Today's post comes from Erica at Harper Perennial, about the amazing novel which is now an acclaimed film, We Need To Talk About Kevin. Read on for her thoughts on this book club favorite and check out our contest to win copies of the book, the DVD of the movie and the movie poster!
When I first began working for HarperCollins, I was amazed by the free shelf. For those of you who might not know, the free shelf (sometimes called the take shelf) is where people leave the books they no longer need. Accidentally order twice as many copies as you need? Leave them on the take shelf for your colleagues! It’s a wonderful, amazing thing. And one day not long after I started here, I found a book on the take shelf that was equally wonderful and amazing: Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin.
I had heard of the book, but I had no idea what it was about. I was sucked in after I read the description on the back, and I tore through the book in a matter of days. It was my first introduction to Lionel Shriver’s writing, and I was blown away. I’ve never read another writer who is so good at writing about “unlikeable” women—women with their own desires and ambitions, women struggling to retain a sense of self at all costs, women who cannot be explained in one sentence.
So who could be better suited to play a Shriver heroine than Tilda Swinton? In the movie of We Need to Talk About Kevin, out now and expanding into theaters across the country, she brings every one of Shriver’s words into her performance in the role of Eva. When I saw it, I was transfixed by her face. She was brilliant at showing all of Eva’s fear, loathing, and resentment without uttering a single word.
The book has long been a favorite of book clubs because there’s so much in it to discuss. Is Eva a bad mother? Is Kevin a bad son? Was he born that way? The movie is the best kind of adaptation—the kind that adds new insights into these questions and then raises questions of its own.
Find a theater near you showing We Need To Talk About Kevin. Browse inside the book, read an interview with Lionel Shriver and check out the reading group guide. If you've read and/or seen We Need to Talk about Kevin, leave a comment with your thoughts about the book, the film or the adaptation of the former into the latter and you'll be entered to win one of 15 book, DVD and poster sets we have to give away. Haven't seen Kevin yet? You can still enter, just post a comment about another book adapted into a film and why you liked it - or didn't! I'll choose 15 random winners from all comments received by midnight Sunday, March 4th.