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The Post-Birthday World

A Novel

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


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.

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 20, 2006 – The smallest details of staid coupledom duel it out with a lusty alternate reality that begins when a woman passes up an opportunity to cheat on her longtime boyfriend in Shriver's latest (after the Orange Prize winning We Need to Talk About Kevin). Irina McGovern, a children's book illustrator in London, lives in comfortable familiarity with husband-in-everything-but-marriage-certificate Lawrence Trainer, and every summer the two have dinner with their friend, the professional snooker player Ramsey Acton, to celebrate Ramsey's birthday. One year, following Ramsey's divorce and while terrorism specialist "think tank wonk" Lawrence is in Sarajevo on business, Irina and Ramsey have dinner, and after cocktails and a spot of hash, Irina is tempted to kiss Ramsey. From this near-smooch, Shriver leads readers on a two-pronged narrative: one consisting of what Irina imagines would have happened if she had given in to temptation, the other showing Irina staying with Lawrence while fantasizing about Ramsey. With Jamesian patience, Shriver explores snooker tournaments and terrorism conferences, passionate lovemaking and passionless sex, and teases out her themes of ambition, self-recrimination and longing. The result is an impressive if exhausting novel.

Customer Reviews

Excellent and Enjoyable Read

This was such a wonderful book - I didn't want it to end! It was easy to imagine myself in Irina's place, and I took in her passion and sadness with both of her alternate futures. I loved that this story took advantage of life's inevitable "what if?" question which few have actually pursued.


I'm very sad to inform that I can't give a fair ammount of stars to the content of this book, just because the technology you've invented is faulty. THE IPAD VERSION IS INCOMPLETE. There are at least 40% of the book missing. What in names's god had happened? You probably are not allowed to do this. You Applestore, is interfering in reader's opinion about a book, an author, and ultimately, on life. Please fix this, and make sure this is only happening on this title. This proves that real books are not dead, on the contrary, they're still reliable good and real life friends. I've learned this as a friend showed me her "old fashioned" paperback version.

iBooks Version of This Wonderful Book is Incomplete

I love love love this book and so when I saw it was on iBooks I had to have it and read it all over again. I was disappointed to see that the digital version is incomplete...leaving out a good 30-40% of the book and even ending mid-sentence! There doesn't seem to be anyone to contact about the problem and from another review posted in September of 2010 it seems as if it's gone un-rectified for quite some time. I'd love to get my money back or a complete version.

In short, skip the digital book, but this is definitely one to pick up on your next trip to the bookstore. A brilliant read!

The Post-Birthday World
View in iTunes
  • $8.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Mar 17, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 544 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings