So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
A Novel

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Synopsis

“Shriver has a gift for creating real and complicated characters… A highly engrossing novel.” — San Francisco Chronicle

From New York Times bestselling author Lionel Shriver (The Post-Birthday World, We Need to Talk About Kevin), comes a searing, deeply humane novel about a crumbling marriage resurrected in the face of illness, and a family’s struggle to come to terms with disease, dying, and the obscene cost of medical care in modern America.

 

About Lionel Shriver

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Lionel Shriver's novels include the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, which won the 2005 Orange Prize and has now sold over a million copies worldwide. Earlier books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and Checker and the Derailleurs. Her novels have been translated into twenty-five languages. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.
 
Published March 9, 2010 by HarperCollins e-books. 452 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for So Much for That

Kirkus Reviews

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(The book is mostly set in 2005, before Congress’ healthcare reform efforts.) Metaphorically overstating the point that institutional greed affects individual vitality, the book also chronicles Jackson’s botched penis-enlargement surgery, and that’s just part of the piling-on: It also tracks the ...

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The New York Times

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Shriver has set up all these medical story lines — involving Glynis, Flicka, Jackson, and Shep’s father — to explore the plight of middle-class Americans squeezed by the current health care system, but it’s a testament to her gifts as a novelist that she turns this schematic outline into a viscer...

Mar 01 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The New York Times

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He sees Glynis’s surgery as “gouging a meaty chunk” from his portfolio, “as if to fiscally mirror the violence inflicted on his wife’s abdomen.” Conversely, his thoughts on mortality conform to the lingo of finance: as far as he’s concerned, the fact that Glynis is dying at age 51 means she is “o...

Mar 11 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The Guardian

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It's a dark art, the dramatised, 15-minute Radio 4 story.

Oct 25 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The Guardian

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Many people will like Lionel Shriver's ninth novel – admirers of gripping and clever contemporary fiction, discerning critics and, if there is any justice, literary prize committees.

Mar 27 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The Guardian

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Lionel Shriver's furious, unflinching new novel opens with Shep Knacker, a disillusioned small businessman, planning to escape to early retirement on a spice island off the coast of Africa ("He loved the notion of living in a place his spellchecker didn't recognise").

Mar 28 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

NPR

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None of us really wants to think about those questions, but it's illuminating, entertaining and horrifying to watch Shep go through the process.Chapter OneShepherd Armstrong KnackerMerrill Lynch Account Number 934-23F917December 01, 2004 — December 31, 2004Net Portfolio Value: $731,778.56What do ...

Apr 06 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

Book Reporter

First there is the intrusion of a grand guignol shocker (I won’t be a spoiler, but believe me, this event is bizarre and off-key --- the plot is not so much twisted as totally distorted), then a sort-of-happy trick ending.

Jan 23 2011 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The Washington Post

Once again Lionel Shriver has stomped into the middle of a pressing national debate with a great ordeal of a novel that's impossible to ignore.

Mar 17 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

The Telegraph

A wry reversal of the work ethic gives the characters a transcendent sense of moving on.

Mar 15 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

USA Today

Shep still works at the Brooklyn handyman business he once owned and then sold to an employee (who's now his nasty boss) for a million dollars, mostly, it seems, so he can hang out with his best friend, the amusing blowhard Jackson Burdina.Jackson, who has a hyper-articulate teenage daughter who ...

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Lionel Shriver's pointed and poignant new novel, So Much for That, is about not just Glynis Knacker's battle with mesothelioma and its effect on friends and family, but also about the financial and medical excesses of the American health care system.

Mar 22 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

Denver Post

There is a plastic surgery plot strand that seems, at times, gratuitous, and there are times when the reader, on Shep's behalf, wants to slap some of those who rely on him.

Mar 14 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

PopMatters

Shep despises Randy, who returns the favor, but Shep desperately needs the job, which provides health insurance for Glynis.

Apr 26 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Robin Vidimos New York Times 4 of 5 Stars "Though there is one farcical plot development that is poorly woven into the emotional fabric of the story, and though some of the asides about health care feel shoehorned into the narrative, the author's understanding of her people is so intimate, s...

Mar 08 2010 | Read Full Review of So Much for That: A Novel

Reader Rating for So Much for That
68%

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