Monday, September 11, 2006

We need to talk about Kevin

Wasn't sure whether i started reading this because it was one of those 'everybody's reading it' books or because i was interested in it for its own sake.

I'm glad i read it but i didn't enjoy it... Or rather, its not a book to be comfortable with, it isn't fun to read, it is a difficult read in terms of content, it is hard work.

On the other hand it is compelling, well written, a good read in the sense of being able to appreciate the craft of the writer, the details which make up a life, a style which is engaging and involving.

I would recommend this book, because if nothing else it causes the reader to ask questions, to consider where evil acts come from, to wonder about the depths of human nature, to think about our society and to wonder at the messed up world we live in. Not a piece of escapist fiction or a celebration of violence or a stark account of the world this is unquestionably a book of depth and resonance.

As a parent i found it disturbing, as a husband it made me think again about how well i listen to my partner and take note of my children, as a person it made me at times despair at the state of Western society and the violence that runs through our culture. In telling the story through letters from a mother to her (apparently estranged) husband it comes across in a very personal way.

Worth reading, don't expect to be happy about it by the end.

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