Big Brother

Big Brother

by Lionel Shriver
3.4 34

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Big Brother: A Novel 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book that revisits the characters of We Need to Talk About Kevin. The author brings a freshness to the characters as they explore new areas including obesityhealth.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book better after I discovered that Shriver's brother actually died of obesity related issues in his 50s. This book must have been cathartic for her, where she could create an alternate universe in which she was able to save her brother.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars 'Big Brother' is a poignant and witty novel that looks at the bonds of family and how far a person will go to protect and save those we love. The story follows main character Pandora as she deals with the daily monotony of her both her home life and her flourishing company. Pandora receives a phone call one day informing her that her dear older brother, Edison, has been crashing at a friend's house and has worn out his welcome there. With nowhere else to go, Pandora invites Edison to come and stay with her and her family in their small Iowan town. Pandora and her family receive a shocking surprise when Edison arrives - he is hundreds of pounds heavier than the last time they saw each other. Pandora is determined to get Edison back to what he was, all while putting a strain on her marriage - until her husband finally demands that she must choose between him or her brother. This was an intriguing story that delves into deep topics in our society. It speaks of family, devotion, loyalty, love, and the more hushed topics of obesity and dieting that ravishes our culture. The author takes all of these important topics and mingles them with witty dialogue and compelling narrative that draws the reader in from the very first line of the novel and promises to stay with you long after you finish the last word. The characters were all impeccably written - each with their own flaws, strengths, and personalities. I loved Pandora as the lead character - she is a common woman in America, both devoted to her family and to her work, but ultimately she needs to discover herself in order to save those she loves. The writing itself was a prime example of the immense talent of the writer. The book clips along at a fast pace and had me totally engrossed in the pages within moments of starting it. The narrative is eloquently written and seamlessly flows together to weave a beautiful story that deals with important topics that rarely are given the light they need. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction as well as well as those simply looking for a wonderful story that is fantastically written. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is hands down a great book. The author pulls us in with the story of an obese brother. It is a can't put down book from that point on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting story about difficult family situations
FranklyMyDear1 More than 1 year ago
I found the story compelling, unique and thought provoking. The characters are richly developed, and the author presents a tapestry of themes and skillfully weaves them throughout the book.   Much of the dialogue seems phony; actual people don't converse the way these characters do.  And the book has a clunky way of jumping between perspectives.  One minute we're reading about the heroine's thoughts and intricacies of her daily life, and the next minute we're getting broad-view social commentary.  While the commentary is ostensibly coming from the heroine, it doesn't really click for me, especially as she tells us early in the book that she doesn't see the point of having many opinions.  Throughout the book, I struggled to understand why the heroine made the decision that most of the story revolves around.  While the ending resolved that issue in my mind, it also left me baffled.  Usually I appreciate a twist ending that I truly didn't see coming, yet this one felt abrupt, manipulative and just plain strange. All that said, I think the story and characters are well worth a read, and I plan to pick up another book by the same author.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is terrible...very disappointing considering all of the reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading a loving "we need to talk about Kevin" I was expecting more from this novel. It was enjoyable up until the end. I honestly expected to be more satisfied but was left feeling empty instead of full.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ugh....I picked this because it was on the top picks for 2013 and covered the important topic of obesity. But, really, this author just went on and on....so many words (and backstories) where so few would have done. Whose teenagers talk that way in the home? And the alter-universe ending....oh, yeah, it didn't really happen. And I really felt that the author didn't tackle the main subject of obesity with sensitivity or honesty. Broken chairs? Upchuck? Skip this book, there are lots of better ones out there.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver is a fic­tional book from this acclaimed author. Ms. Shriver won the 2005 Orange Prize for her acclaimed novel We Need to Talk About Kevin. Pan­dora, a suc­cess­ful entre­pre­neur, loves to cook but her hus­band, Fletcher, became a health nut who man­i­cally cycles and does not let an unhealthy calo­rie pass his lips. When Pandora’s older brother, a jazz pianist named Edi­son, comes to visit she is shocked to learn that he is close to 400 lbs. Pan­dora decides to take Edi­son under her wing and help him get to his goal weight within a year. Her pet project helps her recon­nect with her brother, but affects her fam­ily and her husband. Big Brother by Lionel Shriver is a book which styl­is­ti­cally reminded of So Much for That which I thought was fan­tas­tic. Ms. Shriver wrote an inter­est­ing book, with a twist at the end which I did not see coming. I was a bit dis­ap­pointed with the book because I thought it might have more social com­men­tary. After all, So Much for That was scathing in its crit­i­cism of the health care sys­tem. I was expect­ing more of the same about the weight loss indus­try, its shys­ters, the dis­crim­i­na­tion and rea­sons for obe­sity – I got some of that but not much. Yes, I con­cede that I should read a book with­out any prior expectations. How­ever, despite my out­look, I still found the book inter­est­ing, fluid and a worth­while read. Pur­pose­fully Ms. Shriver con­trasts extremes. Pan­dora, the pro­tag­o­nist, is a good step-mother who is daugh­ter to a lack­ing father. Pan­dora, the suc­cess­ful busi­ness woman, is mar­ried to an ex-salesman who builds fur­ni­ture in the base­ment and is a health freak, she is also sis­ter to a man who is almost 400 lbs. and, of course, the two men in her life are polar oppo­sites in many regards but have much in com­mon (both are extrem­ists and artists). The end­ing left me dumb­founded, I’m still not sure if I liked it or now as it turned the whole book on its head, but I have to give Ms. Shriver kudos for brav­ery. Not every author could write such an end­ing, know­ing full well it will be polar­iz­ing, and pull it off as smoothly as she did. The book did not dis­ap­point, I was expect­ing more but I still enjoyed the author’s mix of inter­est­ing char­ac­ters and social com­men­tary. The book gives the reader much to think about, the novel doesn’t offer any answers but brings many ques­tions fore­front and center. Dis­claimer: I got this book for free
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having said Jut OK, I really enjoyed how the book was written with so much description and conversation between the characters. I was disappointed in the ending as I felt scammed by the author. Believe me I m not looking for a sugar coated ending but please don't insult me like that. I felt like I wasted my time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A thoroughly enjoyable, heartwarming and heartbreaking read. I was brought through each emotion that Lionel Shriver's writing usually brings out. It was so well written with the scenes detailed in such a way that I felt like a fly on the wall throughout the journey of this family. I think everyone with a sibling that they love, help, support, and fear for can relate to the relationship this brother and sister share. I also think that they can understand the pressure that relationship can put on other relationships in your life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the idea of the story but it seemed the author went on long after she should of and a the rest was just to hear her own voice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
g69 More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of Lionel Shriver and have read most of her previously published books. I was hoping for quality similar to WE HAVE TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN and THAT'S ENOUGH OF THAT (I loved this one.) I was disappointed. Although her take on the diet dilemma was interesting, she lost me on the climax.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From start to finish, I could not put this book down until the last word on the last page. Everyone in the United States has at least one obese friend or relative, and this book gives us a perspective from the obese person's point of view, and also a perspective from a concerned friend or family member regarding helping them overcome their obesity. You will not regret purchasing this book, and I am quite sure you will find someone to pass it on to who will enjoy it also.
anonomas More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. Read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have ever tried to lose weight and felt overwhelmed, you should read this book. An interesting take on dieting. And the results? Read it and see for yourself..... Will definitely want to read more by Lionel Shriver.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ms. Shriver is excessively proud of her vocabulary, using $10 words when $5 words would more than suffice. She also appears to have a serious prejudice against fat people. That being said, I found the book interesting enough to finish it.