So Much for That: A Novel

So Much for That: A Novel

3.6 35
by Lionel Shriver
     
 

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“Shriver has a gift for creating real and complicated characters… A highly engrossing novel.” — San Francisco Chronicle

From New York Times bestselling author Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin), comes a searing, deeply humane novel about a crumbling marriage resurrected in

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Overview

“Shriver has a gift for creating real and complicated characters… A highly engrossing novel.” — San Francisco Chronicle

From New York Times bestselling author Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin), comes a searing, deeply humane novel about a crumbling marriage resurrected in the face of illness, and a family’s struggle to come to terms with disease, dying, and the obscene cost of medical care in modern America.

Editorial Reviews

The New Yorker
“[A] shrewd, ambitious novel. . . . Shriver’s prose is frank and often beautiful . . . nuanced and persuasive.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061978494
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/09/2010
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
145,512
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Brooklyn, New York, and London, England
Date of Birth:
May 18, 1957
Place of Birth:
Gastonia, North Carolina
Education:
B.A., Barnard College of Columbia University, 1978; M.F.A. in Fiction Writing, Columbia University, 1982
Website:
http://www.talkaboutkevin.com

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So Much for That 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was 150 pages too long. I had to speed read. All of the social commentary was too much. The characters were well written and the plot good. I am going back to murder mysteries where the social commentary is subtle and not in your face, Lionel carbonneau, massachusetts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book taps into healthcare and of life care debates in a very real way, but stops from being too didactic because of the way the characters evolve. I find that I never really like the characters in Lionel Shriver's books and virtues are often exposed as flaws. The responsible, I always follow the rules character is revealed as a pushover, the stoic mother holding the family together as cold, unforgiving and out of touch. I think this is book makes a great springboard for discussion on the hot topics of the day but also makes you examine when a good quality tips the scale to become annoying. Shoudl we accept what life throws at us or fight back even thogh it makes people uncomfortable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wanted to give this book a fair shot as it was a book club selection. And I tried. Characters are unlikable; story is depressing; the prose is wordy; the tone is often preachy or polemical. I enjoy thought provoking books, but this one flatlined.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful story about a very powerful subject. This author knows how to write and it was a privlege to read her book. Don't miss this one
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved, "We Need to Talk About Kevin," so was prepared to be wowed again. Unfortunately, the book didn't deliver for me. Jackson's never-ending prattle got on my nerves after a while. One speech would have sufficed. Moreover, I didn't get Shep's motivation. How could he go from getting ready to leave his wife to self-effacing doting husband? I didn't believe it. I will give Shriver another go because I thought "We Need to Take About Kevin" was that good. But I may wait a while.
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Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
"so much for that" by Lionel Shriver is a fictional book about serious matters. The book deals with the frustration and the unfairness of dealing with the US healthcare industry. Shep Knacker has worked hard all his life and pinched every penny to retire in an idyllic third world country where his money could last him forever. Glynis, Shep's wife, always found some excuse whey "now" is not the right time to go. Shep had had enough and he announces that he is leaving with or without Glynis. But Glynis found out she has cancer and Shep puts his plans aside while his bank account starts dropping like a stone. "so much for that" by Lionel Shriver a tough book to read because of the subject matter, however it is well written, interesting and hard to put down. Shep, the protagonist, has been saving money all his life in order to retire to a small African island named Pemba where the cost of living is minuscule, that is until his wife got cancer and Shep started to see his life savings of more then $800,000 dwindle away to nothing. And Shep has health insurance. Shep's best friend, Jackson who has his own sick daughter and is also working for health insurance. Jackson's world is divided between those who take (anyone who is on the government payroll in some form) and those who give (everyone who is not on the government's payroll but pay taxes). His political tirades were some of the interesting points in the book. Shep's life is full with "moochers" (those who take according to Jackson), his father, a minister, never saved enough to retire, his sister is self centered and expects him to bail her out by "loaning" her money. Shep's daughter is going to college, his son is in private high-school and Shep's wife got a low paying job because, during a fight, he told her she is not contributing. The minor characters are interesting but not very realistic - however they do make the point. This book hit me very personally on several levels. First, my father, who passed away in December, has cancer for the last two years of his life - which was a real harsh lesson on what "health coverage" really mean. My dad was a small business owner who paid boat loads of money, out of pocket, into the health care system and got very little in return (he didn't get sick often). Luckily he and my mom moved out of the house they lived in for almost 30 years and into a 55+ complex, which they paid cash - otherwise they would have lost their home. His medication cost $7,000 a month, his insurance paid 50%. Can you afford a $3,500 monthly bill for one type of medication? They basically had to show income of less than $1,000 a month in order to survive. This taught us a painful lesson - don't get sick unless you are very rich or very poor. Even with health insurance you are likely to go bankrupt, lose your personal fortune and everything you worked to acquire your whole life. Second, living in New Jersey, possibly the most corrupt state in the union where people who own their homes outright are being evicted because the preposterous property taxes - Jackson's diatribes hit a sore spot. We pay the highest personal taxes in the nation where 50% of them goes to somebody's pocket (corruption tax), 25% are wasted (as per the state's comptroller) and the other 25%, the money used to run the state, is still four times higher than other states. As you can tell, I truly enjoyed this book. It is very thought provoking and I highly rec
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aunt_Pie More than 1 year ago
This book was a tough read, not because it is a 'bad' book but because of its subject -- a family dealing with cancer. As I read the book, it had the effect of making me so thankful for my friends and family. And revealing the main character's account balance at the beginning of many chapters has a shocking and sobering effect on the reader. These things really happen! But I had a problem getting into the story because the book contains a subplot whose culmination is just too strange to be believable, and the ending felt much too contrived. I'm not sure what type of reader this book is for, but this book did not pique my interest in other works by the author. Having never been in a book club, I don't know whether it would make a good book for discussion. Although I could see it prompting a lot of discussion, there are probably better books than this. In summary, while I admire the author for tackling such an unpleasant subject, the book did not live up to my expectations based on other reviews I had read, and I would not recommend it to others.
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