We need to talk about “We need to talk about Kevin”

One of the most thought-provoking books that I have ever read is Lionel Shriver’s “We need to talk about Kevin”. I can’t imagine that fifty years ago it would have dared to be published, let alone win the Orange Prize for Literature.

So it’s a credit to today’s more candid society that Shriver could have written a book about a parent-child relationship that isn’t total bliss. Whilst the novel is described as taboo-breaking, gutsy and startling, which means that most people would have had some reservations about the theme of not really liking one’s child, the author has excused herself to some extent by making her child a sort of Damien Omen character and that is a kind of cop-out, in my opinion. Continue reading


Short but not sweet

Hasbro, the company which produces the most famous board games, has brought out quick twenty minute versions of Monopoly and Scrabble because nowadays there is no time to play a decent game. Apparently, our lifestyle does not allow children to play a game that may take a couple of hours. We are told that children today are so time poor that they have to emulate Road Runner (Beep Beep) on speed. What rubbish!. Continue reading

Cheap and nasty? No way.

Reading the ads for Mothers’ Day I was once again stunned by the cheapness of electrical goods from China and S.E. Asia. At a time when a meal in a restaurant is rarely less than $50 you can buy an electric wok for the same price. An electric rice cooker sells for as little as $29. Such appliances are so inexpensive that when they break down the manufacturer doesn’t even bother repairing them. It wouldn’t be worth his while. Instead, the manufacturing company replaces any faulty appliances in the first year.

Can anyone ask for better than that? Continue reading