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Download We Need to Talk About Kevin movie tie-in: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample We Need to Talk About Kevin movie tie-in: A Novel Audiobook, by Lionel Shriver Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (43,620 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lionel Shriver Narrator: Coleen Marlo Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2011 ISBN: 9780062188076
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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 sixteenth 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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Quotes & Awards

  • “It’s always a challenge for a novelist to take on front-page events. A guilt-stricken Eva Katchadourian digs into her own history, her son’s, and the nation’s, in her search for the responsible party, and her fierceness and honesty sustain the narrative; this is an impressive novel.”

    New York Times

  • “Sometimes searing…impossible to put down…brutally honest. [We Need to Talk about Kevin] drives home it chilling point. There are no answers here, no pat explanations. Shriver doesn’t take an easy way out by blaming the parents. Instead, the novel holds a mirror up to a whole culture. Who, in the end, needs to talk about Kevin? Maybe we all do.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Terribly honest. Ms. Shriver takes a calculated risk…but the gamble pays off as she strikes a tone of compelling intimacy. This is heavy material, but Ms. Shriver tackles it with admirable panache, turning a sensational story into a troubling one.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Startling…A book about the dangerous distance that exists between what we feel and what we are actually prepared to admit when it comes to family life…Shriver’s satire on child-centered families captained by adult buffoons whose intellectual, not to mention erotic, life is in pieces could not be more timely.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A thoughtful and deeply disquieting novel about a mother coming to terms with her son’s Clinton-era rampage…Beautifully conceived as a series of confessional letters from Eva to her husband Franklin, the book swiftly dispatches all the facile ‘causes’ that are usually linked to school shootings. We Need to Talk about Kevin uses this extreme case to breach a dirty little secret about family life: Much as parents are expected to love their children unconditionally, sometimes the kids don’t turn out well—or, more shamefully, their parents don’t really like them. Only after closing the book with a shocking and masterful succession of revelations does Shriver quietly emerge from the darkness, allowing the true bond between mother and son to come finally into view.”


  • “Shriver tells a compelling, absorbing, and resonant story while framing these horrifying tableaux of teenage carnage as metaphors for the larger tragedy—the tragedy of a country where everything works, nobody starves, and anything can be bought but a sense of purpose.”


  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • Winner of the 2005 Orange Prize for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily Schmidt | 2/14/2014

    " This was my favorite summer read in 2012! Although the beginning is a bit slow, once you get into the book, it's absolutely incredible. It forces you to ask yourself so many psychological questions that you probably hadn't considered before, and Lionel Shriver's writing is beautiful and captivating. This is definitely a must-read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Gledhill | 2/11/2014

    " I am going to keep my comments brief and to the point. One of the most powerful books I have read. Read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patsy | 1/28/2014

    " Fantastic totally non-likeable characters that you actually grow to love. A brilliantly written book with an amazing twist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terra | 12/28/2013

    " wow. speechless. makes you think about the relationship between mother and child. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy Bauer | 12/27/2013

    " OMG this was can't-put-down good, but so creepy and disturbing. If I hadn't stayed up late reading it, I think I would have been up anyway hiding under the covers. Set following a Columbine-like massacre, the narrator is the killer's mother, reflecting back over his childhood and trying to understand why and whether it was her fault. I've been on a "Nature Vs. Nurture" reading kick lately, and while this novel doesn't answer the (unanswerable) question, it certainly gives a lot of thought-provoking material for contemplation. Only once I was a parent did I truly realize how little control we have over our kids' temperaments. I got an easy one, but it's not too difficult to imagine being in way over my head with a more challenging kid. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cryss Plummer | 12/13/2013

    " I struggled with the writing style. But an adventure for our first book in The Village book club. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eloise | 11/9/2013

    " Wow. This book had me hooked. Superb writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fdp Erasmus | 10/5/2013

    " Very well written, but an ugly and disturbing book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ilsa | 9/21/2013

    " I've never read another book like this one...a true original. Very good read; complex, 3 dimensional characters, and no easy answers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Coley Mckenna | 9/14/2013

    " Great story. Easy read. Felt like a true story and not fiction. Brings to light issues that should be discussed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rina Mapa | 5/17/2013

    " So powerful and honest I read it twice. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alicia | 5/7/2013

    " Thought provoking. An interesting viewpoint of the role of a mother or the fears of women who have not yet become a mother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Bourke | 12/6/2012

    " Gripping,Disturbing and I could not put it down amazing story by a gifted mind...recommended but not if pregnant or trying to get pregnant! Stick to Dr Spock ! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jayne | 10/6/2012

    " This story is so disturbing. It requires a lot of soul searching about oneself and the human race in its essence. I felt as though it was my duty to struggle through it - weird response, I know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Thomas | 3/29/2012

    " Author has interesting, engaging style. I think back on Kevin often. "

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About the Author
Author Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver is a novelist whose books include Orange Prize winner We Need to Talk about Kevin, The Post-Birthday World, A Perfectly Good Family, Game Control, Double Fault, The Female of the Species, Checker and the Derailleurs, and Ordinary Decent Criminals. She is widely published as a journalist, writing features, columns, op-eds, and book reviews for the Guardian, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Economist, Marie Claire, and many other publications. She is frequently interviewed on television, radio, and in print media. She lives in London and Brooklyn.

About the Narrator

Coleen Marlo is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator who has been nominated for an Audie Award twice, winning in 2011. She has been awarded three Listen-Up Awards from Publishers Weekly, an AudioFile Audiobook of the Year Award in 2011, and was named Audiobook Narrator of the Year for 2010 by Publishers Weekly. She is a member of the prestigious Actors Studio and taught acting for ten years at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. Marlo is a proud founding member of Deyan Institute of Voice Artistry and Technology.