mother/child relationship and then the whole family relationship centering around an emotionally distanced child.
    The book moved carefully, gradually more intrigueing as the relationships emerged.
    Excellent read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 30, 2012

    This was one of the best books I have ever read. Yes, it's wordy

    This was one of the best books I have ever read. Yes, it's wordy, like most of Lionel Shriver's books, and yes, she doesn't always use the simplest of words. And yes, you need more than a 6th grade education to appreciate it. The quintessential question of nature vs. nurture which is the main theme of this book is one that more people ought to be thinking about in these troubled times. Can a child be born bad? Or can you mold the child to BE bad? Eva struggles with this question throughout the book as it races (and yes, I said races!) to it's horrifying climax. I couldn't put this book down, and when I finished it promptly read it again to see what I had missed the first time. Shriver always has a twist in her books that you never see coming, and this one took my breath away. (If you liked this book, read her "So Much for That".) I think Lionel Shriver is BRILLIANT, and this novel should be mandatory for anyone who is even thinking about having children.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2007

    Incredibly Poignant Thriller

    This book was painful, insightful, gripping, and heartstopping. Even though you know the result or 'end' from the beginning, the storytelling is so incredible, and filled with suspense, you simply must read on to the horrifying final 50 pages. Lionel Shriver is now a favorite writer for me!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2007

    Painful but provocative

    Figuring out the ending early made turning the page difficult sometimes. The deliberate tone and detail of Eva's letters forced me to read so much more slowly than usual. I loved that the conclusion avoided being pat or trite. This is an amazing book, that as a new mother, will haunt me for quite a while. It is NOT for the squeamish or ultra-sensitive.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This novel was as disturbing as it was brilliant. I sometimes ha

    This novel was as disturbing as it was brilliant. I sometimes had to force myself to continue reading, but am glad I did. As a mother myself, who cannot fathom the idea of not feeling that love of your child, I felt sorry for Eva. She did love him, he was just unlovable. It makes you think, is that how all these school shooter types start? As difficult children whose parents try their damnedest to connect, only to be constantly being rebuffed and at some points, abused? It makes you wonder, and it makes you take a look at your children and wonder if, God forbid, they were to commit an awful crime would you stand behind them? I've seen parents sit behind the defendants table weep at the trials of their children, wondering themselves, how did my sweet baby do THIS? Did I miss clues? These parents are often vilified along with their children, assuming they were neglectful and provoked this behavior. The author makes you examine the story from all angles, just as she herself (Eva) does, trying to figure out how it happened. It begs the question, did Kevin spare his mother to punish her or to show love in his own way? When he gives her the "gift" at the end, and finally expresses remorse, you wonder if he is being rehabilitated or just finally becoming aware of the true enormity of his crimes. Also, the movie was brilliantly acted and portrayed the book perfectly. Ezra Miller was brilliant and scarily believable (but he's been brilliant in everything he's done), Tilda Swinton was so perfectly Eva it was amazing to watch. John C. Reilly could have been casted better, he's a little less handsome than I imagined he'd be. Oh well, still and amazing read and movie. Worth reading and worth pushing through to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    I loved reading this book. I think the author made Eva write in

    I loved reading this book. I think the author made Eva write in $10 words because that was Eva's nature. She was a highly intelligent, though pretentious, woman, a snob to some degree, and her precise choice of words would seem to fit. I thought the author described what it is like to be traumatized really well. The book enthralled me and I actually loved looking up the words she used in order to get the full meaning of the sentences.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2008

    i love this book!

    this book is awesome! i loved it with all my heart. it's one of my favorites. i could not put this book down. it's one of the best i've ever read and i've read a lot of great books. it's perfect!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2008

    Powerful but so real

    I have to admit that I was a tad nervous about reading this but felt that the person recommending it had a good reputation (she recommended 'The Glass Castle'). But, I didn't imagine that I would be so engrossed in this story and I was surprised by some of the ending(s). I give Lionel shriver credit for pointing out what so many people /parents refuse to acknowledge. In this age of autism (ok, very different from Kevin), it has to be a real slog to 'enjoy' having children. So, my heart goes out to Eva first and foremost. Then, I look at Franklin and imagine how betrayed he must have felt after deluding himself into believing Kevin loved him. Of course, the innocent of them all- Celia. Trusting her twisted brother when he proved time and time again, that he was a nasty, miserable person. I will recommend it to others and look forward to reading all of her other books. Thanks for writing this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    Outstanding read, great bookclub book

    This book was so well done. Writing is fantastic. A slow read only because you want to enjoy all the words. Great story, could not put it down for the last 100 pages. Highly recommend. Generates discussion - would recommend to a bookclub.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    Great for book clubs

    Confronts the endless debate of medical condition v. poor parenting. This novel brings up many issues which are perfect for book club discussion. As a school psychologist, I see many parents with Kevin's father's attitude. The dialogue is snappy and effective, even morbidly funny at times. This book is noteworthy for both it's subject matter AND the quality of the writing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    Has a 'WOW' ending!

    Not only did this book's ending blow me away, but throughout the novel the author brilliantly weaves in subtle hints at the dramatic climax. It started a little slow, but once you read a few chapters it is a tough book to put down. This book left me thinking about many issues...great book for someone who enjoys what I call 'reader's residue.' Enjoy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Zoie

    She blushes. "Thank you." She slips her shirt off, standing in her tank top.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Kevin

    Mmm are you wearing a bra? I smile putting my fingers on the hem of your tank top

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2014

    Liz

    Once my azz cheeks are around your cokk, I start twerkking.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2014

    Jake

    Hey. I walk to u.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Wow.

    Thought-provoking. Harrowing. Oddly touching.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2013

    I also found the book somewhat tough to read (the dictionary on

    I also found the book somewhat tough to read (the dictionary on my Nook got a workout), but it proved to be well worth the time and effort. HIGHLY recommended.

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