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Lionel Shriver - So Much For That (Spoiler alert!)

Discussion in 'Book club' started by Chris4, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. Chris4

    Chris4 New commenter

    I've just finished reading this book and would really like to know what other people have thought of it. I really enjoyed it on the whole, although it isn't easy to read in places because of all the medical details - she doesn't spare the reader any detail of the side effects. I found it was one of those books you had to actually read properly and concentrate on, reading every word. It made me realise I often read on autopilot, because some books are so predictable and you can skim whole sections of them sometimes, so I enjoyed being made to really pay attention. Jackson's suicide was really horrific though I suppose I should have seen it coming and it fitted into the structure of the book very neatly, and Beryl was a really believable monster. All the convoluted details of the American health insurance system were new to me as I'd always fondly imagined that if you were insured you were fine, so it was quite shocking at times. I found I was more emotionally engaged in it by the end than I thought and I was surprised to find myself in tears by the end. I thought that the actual move to Africa was very far-fetched but really such a brilliant ending for poor old Shep that I loved it as I was ready for a bit of fantasy after all the harrowing details earlier on and it really felt as if he had earned it all by the end. Has anyone else read it?
  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    After the first chapter or so, when I had grasped what the book was going to be about, I didn't expect to enjoy it. The author does a great job of engaging you in some mundane and depressing subject matter.
    All through it I couldn't see how it would come to a satisfactory ending. I found the ending quite abrupt but very powerful and pleasing. I had thought the same about the Post-Birthday World but I enjoyed the ending of that too.
    Lionel Shriver is so talented at crafting a fabulous story from an unusual choice of material.

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