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Audiobook Review

We Need to Talk About Kevin

Lionel Shriver
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average rating is 5 out of 5
average rating is 5 out of 5

Excellent, Unforgettable, Best of the nest

Very good, thoroughly enjoyed, 

Good, Solid, Enjoyed many aspects


I Need To Talk About This


🖤 This powerful, moving, horrifying story has stayed with me ever since I read then listened to it many years ago. Shriver takes on the harrowing subject of a school massacre by placing the reader in the home of its perpetrator and voicing the thoughts of his mother, Eva.

💜 Eva is a difficult and unreliable narrator. The book is a series of letters she pens to her estranged husband, and there is a constant sense of things unsaid. There is also the issue - alluded to by her - of only having one side of the story. Obviously traumatised and still living in the same home she did at the time of "Thursday", Eva writes, it seems, to try to process the events and, more pertinently, her role in them.

❤️️ The main thread to me was always the question of nature versus nurture, Was Kevin inherently evil? Or was that her perception of him? I tend to the side of nature. He certainly hits all three signs of the Macdonald triad, a common predictor of homicidal tendencies. And I say this with the qualification of having listened to the entire back catalogue of pretty much every true crime podcast so... you know... I'm a bit of an expert.

💚 If you are fascinated by the psychology of killers and listen to enough true crime podcasts to place you on a government blacklist, this is for you. But this is for anyone who has an interest in human nature. It's part of that rare class of books known as a "book club read".


🎧 I really liked the musical introduction and ending. It was poignant and fitting.

🎧 I can't decide what I think of Lorelei King's interpretation of Eva. King uses a luxuriously deep voice which is easy on the earphone, but there's something unnatural about where she places emphasis on words and her pace. She performs other characters - everyone from the checkout girl to Franklin to a young Kevin - much more traditionally though, so I assume this is a choice she's made. It's just not as animated in some parts as I would have expected.


I did NOT see the twist coming. My heart completely shattered when it did, turning my paperback to mulch under the weight of tears. I can't think of any book that has made me cry that much. I believe that's a good thing..?
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We Need to Talk About Kevin


Kevin Khatchadourian killed several of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a teacher, shortly before his 16th birthday. He is visited in prison by his mother, Eva, who narrates in a series of letters to her estranged husband, Franklin, the story of Kevin's upbringing. A successsful career woman, Eva is reluctant to forgo her independence and the life she shares with Franklin to become a mother. Once Kevin is born, she experiences extreme alienation and dislike of Kevin as he grows up to become a spiteful and cruel child. When Kevin commits his murderous act, Eva fears that her own shortcomings may have shaped what her son has become. But how much is she to blame?
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