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Big Brother: A Novel
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
HarperAudio 2013
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description

Big Brother is a striking novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity from Lionel Shriver, the acclaimed author the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin.

For Pandora, cooking is a form of love. Alas, her husband, Fletcher, a self-employed high-end cabinetmaker, now spurns the "toxic" dishes that he'd savored through their courtship, and spends hours each day to manic cycling. Then, when Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the years since they've seen one another, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? After Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me.
Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much sacrifice we'll make to save single members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
06/04/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062263186
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lionel Shriver. (2013). Big Brother: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lionel Shriver. 2013. Big Brother: A Novel. HarperAudio.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lionel Shriver, Big Brother: A Novel. HarperAudio, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lionel Shriver. Big Brother: A Novel. Unabridged HarperAudio, 2013.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:22:39
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:46:55
Last Metadata Check:
Aug 07, 2022 09:49:21
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Check:
Aug 07, 2022 09:49:24
Last Availability Change:
Feb 05, 2022 12:36:59
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Aug 11, 2022 02:08:35

OverDrive Product Record

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        Lionel Shriver's novels include The New Republic, So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

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edition
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title
Big Brother
fullDescription

Big Brother is a striking novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity from Lionel Shriver, the acclaimed author the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin.

For Pandora, cooking is a form of love. Alas, her husband, Fletcher, a self-employed high-end cabinetmaker, now spurns the "toxic" dishes that he'd savored through their courtship, and spends hours each day to manic cycling. Then, when Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at the airport, she doesn't recognize him. In the years since they've seen one another, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened? After Edison has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me.
Rich with Shriver's distinctive wit and ferocious energy, Big Brother is about fat: an issue both social and excruciatingly personal. It asks just how much sacrifice we'll make to save single members of our families, and whether it's ever possible to save loved ones from themselves.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        March 11, 2013
        Shriver (We Need to Talk About Kevin) returns to the family in this intelligent meditation on food, guilt, and the real (and imagined) debts we owe the ones we love. Ex-caterer Pandora has made it big with a custom doll company that creates personal likenesses with pull-string, sometimes crude, catch phrases. The dolls speak to the condition of these characters—all trapped in destructive relationships with food (and each other): Pandora cooks to show love, to the delight of her compulsively fit husband Fletcher, whose refusal to eat dairy or vary from his biking routine are the outward manifestation of his remove. Pandora’s brother Edison eats to ease the pain of a stalled music career and broken marriage. And both live somewhat uncomfortably in the shadow of their father’s TV fame. In Big Brother, nothing reveals character more scathingly than food. Early in the book, the nearly 400-pound Edison arrives—waddling through an Iowa airport with a “ground eating galumph”—a man transformed in the four years since his sister last saw him. He brings the novel energy as well as an occasionally unpalatable maudlin drama. But Pandora will risk everything, including her own health, to save him. If this devotion and Pandora’s increasing success with Edison’s diet plan sometimes seem chirpily false, a late reveal provides devastating justification. Agent: Kim Witherspoon, Inkwell Management.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 15, 2013

        Pandora hasn't seen her older brother, Edison, a hip New York jazz musician, in four years. When she picks him up at an Iowa airport, he gives her the shock of her life: Edison has gained over 200 pounds and is unrecognizable. His visit is an intrusion into Pandora's home, which she shares with her fitness-freak husband, Fletcher, and her two adopted children. National Book Award finalist and New York Times best-selling novelist Shriver (So Much for That; We Need To Talk About Kevin) is known for her unstinting scrutiny of timely topics. Now she confronts the social but also painfully private issue of obesity through sibling relationships and marriage. However, the novel is essentially about fat--the nature of our relationship to food, why we overeat, and whether crash diets really work. As Fletcher becomes incensed with his brother-in-law's appalling eating habits, slovenly appearance, and careless behavior, he gives Pandora an ultimatum: it's him or me. VERDICT Brilliantly imagined, beautifully written, and superbly entertaining, Shriver's novel confronts readers with the decisive question: can we save our loved ones from themselves? A must-read for Shriver fans, this novel will win over new readers as well. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 12/9/12.]--Lisa Block, Atlanta

        Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from April 1, 2013
        A woman is at a loss to control her morbidly obese brother in the latest feat of unflinching social observation from Shriver (The New Republic, 2012, etc.). Pandora, the narrator of this smartly turned novel, is a happily settled 40-something living in a just-so Iowa home with her husband and two stepchildren and running a successful business manufacturing custom dolls that parrot the recipient's pet phrases. Her brother, Edison, is a New York jazz pianist who's hit the skids, and when he calls hoping to visit for a while, she's happy to assist. But she's aghast to discover he's ballooned from a trim 163 to nearly 400 pounds. Edison can be a pretentious blowhard to start with, and his weight makes him an even more exasperating houseguest, clearing out the pantry, breaking furniture and driving a wedge in Pandora's marriage. So Pandora concocts a scheme: She'll move out to live with Edison while monitoring his crash diet of protein-powder drinks. The book is largely about weight and America's obesity epidemic; Shriver writes thoughtfully about our diets and how our struggle to find an identity tends to lead us toward the fridge, and she describes our fleshy flaws with a candor that marks much of her fiction. But the book truly shines as a study of family relationships. As Pandora spends a year as Edison's cheerleader, drill sergeant and caregiver, Shriver reveals the complex push and pull between siblings and has some wise and troubling things to say about guilt, responsibility and how what can seem like tough love is actually overindulgence. The story's arc flirts with a cheeriness that's unusual for her, but a twist ending reassures us this is indeed a Shriver novel and that our certitude is just another human foible. A masterful, page-turning study of complex relationships among our bodies, our minds and our families.

        COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 1, 2013
        Shriver continues her fictional inquiry into the timely topic of obesity, launched in the The New Republic (2012), with a novel about how weight problems can alter the dynamics of a family in devastating ways. Pandora is a successful entrepreneur living in Iowa with her uptight husband, Fletcher. Pandora's brother, Edison, is a once-popular jazz pianist in New York who can no longer pay his rent. Against Fletcher's wishes, Pandora sends Edison a plane ticket to Iowa; when he arrives, she almost doesn't recognize him owing to the hundreds more pounds he carries than when she last saw him. Edison's slovenly habits disgust Fletcher, a nutritional Nazi, so when Pandora commits to helping Edison lose all those pounds, the siblings move to an apartment nearby. Shriver creates suspense by adroitly involving the reader in Pandora's effort to help her brother, and as in previous novels, she injects an unexpected twist at the end, which some readers may find annoying rather than clever. Nevertheless, Shriver brilliantly explores the strength of sibling bonds versus the often more fragile ties of marriage.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2013, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription

From the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin comes a striking new novel about siblings, marriage, and obesity.

When Pandora picks up her older brother Edison at her local Iowa airport, she literally doesn't recognize him. In the four years since the siblings last saw each other, the once slim, hip New York jazz pianist has gained hundreds of pounds. What happened?

And it's not just the weight. Imposing himself on Pandora's world, Edison breaks her husband Fletcher's handcrafted furniture, makes overkill breakfasts for the family, and entices her stepson not only to forgo college but to drop out of high school.

After the brother-in-law has more than overstayed his welcome, Fletcher delivers his wife an ultimatum: It's him or me. Putting her marriage and adopted family on the line, Pandora chooses her brother—who, without her support in losing weight...

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publisher
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