We Need to Talk About Kevin

  • by Lionel Shriver
  • Narrated by Coleen Marlo
  • 16 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Eva never really wanted to be a mother - and certainly not the mother of a boy who ends up murdering seven of his fellow high school students, a cafeteria worker, and a much-adored teacher who tried to befriend him, all two days before his 16th birthday. Now, two years later, it is time for her to come to terms with marriage, career, family, parenthood, and Kevin’s horrific rampage, in a series of startlingly direct correspondences with her estranged husband, Franklin. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

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What the Critics Say

“Shriver handles this material, with its potential for cheap sentiment and soap opera plot, with rare skill and sense.” (Newark Star Ledger)
“A slow, magnetic descent into hell that is as fascinating as it is disturbing.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
“Powerful [and] harrowing.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A smart, chilling story. Told in a very unique way

It took me a while to get used to the fact that this story was being told through letters, which the mother had written. At first I thought, "How could this possibly work?" But, it does. By the end, it all comes together as to why the story is being told through letters. It kept my attention the whole time. If you want a chilling, psychological disections of a family "blessed" with a psychopath for a son, then you'll LOVE this book.

Narrarator was excellent. I'm sure I'm not the first person on here to say this, but I now have ZERO desire to see this as a movie. There's no way it could live up to the book. Very well done!
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- aaron "Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!"

A Novel Worth Talking About

If you could sum up We Need to Talk About Kevin in three words, what would they be?

Chilling, engrossing, real.


What was one of the most memorable moments of We Need to Talk About Kevin?

There were so many exquisitely detailed moments that--forced to pick just one--I'm going to cheat a bit and choose a recurring theme, that of Eva revisiting again and again the birth of her son, and the emotions it did and did not stir in her. But there are many other situations in this story equally as memorable.


Which character ??? as performed by Coleen Marlo ??? was your favorite?

It has to be Eva, the narrator. Marlo's characterization never faltered--pitch-perfect throughout.


If you could take any character from We Need to Talk About Kevin out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I'd take Kevin, for all the same reasons Eva took him to dinner.


Any additional comments?

A compelling listen, one I'll listen to again at least once, and probably more. So richly textured that I'm not certain they'll be able to do it justice with a two hour movie.

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- MJ "Retired pediatric RN, voracious reader, mom to 17 year old son, occasional writer of fan fiction."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-27-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio