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The Post-Birthday World
by Lionel Shriver

Published: 2007-03-01
Hardcover : 517 pages
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In this eagerly awaited new novel, Lionel Shriver, the Orange Prize-winning author of the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, delivers an imaginative and entertaining look at the implications, large and small, of whom we choose to love. Using a playful parallel-universe ...

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Introduction

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In this eagerly awaited new novel, Lionel Shriver, the Orange Prize-winning author of the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, delivers an imaginative and entertaining look at the implications, large and small, of whom we choose to love. Using a playful parallel-universe structure, The Post-Birthday World follows one woman's future as it unfolds under the influence of two drastically different men.

Children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a quiet and settled life in London with her partner, fellow American expatriate Lawrence Trainer, a smart, loyal, disciplined intellectual at a prestigious think tank. To their small circle of friends, their relationship is rock solid. Until the night Irina unaccountably finds herself dying to kiss another man: their old friend from South London, the stylish, extravagant, passionate top-ranking snooker player Ramsey Acton. The decision to give in to temptation will have consequences for her career, her relationships with family and friends, and perhaps most importantly the texture of her daily life.

Hinging on a single kiss, this enchanting work of fiction depicts Irina's alternating futures with two men temperamentally worlds apart yet equally honorable. With which true love Irina is better off is neither obvious nor easy to determine, but Shriver's exploration of the two destinies is memorable and gripping. Poignant and deeply honest, written with the subtlety and wit that are the hallmarks of Shriver's work, The Post-Birthday World appeals to the what-if in us all.

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "I could not dislike this book any more"by bookmobile (see profile) 06/17/15

I read 100 pages of 514. I just could not get into this story or care about it. It took me a week to make 100 pages.

 
  "Don't miss this one"by Hosozawa (see profile) 12/08/09

LOVED it! So well written and captivating! Took 50 pages or so to get into the rhythm of it and then it's a non stop ride.

 
  "Irina goes back and forth between life with two different men."by christymg (see profile) 09/13/08

Very different and interesting. A little slow at the beginning, but worth it.

 
  "Half & Half"by daisyjaime (see profile) 06/27/08

We have a five member book club and two of us loved the book and the other three thought it was "pretty good." Lionel Shriver definitely has a different style of writing than other authors that takes... (read more)

 
  "While members disagreed about the book, it led to lively discussion"by tivolipr (see profile) 05/16/08

Our group was split on this title. Some loved it, reveling in the characters and wanting to learn more about snooker. Others were not so charitable; not everyone managed to finish it, and a ... (read more)

 
  "Definitely worthy of discussion, however"by lptucker411 (see profile) 08/22/07

I believe the author was incredibly 'wordy' and much of the story was unnecessary. I found the English slang distracting, but thought the idea of the parallel lives intriguing. We had fun discussing... (read more)

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