So Much For That by Lionel Shriver

So Much For That by Lionel Shriver

Reviewed by Erin

It almost seems impossible that a novel that cracks open the health care system could be so supremely readable and enjoyable, but that’s the genius of Lionel Shriver. Shep has sold his handyman company, and he is ready to leave the American Dream behind and retire in an exotic locale. Nobody, even his wife and son,  are going to hold him back—sort of. Well, it would be a very short, boring book if it all worked out, so basically all manner of serious misfortune derails Shep’s dream. His wife gets a rare, fast-moving cancer, and the novel unfolds as his bank account depletes. It’s hard to watch Shep’s dream unfurl,  but Shriver’s witty banter softens the blow. Did I mention that his dad is holed up in a nursing home too? And his best friend has a child with complex medical issues?  Yep, Shriver is hitting the health care systems from all angles, and yet. . . it doesn’t feel contrived (90% of the time) and you can even laugh through it. The second half of the book really takes off, and you are bouncing along with it.  You’ll be saving for your own private island by the end.

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2 thoughts on “So Much For That by Lionel Shriver

  1. Karen Dwyer

    I think the thing about that book that I still think about: It has the most implausible, ridiculous of endings. But despite this, the ending “works”, and it’s the ending that’s been promised in Shep’s imagination the whole time. It’s wish fulfillment of the basest kind, and most contemporary literature cannot pull that off. Shriver does, and she does it beautifully.

    Reply
    1. The Sisterhood Post author

      Lionel Shriver just makes me happy as a writer on so many levels. You sum up the genius of the ending perfectly. Still love this book. –Erin

      Reply

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