Big Brother

It must be said, Lionel Shriver, in my estimate, is in a league of her own, and I’m working my way through her list of books. Big Brother is a story about sibling rivalry, family, and fat. When Pandora picks up her jazz muso brother, Edison, at the airport, she doesn’t recognise him. The once hunk has eaten himself to severe obesity. Edison moves in with Pandora, her husband, and step children while waiting to go on tour. But when Pandora finds out, there is no tour, and Edison has nowhere to go, she risks losing her family to save her brother. They move into an apartment and commit to sachets of diet formula. It doesn’t sound like much of a story but Lionel Shriver is an expert at extracting all that she can from a story. Her language is exquisite. This is not my favourite so far—‘So Much For That’, is. And I did find it a little slow to begin with. But I’m glad I perservered. The ending will divide. I liked it. But I can understand if some readers will see it as unsatisfactory. 

Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

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