My book club is reading Lionel Shriver’s The Post Birthday World.
We’re reading it because we saw her read at our library and were so tickled that she was at our little local library. Lionel Shriver? We asked. Are you sure? Yet there she was, in her sweatshirt and jeans, with her swagger and Faustian eyes. She was mesmerizing. I heard one man sigh afterwards as he reached for a glass of wine. “I have seen my soul mate.” Well, I was a wee envious because no one has ever said that about me at my readings.
So I was curious to read her book. I thought We Need to Talk about Kevin was brilliant. And so I took my precious little time and devoted it to all 600 pages of The Post Birthday World.
600 pages! The cheek.
And though I think it’s too long, I did close it curiously satisfied. And I say curiously because I spent much of the time moaning about how long it was and how annoying the characters were and how it must be nice not to have kids and spend all your time worrying about how much sex you’re having. Yet she captured something; a debate, a nervousness, an angst about long relationships. So I finally did come round to the fact that what she describes in sometimes excruciating detail was worth my time and attention.
photo by smellyknee (flickr)