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The Post-Birthday World Hardcover – Mar 13 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Mar 13 2007
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (March 13 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061187844
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061187841
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #412,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From Publishers Weekly

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Shriver's eighth novel will attract patient readers ready for the next step after chick lit. With dual parallel narratives, Shriver offers two paths for his protagonist, Irina, to tread: stay with her dull but stable boyfriend or run off with the exciting but volatile public figure she's only known in passing and for whom she suddenly lusts. The story lines split at a cinematic-style moment when Irina feels the urge to kiss this new love interest. In one version of the story, she kisses him, and in another, she resists temptation. Both story lines unfold predictably, but what will hook the reader is watching each run its respective course. In each version of her life, she makes choices with excruciating slowness. Her naivete notwithstanding, something about the narrative arc keeps the reader rooting for her. The addition of subplots--her relationship with her demanding and uncompromising mother, the drama of the world of British championship snooker, the unavoidable nature of international terrorism--contribute depth. This novel is ostensibly formulaic, but the details and the solid writing make it ultimately enjoyable. Debi Lewis
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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March 14, 2016
Format: Paperback
February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
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Most helpful customer reviews on 3.7 out of 5 stars 144 reviews
3.0 out of 5 starsConfusing unless you know that it's two alternate universes
August 31, 2016 - Published on
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3 people found this helpful.
Joanne Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Next Lessing With A Jane Austen Upgrade
September 10, 2010 - Published on
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4 people found this helpful.
Sonia M. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 starsAt Least We Have Snooker
June 1, 2013 - Published on
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4 people found this helpful.

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