“Big Brother” by Lionel Shriver ~ a Book Review by Susan Karsten

This author wowed me with her intelligent, detailed novel. Reading weight-loss fiction and memoir is one of my guilty pleasures.  Big Brother qualifies with its detailed and juicy re-telling of weight loss “success”.

Less compelling is the ending. I guess I should have known that the liquid diet plot element in the second section of the book couldn’t be “true.”  But when the author gives up on the story in the last chapter and launches into a pseudo-confession of having “made up” the second half of the tale, it took away so much from the book as a whole. I now can’t heartily recommend it.

This unsatisfying ending following on the heels of another recent best-seller, “Sweet Tooth” (which also had a last chapter pulling the fictional story-world rug out from under the reader), I believe I have just caught whiff of a trend.  Is there some malign writing professor or editor somewhere instructing these authors that to punk out at the end of their books is somehow arty, compelling, or clever?

If you’ve come across any other recent books with this feature, please leave the title in the comments, if only so that I can avoid them.

4 thoughts on ““Big Brother” by Lionel Shriver ~ a Book Review by Susan Karsten

  1. I finished the book, liking Shriver’s writing, but hating the ending. Sometimes the characters seemed too annoying or difficult for someone to make sacrifices for. Actions don’t have consequences when they are not real.

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