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 ...
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.
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Publishers Weekly, 2010-05-31 Dan John Miller's performance of Shriver's novelistic inquiry into the failures of the American health care system is not to be missed. Miller's vocal choices are perfect for every character, from Shep's elderly, New Hampshire-accented father to severely disabled teenage Flicka, whose fiery intelligence come through despite her slurred speech. When Shep explains his lifelong goal of retiring to a remote, primitive country, Miller's passionate voice, full of determination and longing, makes it clear that this is no whimsical daydream, but a desperate need that is at the very core of Shep's identity. Miller's performance explores every facet of Shriver's multilayered, flawed characters, such as Shep's wife, Glynis, who is an admirably tough, uncompromisingly honest survivor, but also stubborn, rude, and often selfish. A "must-listen." A Harper hardcover. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2009-11-30 A risk taker with a protean imagination, Shriver (The Post-Birthday World) has produced another dazzling, provocative novel, a witty and timely exploration of the failure of our health-care system. Shep Knacker's long-cherished plan to use the million dollars from the sale of his handyman business to retire to a tropical island receives a gut-wrenching blow when his wife, Glynis, is diagnosed with a rare cancer. Transformed into a full-time caregiver, the good-natured Shep is buoyed during the illness of self-centered, vindictive, and obnoxiously demanding Glynis by his working mate and best friend, Jackson Burdina, whose teenage daughter, Flicka, also has a terminal disease. Ironically, Glynis tenaciously clings to life, while Flicka, with whom she bonds, wants to end hers. Jackson, meanwhile, acutely conscious that he's going broke, rails pungently against government regulations and the insurance industry. A mouthpiece for the plight of middle-class workers, Jackson's diatribes about contemporary society-the medical, educational and banking systems, exorbitant taxation, political chicanery-ring painfully true. As Shep's Merrill-Lynch account dwindles and further medical calamities arise, Shriver twists the plot to raise suspense until the heart-lifting denouement. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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