Tuesday, 28 February 2012

bookworm #4

We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

This has got to be one of the most f*cked up books I have ever read. That's not to say it isn't excellent - it is - but it really pushes the boundaries of the nature/nurture debate. 

Kevin is born to a mother who doesn't want him - she resents him for ruining her relationship with her husband and disturbing her life as she knows it. Conversely, his father is completely besotted with him and would do anything for him. Most 'normal' children would thrive on this, but not Kevin. He resents his father for being an all-American dad; seeing him as a cliche, weak and embarrassing.  
Kevin goes to do to terrible things - not only the events of  'Thursday' which are discussed throughout the whole book - but other awful acts which make us think, can someone be born evil? The debate centres around whether Kevin's actions were a result of his mother's love (0r lack of it), or whether he is well and truly evil. 

I have to admit I loved this book. It took me a while to get into - it's written as a series of letters from his mother Eva to his father Franklin - but the series of events and inevitable outcome keep you hooked throughout. There's a pretty shocking twist right at the end, which I was able to guess only a couple of pages before it happened. Personally, I felt very little sympathy for Kevin. The nature of some of his actions and crimes just make me think he is well and truly different from any other child - no matter how little his mother may have loved him. 

Like One Day they've made a film out of this which is out on DVD in the UK now, which I watched last weekend. Although Tilda Swinton and Ezra Miller give great performances of Eva and Kevin, I wasn't massively impressed with the film itself. The book is solid - it's pretty long and full of anecdotes, description and the thoughts of Eva. I felt the film didn't really get these across, but how much can you in the time frame? I think I would have been pretty confused and disappointed if I hadn't read the book, as although it is shot/filmed as it is read in the book, this isn't necessarily always logical. It was good to see the film adaptation, but it is nothing compared to the book. 

Have you read We Need To Talk About Kevin? What do you think? Were you able to feel any sympathy for Kevin?

Sunday, 26 February 2012

dogs and doors

A selection of Madrid's finest pooches... 
I suppose we can officially say I am a crazy dog lady!

... and my other obsession it seems, doors...!
Hope you like my selection of pictures from Madrid, albeit it slightly bizarre. 

And lastly... me and jemima.and.ted (also known as Kat!) soaking up the rays. Check out her Madrid snaps here, and also our pal MediaMarmalade's piccies

~Blogging pals IRL 4eva~

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


My feet had a breakdown from flying and then walking all day in heeled boots so I bought some pretty cool trainers for 10 euros. I looked very European.

and for the food...

Last weekend, seven friends and I jumped on a flight to Madrid for three days of Spanish sights, food, sun and laughs. 
Hope you like my pics - more to come later in the week! I managed to take more than a few snaps of dogs and doors. Not sure this came about (although my friends will tell you how I become mad when a cute dog is in sight) but they are fun none-the-less! 

Friday, 10 February 2012

bookworm #3

Like so many other keen readers (and not-so-keen readers alike) I grabbed a copy of One Day when I heard it was being made into a film starring some hottie and Anne Hathaway. I really enjoyed the book; David Nicholls is a hilarious writer and manages to engage the reader even when not much is happening in the story! I suppose that is my main 'issue' (if you can call it that) with Nicholls' books - not much happens. It took me a while to get into The Understudy, and not much happens in it (at all!), but again it is easy to read and funny. I love how he writes about the characters; you really can picture them in your head and sympathise with them as many hilarious but awful things happen to them - in both One Day and The Understudy. 

On another note, I really enjoyed the film adaptation of One Day - Anne Hathaway's 'English' accent was hilariously awful and Jim Sturgess played a down-and-out Dexter brilliantly. Although the book was moving and upsetting in places, it is nothing compared to the film... I literally bawled my eyes out. My friend's weren't sure if I was laughing or crying and seemed genuinely worried about me - it was an embarrassing moment!

Next up for me in the Nicholls' series is Starter For Ten which is about a student attempting to get on University Challenge. Apparently there's been a film adaptation of this too - will have to check it out!

In other news, me and seven girl friends are going to Madrid a week today! Can't wait, I love the bonuses of being a teacher.... holidays!

Would love some tips on where to go, what to eat, what to do etc from anyone whose been there? 
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