Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

American children's book illustrator Irina McGovern enjoys a secure, settled life in London with her smart, loyal, disciplined partner, Lawrence—until the night she finds herself inexplicably drawn to kissing another man, a passionate, extravagant, top-ranked snooker player. Two competing alternate futures hinge on this single kiss, as Irina's decision—to surrender to temptation or to preserve her seemingly safe partnership with Lawrence—will have momentous consequences for her career, her friendships and familial relationships, and the texture of her daily life.

Topics: Marriage, Adultery, and Suburbia

Published: HarperCollins on Mar 17, 2009
ISBN: 9780061749681
List price: $8.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Post-Birthday World
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

I found this book incredibly frustrating. At first, I was intrigued by the concept of how Irina's, the main character, would change if she gave into an attraction or if she stayed true to her long time boyfriend. However the frustration stems from the fact that in both universe's Irina continues to sit on the fence for a long time about either decision she made and half the time I was feeling that neither was the right decision. I think part of my problem was also that the object of her attraction, Ramsey, is not a very likeable character and aside from sexual attraction, you don't really understand what Irina sees in him. For me, Irina's revelation about herself on the last 2 pages came too little too late.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
There were several times while I was reading this novel when I wanted to set it aside and forget about it - but I had already invested a lot of time and have to admit I was a little curious about how things would work out.Basically, the plot goes like this: Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator lives with her common law husband of ten years; they are doing okay, but not great. Irina meets Ramsey Acton, a famous snooker player at his birthday dinner, whose celebration becomes tradition between the two couples until Ramsey and his wife split and Irina and Lawrence (her common-law husband) continue with just Ramsey. One year Lawrence is away and Irina celebrates with Ramsey alone. She finds she has an irresistible attraction to him and there is a moment where she must decide whether to kiss him or not. The rest of the novel explores what would have happened a) if Irina kissed Ramsey and b) if Irina did not kiss Ramsey.The best word I can use to describe this novel is exasperating. I found all of the characters annoying, petty and daft. I couldn't fathom why Irina didn't communicate with Lawrence or Ramsey - I couldn't sympathize with her because she didn't do anything to help herself (except in the instance where she put her work over attending snooker tournaments but that took long enough). She complained about having sex with Lawrence the same way every time (facing the wall). I'm sure it wouldn't have been that difficult for her to turn around - especially after 10 years of being with the guy!The plot grew tiresome as well. At first it was interesting to watch the same (or very similar) events unfold twice (Irina with Lawrence vs. Irina with Ramsey), but it quickly lost its appeal - I often felt like I was being hit over the head with parallels.All in all, I would not recommend this novel. I did read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver some time ago, and think that it was a much stronger novel.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It seems to me that the negative reviews overwhelmingly express the disappointment of not being amused and punish the author for her lack of intent to please by denigrating and dismissing her (rather sharp) political opinions and generally dark observations of human nature. People, this is NOT A CHICK LIT NOVEL. For that matter, perhaps it was mis-marketed to housewives' book clubs. Indeed, the characters are not very likeable, but they are very, very real and alive. You may not want to hang out with them -- or with the author herself -- but it's not the point. Shriver took two "what if" situations and followed each through to its logical end. The unlikeability of the characters to some readers is not a failing: they are so real that, like in real life, some people can relate to them, some may recognize themselves or parts of themselves in them, some may sympathize, and some may have emotional baggage preventing them from even being in the same room with these characters. Her sometimes annoying and unnecessary penchant to overflaunt her vocabulary aside, Shriver's style is brilliant, and her turn of a phrase is what makes her a writer with a capital WRITE. She's not perfect. She's not flawless. But she's always interesting and she never takes the easy way in or out.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

