Bringing together 35 works curated from her many columns, features, essays, and op-eds, Abominations showcases Shriver's piquant opinions on a wide range of topics, including religion, politics, illness, mortality, family and friends, tennis, gender, immigration, consumerism, health care, and taxes.
Shriver splashes...icy water all over and it’s very bracing; as I read, I thought of those scientists who tell us that a daily cold shower can help to boost the human immune system. It feels ever more vital to me...that people try sometimes to read writers with whom they disagree ... If this sounds hard going – another culture wars slog – the mix is leavened with pieces about her addiction to exercise, what it feels like to break up with a friend and a droll skit on all the things she didn’t do during the first lockdown ... I disagree with her when it comes to immigration, Brexit and (to a degree) the bulldozing of statues. But I do like to read her on these subjects, and not only because – ha! – she confirms me in my own rightness.
Predictable ... She assumes single tone: provocateur ... Left to facts alone...Shriver is often exasperating, missing the target or vigorously stabbing at straw men ... Her arguments lack depth ... The compressed, click-chasing nature of the op-ed might explain the flimsiness in some of her arguments ... There are some similarly well-made pieces in Abominations ... But Shriver can’t seem to miss an opportunity for hollow provocation.
This piece, like several others in Abominations, reveals a tender side to Ms. Shriver. In print she is formidable—she is unfailingly formidable—but evidently she has feelings like the rest of us ... Ms. Shriver’s roving curiosity, her libertarian inclinations and her trans-Atlantic orientation (she resides mostly in England and lived for more than a decade in Northern Ireland) make her a rare voice, someone who challenges orthodoxies in the way that many journalists and public intellectuals claim to do but don’t. It is bracing to spend time in the company of such a smart, plain-spoken and unpredictable person.