Big Brother by Lionel Shriver


My friend Lizzie bought me Lionel Shriver's We need to talk about Kevin years ago. It took me ages to get round to reading it and about 100 pages to get into it. There were times when I wanted to give up but I am so glad I didn't as it was brilliant and I'd say in my top 10 favourite books of all time. I was so annoyed that it took me so long to get round to reading it. (If you haven't read it already - do so! But don't bother with the film…)

Her latest novel, Big Brother, covers obesity and before I even started the book I'd already read this interview and column so knew that she had an obese brother who died so was obviously looking at the subject from her own tragic family experience. 

Unlike We need to talk about Kevin, I was hooked from the first page, desperate to know what happened next.  

Big Brother follows main character Pandora, whose brother, Edison, is coming to stay with her and her family. 

Picking him up from the airport she doesn't recognise the brother she hasn't seen in years as he has put on hundreds of pounds.

Shocked and horrified, Pandora realises her brother has a huge problem and she is desperate to save him. But can she? And does he evens want to be saved?  

The words to sum up how I felt whilst reading are - uncomfortable, embarrassed, pity. 

There is a scene where Edison actually soils himself, leaving Pandora to clean up his mess. In this moment you feel disgusted but also so desperately sorry for the pair of them. 

Also, I couldn't help but think that this book was slightly autobiographical. Thinking it was real made it even harder to read. 

Saying that though, any book that provokes that much of an emotion has to be brilliant and Big Brother has also easily gone into my top 10 as I'm still thinking about it weeks after I finished it. 

This really is a must read and if you decided to give it a go, please let me know what you think! 


  1. this is what i'm reading at the mo, so tried not to read too much of this post. lol It's so well written xx

    1. It's a BRILLIANT book - don't worry, I don't give much away in the reviews!!
      Let me know when you finish it and what you think! x

  2. Really want to read this one Amy, it's on the list!! Will let you know what I think :)

    1. Yes do! I really loved it.

      Just had a quick read of your fabulous blog - now following! x