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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 2010 - We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (chosen by An)

A mother recounts the events leading up to (and following) her son's massacre of a teacher and students at his high school in a series of powerful and introspective letters addressed to her husband. This is a gripping read.

What we discussed:

We talked about the author, her background and how she came to write the book. We also discovered how the book was published and what happened after ie how it was received around the world .... also noting that it won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2005, much to the surprise and delight of the author. 

We then got around to Kevin ..... (Mind you, we had already started on Kevin well before the meeting ... during the process of reading the book.) Was Kevin born evil?  Could evil in a person be innate or learned?  We talked about this at length, including the possibility of Kevin having a psychopathic disorder ....  sociopathic ...and more .....   Could it have been poor parenting? The discussion went on ......

We explored the Eva's character, her role as a parent .... her feelings ..... why she wrote the letters ...  We understood that we were only reading her version of the events and wondered what it would be like to get a different perspective on the whole thing. We also discussed Franklin's character ... his approach to parenting and the relationship between him, Eva and the two children.  We talked about their daughter, Celia.  Celia the person ... her relationship with her parents;  Then we came back to Kevin again .......... 

There were many issues brought up while discussing this book. Some information and discussion questions that we looked at can be found here:

Also for the audio version of the book (ISBN: 978 1 4074 7858 6) includes an exclusive interview with Lionel Shriver, hosted by Ashley Milne-Tyte which runs for 1 hr.  The interview (25mb) is available here:  Audio interview (Whole Story website) - see second audio link.

Author Pics  (Zuma Press)

(Somewhere in all of this discussion Ant mentioned the fact that [live] crab dispensing machines are available in China for busy people who have no time to shop .....  Checking with Mr Google will give more information on this but here is a link to a 1min movie on youtube!!  We also loved Je's new haircut ..... and we must also mention that De's low-fat sticky date pudding was absolutely yummy..................... !  )

Welcome to our newest member Su who joins us today. Lovely to have you on board!  Our next meeting will be our last for the year and we will meet at a restaurant for Christmas Dinner .... (How quickly has the year gone by?!)  Looking forward our next book, Water for Elephants, chosen by De .... for we don't want to talk about Kevin anymore!! :)

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