The Post-Birthday World is a brilliant what if? novel. But that barely scrapes the surface in describing Shriver s imaginative feat. . . .It s mad genius. . . . A tour de force. USA Today American children s book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a secure, settled life in London with her smart, loyal, disciplined partner, Lawrence until the night ...
The Post-Birthday World is a brilliant what if? novel. But that barely scrapes the surface in describing Shriver s imaginative feat. . . .It s mad genius. . . . A tour de force. USA Today American children s book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a secure, settled life in London with her smart, loyal, disciplined partner, Lawrence until the night she finds herself inexplicably drawn to kissing another man, a passionate, extravagant, top-ranked snooker player. Two competing alternate futures hinge on this single kiss, as Irina s decision to surrender to temptation or to preserve her seemingly safe partnership with Lawrence will have momentous consequences for her career, her friendships and familial relationships, and the texture of her daily life. A playful, psychologically acute, and luxuriously textured meditation on the nature of love. The New Yorker Outstanding. . . . Shriver, a brilliant and versatile writer, allows these competing stories to unfold organically, each a fully rounded drama, rich with irony, ambiguity, and unforeseeable human complications. Entertainment Weekly [A] wonderful new novel. . . . The rewards for sticking with these five-hundred-plus pages are as delicious as one of Irina s feasts. Washington Post Book World Book clubs across the USA should be buying up stacks of Lionel Shriver s dazzling Rubik s Cube of a novel. . . . Even if you re a solitary reader, file this one under Books That Will Have You Talking to yourself. USA Today"
Publishers Weekly, 2006-11-20 The smallest details of staid coupledom duel it out with a lusty alternate reality that begins when a woman passes up an opportunity to cheat on her longtime boyfriend in Shriver's latest (after the Orange Prize-winning We Need to Talk About Kevin). Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator in London, lives in comfortable familiarity with husband-in-everything-but-marriage-certificate Lawrence Trainer, and every summer the two have dinner with their friend, the professional snooker player Ramsey Acton, to celebrate Ramsey's birthday. One year, following Ramsey's divorce and while terrorism specialist "think tank wonk" Lawrence is in Sarajevo on business, Irina and Ramsey have dinner, and after cocktails and a spot of hash, Irina is tempted to kiss Ramsey. From this near-smooch, Shriver leads readers on a two-pronged narrative: one consisting of what Irina imagines would have happened if she had given in to temptation, the other showing Irina staying with Lawrence while fantasizing about Ramsey. With Jamesian patience, Shriver explores snooker tournaments and terrorism conferences, passionate lovemaking and passionless sex, and teases out her themes of ambition, self-recrimination and longing. The result is an impressive if exhausting novel. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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