07 February 2012

Review: We Need to Talk About Kevin

We Need to Talk About Kevin
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Random thoughts on We Need to Talk About Kevin:

* This book took forever to get going. There is SO MUCH leadup to the parts that anyone truly cares about that I very nearly threw in the towel early and often. I don't need a book to necessarily dive in right away, but I'd like to get to some semblance of the point before I hit a third of the way through.

* My chief issue with this book, however, is how unrealistic so much of it felt compared to the super-real-feeling character of Kevin. Not that I have much of any background in psychology or personality disorders, Kevin felt like a true psychopath in every sense of the word, and I could definitely picture where he was going. Comparing him with those around him, though - the father in particular - and they looked like absolute unrealistic caricatures of human beings as opposed to realistic, believable people. It really hampered my enjoyment of this overall.

* With all that said, once the story actually gets to the story, the book became rather riveting. The road to where the plot ends up is engaging, and it hits a lot of the right notes. I hate how long it took to get there, but that's that.

Overall, this is one of those books that I think might actually work better as a movie. The story moves along as a series of letters in the book, and probably would have benefited from a more sober characterization with a more linear structure overall. Closer to a 3.5 overall.

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