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Game Control by Lionel Shriver

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A blackly comic novel from the author of We need to talk about Kevin, this was first published in 1994 and languished out of print for years till the success of ‘Kevin’ shone a spotlight on her earlier work. Set in 90s Africa this is a deeply un-PC novel that pits a liberal family planning activist do-gooder against a misanthrope as darker forces than they are at work to consider population ‘management’. Not one to read if you want to like the characters but a dark and still prescient work.

If you like Lionel Shriver you might also like to read books by Anita Shreve, Simon Lelic and Douglas Coupland.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Game Control by Lionel Shriver

From the Orange Prize-winning author of WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN comes a grimly comic tale of bad ideas and good intentions. With a deft, droll touch, Shriver highlights the hypocrisy of lofty intellectuals who would save humanity but who don't like people. Eleanor Merritt, a do-gooding American family-planning worker, was drawn to Kenya to improve the lot of the poor. Unnervingly, she finds herself falling in love with the beguiling Calvin Piper despite, or perhaps because of, his misanthropic theories about population control and the future of the human race. Surely, Calvin whispers seductively in Eleanor's ear, if the poor are a responsibility they are also an imposition. Set against the vivid backdrop of shambolic modern-day Africa - a continent now primarily populated with wildlife of the two-legged sort - this is a wry, grimly comic tale of bad ideas and good intentions.


Praise for Lionel Shriver: 'One of the most magnetically compelling writers working today. Witty, caustic and worldly

'A brilliant writer. She has a strong, clear and strangely seductive voice. The characters are strong ... so moving it will make you want to gasp or cry'

'Shriver is an incisive social satirist with a clear grip on the ironies of our contemporary age'
LA Times

'Shriver gives us another passionate novel...Like Sliding Doors, the tale splits into two, following the dramatic turns of each choice. Brilliant'

'Terrific - a provocative tale of devotion, suffering, and other familiar accoutrements of love'

About the Author

Lionel Shriver

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. Other books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and So Much for That. Lionel’s novels have been translated into twenty-five different languages and. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th February 2015


Lionel Shriver

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The Borough Press an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


384 pages


Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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