The extraordinary new novel from the Orange Prize winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin.
What do you pack for the rest of your life?
Shepherd Knacker is bored with his humdrum existence. He's sold his successful handy-man business for a million dollars and is now ready to embark on his 'Afterlife' - a one way ticket to a small island off the coast of Africa. He tries to convince his wife Glynis to come with him, but she laughs off the idea as preposterous.
There's no way she'll let Shepherd uproot the family to some far-flung African island.
When Glynis is diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer, Shepherd's dreams of an exotic adventure are firmly put on hold. He devotes himself to caring for his sick wife, watching her fade before his eyes.
Shepherd's best friend Jackson knows all too well about illness. His sixteen year old daughter has spent her life dosed up on every treatment going while he and his wife Carol feed their youngest daughter sugar pills so she won't feel left out. But then Jackson undergoes a medical procedure of his own which has devastating consequences ...So Much For That is a deeply affecting novel, told with Lionel Shriver's trademark originality, intelligence and acute perception of the human condition.
©2010 Lionel Shriver (P)2010 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
"Wide-ranging, sometimes zany and unpredictable, this is a compelling read. And however many twists Shriver shoves in, you always believe her." (The Times)
"Many people will like Lionel Shriver's ninth novel - admirers of gripping and clever contemporary fiction, discerning critics and, if there is any justice, literary prize committees." (Guardian)
"Shriver proves she is not afraid of anything..."(Observer)
"It's a wonder that subject matter on the surface so bleak can be transformed into something so uplifting." (Daily Telegraph)
"Yes, a brilliantly funny cancer book! You can rely on Lionel Shriver to upend your expectations." (Daily Express)
"Required reading for all mortals." (Daily Mail)
This was a huge disappointment because the outline of the story did not prepare me for the real story. The narration is excellent and is probably the only reason I have hung on so long.
I have now listened for eight hours and am about to abandon this book - which goes right against the grain. I don't like not getting to the end.
Trouble is that there is only one character I have any empathy for. The rest are a whingeing, whining, boring bunch of people. I am sick to death of the whole lot.
Great read. It took me awhile to get into the story and was wondering how it could end? But it was good. A definite read if you are an ex pat in the U.S. Medical system too!
I am three quarters the way through the book and very disappointed. Every page is depressing so far and all is sickness, old age and complaints. Looking forward to the wonderful end promised by one of the reviewers. Just feel like giving up but don't like not finishing a book, so just hand me that Prozac......... The characters are as always well drawn but keep this away from anyone except eternal optimists
Terrific book - one of her best - and not depressing as you might think from reading the storyline. It's not just about cancer, but about love, firendship, how to live, how to die and as usual her characters have real depth and interest. Very moving with a particularly clever ending.
This women is an absolutely brilliant writer. Her characters are so real. Good and bad... she gets people. This starts a little slow but is SO worth it. Stick with it.
"A midlife crisis book.."
A good read where a man has reached the crossroads of his life and is at a loose end on what to do next. his wife isn't keen to leave the shores of her roots and he is dead keen to start a new life! A typical story of a long married couple and differences and how they overcome them
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