We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver




Recently finished this book and have to say I loved it, well that may not be the word for it. I was intrigued by it, it was depressing but fascinating. This book is clever because although no mother deserves a child like Kevin it poses the question, was it her fault? It also asks whether it is such a thing as people just being born evil or do events make them that way?

Kevin wasn’t wanted by his mother, not really, and children can probably sense this and so in that respect maybe it was her fault. Although Kevin didn’t make it easy to be wanted. The reason for this was probably due to just how clever he was. He could see from a very young age all the pointlessness of things. His crime also strikes me as a cry for attention and to do something that means something and has a detrimental effect on others. Kevin viewed his mother as a hypocrite the way she would escape America and We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 2say bad things about it but was American and did all the things she said she hated about Americans. I suppose that is alike to everyone, they can complain about their country while they are in it but the moment they are abroad if someone says something bad about their country then they get offended. I think there is humour associated with saying what is wrong with where you live. I loved the character which Shriver had created, the way he always wore clothes that were too small for him but also the way he challenged himself to do things that others may not want him to do. Kevin had the ability to understand adult problems, that many adults wouldn’t understand, from a very young age. It is as though he was almost born knowing. That is knowing how the world worked and perhaps his mother’s doubt of actually wanting children. From the moment he entered the world he can be seen to be different, so maybe some are born evil.

As far as the film goes, I have not watched it. That is, yet. I would say that from what I know they could not have picked a better person to play Kevin, Ezra Miller. He just looks like someone quite unconventional and someone who could be scary in their knowledge. The mother, played by Tilda Swinton, also looks panic-strickenWe Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver 4 and as thought the grief of having Kevin is too much. She looks like a mother who is at the end of her tether.

While on YouTube I watched the trailer and saw in the suggested bar that there was a documentary about the child of rage, Beth Thomas. I clicked on it and it really was quite fascinating, I would recommend it, the psychology behind it is interesting. Beth’s mother died when she was just one and she was left with her father who sexually abused her, she was finally taken away from him with her younger brother and adopted by a minister and his wife. However, the early years of a child’s life, perhaps even months, teaches them how to love and have a conscious but because she had been hurt so badly by her father she lacked this quality. In the documentary she talks fervently about wanting to kill her brother and her parents, she sticks pins in them and has to be locked in her room at night as she has spoken about stabbing them, she wants them to feel it but not see it. There were also times when the mother has to physically stop her from hurting her brother and also when she has found a nest with dead baby birds lying beneath it with their necks broken. What I found interesting about it is the way that Beth spoke, she was only six but spoke in a way which was articulate and as though she was much older than she really was.  Anyway she goes away to rehabilitation and gets better, which is a relief and now has turned her life around. What is remarkable is how they can change someone around so drastically, if you have a spare 45 minutes, I would recommend a watch.

Back to Kevin, I loved this book as the ending was a surprise but also a upsetting. It is a novel which is resonant with its horror. The planning and intelligence of Kevin is impressive but also dark. I plan to watch the film too soon!


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