Thursday, August 5, 2010

book club time

i read an amazing book during my holiday. this. was. not. it.

in fact, my sister's keeper was kind of lame. i read it after said amazing book since i still had plenty of holiday left. the storyline (daughter sues parents for medical emancipation after years undergoing operations to help keep her dying sister alive) is a good one but the implementation was a 400-page cliche.

disclaimer: if i knew how to churn out novels which appealed to the masses and made me squillions, i would totally do it. but that doesn't mean i have to enjoy reading such work.

my sister's keeper kind of reminded me of james patterson's stuff of the last five-odd years. james patterson and all his mates that is. it feels formulaic. like the author didn't really bother thinking about it but just filled in the gaps. ticked all the boxes.

to be fair, i picked up my sister's keeper less than 24 hours after i put down one of the best books i have ever read so it was a hard-act-to-follow sitch. which brings me to:

i have not stopped thinking about we need to talk about kevin since i put it down. it's one of those rare books i feel i need to read again immediately. author lionel shriver (a woman by the way) has an exquisite way with words and, in this case, she uses them to illustrate a powerful, emotional and provocative story.

the ultimate debate is nature versus nurture. was kevin born evil? or was it his upbringing (essentially a distant mother and over-eager father) that urged him to kill nine people in a high school massacre at age 15?

but this book isn't about a high school shooting. it's about the path towards it. we pick up post-massacre but look back to pre-crime with a series of letters written by kevin's mum to his dad. as she tries to come to terms with her son's crime, eva examines her life, her choices in an effort to understand how things went so very, very wrong.

read it. seriously. and, if you're feeling as though it starts a little slowly, persevere. the intricate platform is key to getting involved in the debate you'll be dying to have post-read.

have you read 'kevin'? what did you think?

and where do you stand on nature v nurture?


online printing company said...

"We need to talk about Kevin" looks interesting. I just hope the plot it's not predictable. I haven't read any Shiver books maybe I'll try this one. Thanks for the share! :)

Kate said...

You must read 'The Brothers K' by David James Duncan. If you loved The Book Thief & We Need to Talk About Kevin (both of which I loved), I think you will almost definately fall in deep deep love with this one. It's in my new top 2 with The Poisonwood Bible.

Debbie said...

I haven't even heard of this book but I am going over immediately to put it on my TBR list.
And like you, some very popular books just leave me completely lacking.

kate said...

The Brothers K it is. Love a good recommendation from a like-minded reader.

Really hope you like it, Debbie.

Rick M said...

Kate! I have been so redonkulously busy with work and not having a life that I haven't checked your blog in ages. I felt the need to tell you how much it still rocks. Also, I may start another soon.

Miss you xxoo

Amanda said...

I might have to try that! I knew people who went to Thurston High School (we lived in Oregon) so the whole topic of school shootings is a little traumatic (we had our own scare too, but thankfully it fizzled out)...but you're not the first person I've heard say that book is great!

I haven't read MSK, but don't really have any desire to...I just don't really jump on that train.

kate said...

Rick!! Hi and I love you. Would love the chance to read your words again.

Amanda, I can't imagine the scare. We're not there yet (in Oz) but we always tend to follow suit so not something I look forward to.

AllSpice Girl said...

Hi Kate. I've read it and I too think it was one of the most powerful books I've ever read - it stayed with me for ages.... now reading The Messenger by Markus Zusak based on a reco that it is better than The Book Thief but as I have not yet read TBT I can't tell. It is good but not yet knocking my socks off.

kate said...

really? better than tbt? i didn't agree but different strokes i guess.

i imagine kevin would be even more powerful for a parent.

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