I always look forward to Lionel Shriver’s novelsespecially in summer, because she writes the exact opposite of an easy “beach read.” The last one I devoured, So Much for That (2010), was such a feel-bad book about cancer (with an entirely believable insanely happy ending) that it made me feel like either killing myself or planning a joyous vacation. I can’t wait to get my hands on her new one, Big Brother (HarperCollins). It concerns morbid obesity and fame. Don’t they go together like love and marriage, a horse and carriage? Here’s the real reason I love Lionel Shriver: PLOT! PLOT! PLOT! Nobody is as good as she at pulling the narrative rug from under your feet. She’s a scarily smart, easily irritated, and impossible-to-predict writer who doesn’t suffer foolish readers. As Lionel herself might say, “Shut up and buy the book.”
John Waters is currently finishing
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