So Much for That

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9780007271085: So Much for That

What do you pack for the rest of your life? The explosive new novel from the Orange Prize-winning author of We Need to Talk About Kevin Shepherd Knacker has been saving all his working life for a one way ticket away from the daily grind. When he sells his handyman business for $1million, 'The Afterlife' seems tantalisingly within reach. Yet his wife has concocted one reason after another why now isn't the time to go. Determined to take the plunge, Shep announces that he is leaving for an island off the coast of Tanzania: with or without her. However, Glynis has an announcement of her own - she needs his health insurance. Illustrating how a marriage is both stressed and strengthened by medical crisis, So Much for That puts the uncomfortable fiscal question: how much is one life worth? Enlivened by Shriver's signature acerbity and political outrage, it's surely the funniest and most entertaining novel about illness and death one's ever likely to read.

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From the Back Cover:

From the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World comes a searing, ruthlessly honest new novel about a marriage both stressed and strengthened by the demands of serious illness.

Shep Knacker has long saved for "The Afterlife": an idyllic retreat to the Third World where his nest egg can last forever. Traffic jams on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway will be replaced with "talking, thinking, seeing, and being"—and enough sleep. When he sells his home repair business for a cool million dollars, his dream finally seems within reach. Yet Glynis, his wife of twenty-six years, has concocted endless excuses why it's never the right time to go. Weary of working as a peon for the jerk who bought his company, Shep announces he's leaving for a Tanzanian island, with or without her.

Just returned from a doctor's appointment, Glynis has some news of her own: Shep can't go anywhere because she desperately needs his health insurance. But their policy only partially covers the staggering bills for her treatments, and Shep's nest egg for The Afterlife soon cracks under the strain.

Enriched with three medical subplots that also explore the human costs of American health care, So Much for That follows the profound transformation of a marriage, for which grave illness proves an unexpected opportunity for tenderness, renewed intimacy, and dry humor. In defiance of her dark subject matter, Shriver writes a page-turner that presses the question: How much is one life worth?

About the Author:

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. Earlier books include Double Fault, A Perfectly Good Family, and Checker and the Derailleurs. Her novels have been translated into twenty-five different languages. Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She lives in London and New York City.

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