Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big Brother

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
HarperCollins; 6/4/2013
Hardcover, 384 pages
ISBN-13: 9780061458576 
 
Description:
When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn't recognize him. In the four years since the siblings last saw each other, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened?
And it's not just the weight. Imposing himself on Pandora's world, Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, makes overkill breakfasts for the family, and entices her stepson not only to forgo college but to drop out of high school.
After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me. Putting her marriage and adopted family on the line, Pandora chooses her brother—who, without her support in losing weight, will surely eat himself into an early grave.
Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat—an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much we'll sacrifice to rescue single members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

Today I'm featuring a highlight on Big Brother by Lionel Shriver. Her current novel again focuses on today's current headlines/obsessions. This time it is a family's destructive relationship with food. Pandora was a caterer. Now married to Fletcher, she cooks to show love. Her brother, Edison, is using food to ease his pain and has gained hundreds of pounds.
 
What is being said about Big Brother: 
 
“A searing, addictive novel about the power and limitations of food, family, success, and desire. Shriver examines America's weight obsession with both razor-sharp insight and compassion.” Booklist“Shriver brilliantly explores the strength of sibling bonds versus the often more fragile ties of marriage.”
Gary Shteyngart
“The fellowship of Lionel Shriver fanatics is about to grow larger, so to speak. Big Brother, a tragicomic meditation on family and food, may be her best book yet.”
The Economist
“[Shriver] has a knack for conveying subtle shifts in family dynamics..... Ms Shriver offers some sage observations... Yet her main gift as a novelist is a talent for coolly nailing down uncomfortable realities.”
Kirkus Reviews
"The book is largely about weight and America's obesity epidemic; Shriver writes thoughtfully about our diets and how our struggle to find an identity tends to lead us toward the fridge, and she describes our fleshy flaws with a candor that marks much of her fiction. But the book truly shines as a study of family relationships....The story's arc flirts with a cheeriness that's unusual for her, but a twist ending reassures us this is indeed a Shriver novel and that our certitude is just another human foible. A masterful, page-turning study of complex relationships among our bodies, our minds and our families."
Library Journal
"Brilliantly imagined, beautifully written, and superbly entertaining, Shriver's novel confronts readers with the decisive question: can we save our loved ones from themselves? A must-read for Shriver fans, this novel will win over new readers as well. Highly recommended." Lisa Block, Atlanta
 
I'm truly looking forward to reading Big Brother. Shriver is one of those gifted writers who has the ability to always use the exact word needed in every sentence. She always manages to capture the complexity of relationships. All families are dysfunctional. Shriver can delve into all that is wrong while also covering what is good.
 
Disclosure: I will be receiving an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher and TLC for review purposes. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lionel’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, June 4th: The Blog of Lit Wits
Thursday, June 6th: she treads softly
Monday, June 10th: Bibliophilia
Tuesday, June 11th: The Well-Read Redhead
Wednesday, June 12th: Man of La Book
Thursday, June 13th: Book Hooked Blog
Monday, June 17th: BookNAround
Wednesday, June 19th: nomadreader
Thursday, June 20th:  Books in the City
Monday, June 24th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, June 25th: A Dream Within A Dream
Wednesday, June 26th: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Thursday, June 27th: 5 Minutes For Books
Friday, June 28th: The Book Chick
Monday, July 1st: A Reader of Fictions
Tuesday, July 2nd: Olduvai Reads

1 comment:

heathertlc said...

Thanks for featuring the book for the tour!