We Need to Talk About Kevin

2008-09-29, Comments

We Need to Talk About Kevin

I read Lionel Shriver’s powerful novel, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, over the summer. The story centres on a school massacre and is narrated by Eva Khatchadourian, a mother who, in a series of letters to her estranged husband Franklin, comes to terms with the horrific murders committed by her son, Kevin. Even before he was born Eva had trouble with Kevin. She hated carrying him, never wanted him, resents him for spoiling her career, her marriage, her life.

It’s just a story but school massacres are very real. At first I thought the novel might be an attempt to analyse a serious subject through fiction, in which case I’d probably not have got to the end of it. In fact it’s a thriller, a page-turner. From the outset we know what is going to happen but not how. Kevin doesn’t want to be any old school murderer, he wants to do it with style, he wants to be the best. Details of the massacre he enacts are saved until last.

A horrible disturbing book. Recommended.