Big Brother: A Novel (Paperback)

Big Brother: A Novel By Lionel Shriver Cover Image

Big Brother: A Novel (Paperback)



“Shriver is brilliant on the novel shock that is hunger. . . . With honesty, precision and humour, she conveys all the boredom and exhilaration of weight loss, along with its tendency to threaten the people around you.” Guardian

From the New York Times bestselling author Lionel Shriver, a striking novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the Iowa airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the four years since she last saw him, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? And it's not just the weight. 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 Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: it's him or me. But which loyalty is paramount, that of a wife or a sister? For without Pandora's support, surely Edison will 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 are obligated to help members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

Lionel Shriver's fiction includes The Mandibles; Property; the National Book Award finalist So Much for That; the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World; and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, adapted for a 2010 film starring Tilda Swinton. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She’s a regular columnist for the Spectator in Britain and Harper’s Magazine in the US. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.

Product Details ISBN: 9780061458606
ISBN-10: 0061458600
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: June 10th, 2014
Pages: 400
Language: English
Series: P.S.

“As a writer, Shriver’s talents are many: She’s especially skilled at playing with readers’s reflexes for sympathy and revulsion, never letting us get too comfortable with whatever firm understanding we think we have of a character.” — Washington Post

“The moving (and shocking) finale will have you thinking about the ‘byzantine emotional mathematics’ we all put ourselves through when overwhelmed with family responsibilities.” —

“(A) delicious, highly readable novel . . . (which) raises challenging questions about how much a loving person can give to another without sacrificing his or her own well-being.” — People, People Pick (4 Stars)

Big Brother is vintage Shriver - observant, unsettling, funny, but also, as Pandora admits, ‘Very, very sad.’” — Miami Herald

“Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother has the muscle to overpower its readers. It is a conversation piece of impressive heft.” — New York Times

“The ever-caustic Shriver has great fun at the expense of crash diets and a host of other sacred pop-culture, er, cows. Politically correct it’s not, but Big Brother finds the funny - and the pathos - in fat.” — USA Today

“Her [Shriver’s] best work--Big Brother is her twelfth novel--presents characters so fully formed that they inhabit her ideas rather than trumpet them.” — New Republic

“Pandora is a masterly creation.” — New York Times Book Review

“The diet - the story of a heroically undertaken significant change - is pretty nearly irresistible. But what really powers this story, an outsize look at the most basic of human activities, eating, is a search for the definition, and appreciation, of ‘ordinary life.’” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The latest compelling, humane and bleakly comic novel from the author of We Need to Talk about Kevin.” — Evening Standard (London)

“A great plot setup that presents an array of targets for Shriver to obliterate with her knife-sharp prose.” — The Rumpus

“A surprising sledgehammer of a novel” — The Times (London)

“A gutsy, heartfelt novel” — Sunday Times (London)

“What would you do for love of a brother? For love of a husband? For love of food? In Big Brother, Shriver’s new and wonderfully timely novel, her heroine wrestles with these vexing questions. Only the scales don’t lie.” — Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

“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.” — Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

“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.” — J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Maine and Commencement

“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.” — Library Journal

“An intelligent meditation on food, guilt, and the real (and imagined) debts we owe the ones we love.” — Publishers Weekly

“Shriver brilliantly explores the strength of sibling bonds versus the often more fragile ties of marriage.” — Booklist

“[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.” — The Economist

“Shriver is brilliant on the novel shock that is hunger. . . . Most of all, though, there’s her glorious, fearless, almost fanatically hard-working prose.” — Guardian

“Shriver is wonderful at the things she is always wonderful at. Pace and plot. . . . Psychology.” — Independent

“Would I recommend Big Brother? Absolutely. It confronts the touchy subject of American lard exuberantly and intelligently; it makes you think about what you put in your mouth and why.” — Bloomberg