I found this book incredibly frustrating. At first, I was intrigued by the concept of how Irina's, the main character, would change if she gave into an attraction or if she stayed true to her long time boyfriend. However the frustration stems from the fact that in both universe's Irina continues to sit on the fence for a long time about either decision she made and half the time I was feeling that neither was the right decision. I think part of my problem was also that the object of her attraction, Ramsey, is not a very likeable character and aside from sexual attraction, you don't really understand what Irina sees in him. For me, Irina's revelation about herself on the last 2 pages came too little too late.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
There were several times while I was reading this novel when I wanted to set it aside and forget about it - but I had already invested a lot of time and have to admit I was a little curious about how things would work out.Basically, the plot goes like this: Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator lives with her common law husband of ten years; they are doing okay, but not great. Irina meets Ramsey Acton, a famous snooker player at his birthday dinner, whose celebration becomes tradition between the two couples until Ramsey and his wife split and Irina and Lawrence (her common-law husband) continue with just Ramsey. One year Lawrence is away and Irina celebrates with Ramsey alone. She finds she has an irresistible attraction to him and there is a moment where she must decide whether to kiss him or not. The rest of the novel explores what would have happened a) if Irina kissed Ramsey and b) if Irina did not kiss Ramsey.The best word I can use to describe this novel is exasperating. I found all of the characters annoying, petty and daft. I couldn't fathom why Irina didn't communicate with Lawrence or Ramsey - I couldn't sympathize with her because she didn't do anything to help herself (except in the instance where she put her work over attending snooker tournaments but that took long enough). She complained about having sex with Lawrence the same way every time (facing the wall). I'm sure it wouldn't have been that difficult for her to turn around - especially after 10 years of being with the guy!The plot grew tiresome as well. At first it was interesting to watch the same (or very similar) events unfold twice (Irina with Lawrence vs. Irina with Ramsey), but it quickly lost its appeal - I often felt like I was being hit over the head with parallels.All in all, I would not recommend this novel. I did read We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver some time ago, and think that it was a much stronger novel.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
It seems to me that the negative reviews overwhelmingly express the disappointment of not being amused and punish the author for her lack of intent to please by denigrating and dismissing her (rather sharp) political opinions and generally dark observations of human nature. People, this is NOT A CHICK LIT NOVEL. For that matter, perhaps it was mis-marketed to housewives' book clubs. Indeed, the characters are not very likeable, but they are very, very real and alive. You may not want to hang out with them -- or with the author herself -- but it's not the point. Shriver took two "what if" situations and followed each through to its logical end. The unlikeability of the characters to some readers is not a failing: they are so real that, like in real life, some people can relate to them, some may recognize themselves or parts of themselves in them, some may sympathize, and some may have emotional baggage preventing them from even being in the same room with these characters. Her sometimes annoying and unnecessary penchant to overflaunt her vocabulary aside, Shriver's style is brilliant, and her turn of a phrase is what makes her a writer with a capital WRITE. She's not perfect. She's not flawless. But she's always interesting and she never takes the easy way in or out.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The size of this book was a bit of an off-putter: my hardback copy was the size of a breezeblock, and the blurb didn’t grab me much but I do like the author and trusted her to make it more interesting than it sounded.The early stages were a slog. Essentially, woman faces choice between two men, one is her long term (slightly dull and intellectual) partner, and the other is a flamboyant snooker player. The story splits in two after chapter one: in the first strand she runs off with the snooker player and in the other she doesn’t. Alternate chapters follow these parallel universes, and here was my problem. Plot strand number one was so much more dynamic, you get to the end of a chapter and then have to go back over the same day, week, month, whatever, in a less interesting, less colourful , less dramatic scenario. It wasn’t long before I took the executive decision to read strand one first then go back and read strand two. Yes, instant gratification I’m afraid. Interesting things do happen in strand two, let me stress with the benefit of hindsight, but I don’t think it was as good a story. Reading it this way (and I wonder how many other readers took this route too) meant it was easier to keep track of how people were feeling and why, and whether such and such an event had happened in this universe or that. On the other hand I probably missed a lot of subtleties. Many events , dialogue and emotions were mirrored in the two universes and you probably need to read it the conventional way to appreciate them all. There was a sense of the world tugging events along in the same way despite the protagonist’s differing choices which was well done. The final chapter was immensely subtle: I didn’t realise how subtle until I reached the end of the second strand. It was a clever piece of writing, say no more.As one would expect from this author, the writing is top drawer. She can nail anything with the written word, and her understanding of the game of snooker, a sport as alien to Americans as Baseball is to Brits, is impressive. Her sketches of the real players in the game were a guilty pleasure throughout. You do have to like the main characters to enjoy this, as the supporting cast are few and have little part in the story. You will be closeted with these three people for page after page of mealtimes, bedtimes, walks to Tesco...about two hundred pages in someone utters the fateful words ‘We need to talk’ and I wished so very much that it could be about Kevin.But despite what might appear a lukewarm review, I am glad I read this. It has a lot of very astute things to say about relationships, sex, choices, free will, and has a pleasant bitter-sweet undertow. I reached the end (twice) feeling as though I had got to know the three main characters inside out. It’s the sort of book I could see myself re-reading. Maybe in a parallel universe I already have.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Life in London & in two kinds of relationships - dilemma: which one to choose, which way to go. Hilarious, yet at the same time deep diving into a mind of a woman. Resemblance to the film "Sliding doors"
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Whenever I'm trying to decide whether to give a book 4 stars or 5, I think, "Is this as good as To Kill a Mockingbird?" I think The Post-Birthday World isn't quite as good as that, but it's darned close. It's like an emotionally mature "choose your own adventure" book in which we get to see how the course of our life sometimes hinges on one decision. Shriver suggests that, in the end, the lessons we learn are the same, regardless of how we get there.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd