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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.1 out of 5
5 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Triathlete heaven or hell?

    DISCLAIMER: I do not share the personal views of this author but I have have the book fairly. NO SPOILERS I have read two of Lionel Shriver’s previous books, The Post-Birthday World and We Need to Talk about Kevin. One I loved, one I really, really did not love, though not in that order. So, it being a draw, I was keen to read her latest novel and I can now say LOVE is winning 2-1. Being the wife of a triathlete, I recognized and empathised with much of this book but also tore my hair out a little at the extremism portrayed, although I realise without it, the book would not work; but I wanted to scrawl in the margins “This is not the norm!” Shriver has taken the worst of a situation the make a point and actually, the point is very valid. This book is not simply about a man training for a triathlon (all the technical stuff and events themselves are spot on….been there, done that and he has the t-shirts!) and a woman facing a knee replacement; it is a detailed study of the human condition at its best and worst. Shriver writes of blind faith, cults, the fear of being left behind, the need for validation, the pointlessness of validation, racism, privilege, misogyny, pride, vanity, acceptance of change, fighting change…it’s all here! And she does it with wonderful wit. The style is easy to read but not simple; the dialogue is sharp, paced and utterly brilliant. Whilst I was not racing to the end (see what I did there?) for the conclusion, I enjoyed every page and it is not often I can say that about a book. It is not a wordy masterpiece, but it is a very worthwhile read.

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  • Sharp read.

    An insightful contemporary read with a barb. Fitness, ageing, children, grandchildren

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  • Good

    Some may find this book over wordy and pompous. The lead characters are very self sufficient in the beginning but that changes. Generally I wouldn’t like that much dialogue but it fits with the theme and the close relationship they have. And thankfully there is a limited amount of constant description of the scenery (my pet hate) I found most of the characters believable if not likeable. But then in life, how many people are? An interesting look at the mass fitness world and what drives people to “get fit” as well as family relationships and ageing. Her final summary may seem a bit trite and then depressing, but on second reading, it gives me hope that the whole process of ageing should be embraced and we should treat ourselves and others more kindly. I read this because I adored “We need to talk about Kevin” Not in the same class but still a good read for me. I have recommended it to others.

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