Friday, 2 March 2012

Books for Friday (BFF)

As the movie (based on the book by Lionel Shriver) hits local theatres I was reminded of this powerful story. A work of fiction that is devastatingly real to read; this book is not for everyone. An intimate look into a mother's relationship with her manipulative son who commits a Columbine-style massacre at his high school, I had to keep reminding myself as I read that this was fiction. It is a book which has stayed with me for years. This is the type of writing your creative writing teacher was talking about when they said "show me, don't tell me".

If you can handle the disturbing subject of this book, I highly recommend it. Yet I am not sure I can bear to see the visual representation of this book. I fear that impression will be too brutal and is somehow more lasting than the written word. But my curiosity may win out.

The Post-Birthday World is Shriver book I enjoyed (not a word I use in connection with the Kevin book). It is a fascinating look at how one woman's life might have turned out differently if she chose to stay with her responsible partner or chose his irresponsible friend. The book alternates between the two lifelines. Although I thought the story could have been shortened, I was caught up in the stories and would recommend this book. My enjoyment was enhanced by recognizing some British slang that I'd learned from a dear friend.

Shriver is a very talented writer who depicts often unlikeable characters but endows them with enough humanity to keep you interested in their story.  Born Margaret Ann, Shriver changed her name at 15 as she felt a more traditionally male name would suit her tomboy personaility. She has eight novels to her credit.

I also read Game Control about population control. I have mixed feelings about this book and see widely varied reviews. Often I felt I might be missing some greater intellectual truth but was intrigued by the concept.


  1. I have the same problem with "We Need To Talk About Kevin", not sure I want to see the movie but I hear that Tilda Swinton is phenomenal in it.

  2. I haven't read either book, but have heard a lot about "We Need To Talk About Kevin". I often avoid difficult books like this unfortunately, as reading is my time to relax and it doesn't sound like a relaxing, fun read.

  3. Yes, it is NOT a relaxing book- so intense. Think if I see the movie I will have my eyes covered half the time.