- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Warner Books; Reprint edition (Jun. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446670251
- ISBN-13: 978-0446670258
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,120,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Virgin Suicides Paperback – Jun 1994
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|Paperback, Jun 1994||
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More About the Author
the term first novel" has connotations of apprenticeship that are out of place here" - Guardian (The Virgin Suicides is wonderfully original. It could prove to be the start of an important writing career. - Independent) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
** An American classic of our time, narrating the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, and now a major film for 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide-it was Mary this time, and sleeping pills, like Therese-the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope. Read the first page
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Top Customer Reviews
The novel opens with the attempted suicide of the youngest sister, Cecilia, who is found "like a Stoic" with bleeding wrists in the family bathtub. From this dramatic beginning, the reader is guided through the lives of the Lisbons (though from an outside perspective) as the girls are increasingly stifled by their over-protective parents in the face of a family tragedy that ultimately leads to the suicide of all five girls.
The narration style is unique as the story is told from the perspective of the Lisbon's neighbours, detailing their encounters with the mysterious creatures that they cannot fathom. We understand the girls only as the boys do - from caught glances and overheard words. They presume so much and know so little about these ethereal sisters that they seem to adore yet hardly know.
Eugenides writing is truly masterful; he manages to create a hazy atmosphere of teenage obsession with witty, albeit dark, humour. The prose is subtle yet mysterious, reflecting the nature of the novel and of the girls themselves. The language Eugenides employs sets a tone of sadness and fated tragedy as though the course events was imposible to avert.
The plot meanders through various experiences of the sisters that are examined minutely by their adolescent admirers; experiences that tell them so little of the reasons behind their eventual tragic deaths.Read more ›
This is the story about the Lisbon girls, five sisters who all killed themselves, told by the neighbourhood boys who were, and still are, infatuated with them. It is written beautifully and from the opening few pages I thought this was going to be the perfect book but I soon became disappointed.
For me there was no plot, it was just an account of people's responses to the suicides. I struggled to get a grip of the characters, there were too many names mentioned without personalities attached - this wasn't too much of a problem but my big problem came when I realised I only felt like I knew two of the five Lisbon sisters. If I felt like I knew them more then perhaps I would have cared about the book.
I recognised the ending was good but it could have been better. I got a sense of knowing what the author was trying to say but feeling he hadn't quite managed to say it.
After looking at the other reviews I realise I am in the minority - proving everyone has a different opinion. All I can guess is that I just didn't get it.
The book is told from the perspective of the boys who fantasise about them. Although their voices merge, it is the insight into those teenage boys which is the most real and striking - their obsessive fascination and cataloguing, their curiosity about the girls and everything about them, at an age when most actual physical boy-girl contact was awkward fumbling and sweaty hand-holding.
The description of the decay of the family home as the family slowly sinks into despair is equally convincing.
You are totally swept up into Eugenides world, through his evocative descriptions of dust, smells, and tiny details of observation.
Coppola's film is good, but not as good as the book, because in the end the film is about the Lisbon sisters, who remain ultimately enigmatic in the book, whereas the book is about the boys who observe them.
A worryingly-touching novel depicting the struggles of five young girls attempting to grow in the most restrictive of capacities. The story of the suicides is told through the inquisitive eyes of one of the girls many besotted victims. Eugenides' image of obsession and yearning is the feature point of his novel and its jigsaw-like narration allows it to retain a wonderful sense of ambiguity. Eugenides major triumph is his ability to shock. In a novel which reveals its conclusion within the first two lines, it is amazing how it is able to create a false sense of hope from the reader. 'The Virgin Suicides' is beautifully eloquent and Eugenides' vivid imagery makes it a very engaging read. This skill is evident in his superb ability to produce a sense of awkwardness that almost makes the reader feel bad for prying. Even though Eugenides' is dealing with a difficult subject like suicide he still creates a dark and humourous account which actually lightens with every read. 'The Virgin Suicides' by Jeffrey Eugenides, which has now been adapted by Sofia Coppola to a feature-length film is coincidentally his first novel as is Sofia Coppola's directorial debut. The film takes a more light-hearted view of the situation whereas the book delivers the story with a more morbid and frightening truth. There are parts however where the novel loses its gripping edge. But it Eugenides is quick to pull it back on track and into the realms of surrealism. 'The Virgin Suicides' is a remarkable novel and Eugenides' melancholic tone throughout makes it so powerful and evocative.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is very slow, detailed read. I'm sure that it provokes a 'love it or hate it' reaction from all of its readers. Read morePublished 17 hours ago by AGM
For a book that gives away the plot in the first chapter, it still managed to keep me on tenderhooks- creepy and thought provoking.Published 9 days ago by Jade
Annoyingly boring and quite meaningless. I hate it when that happens with a book and you have to start again; trawling, checking reviews, choosing and hoping.Published 2 months ago by Louise
Nice book would buy from them again as it was well packed and arrived on time. I have just read it.Published 2 months ago by RonH43
Read this review along with others on my blog by following this link: https://bibliomad.wordpress.com/
A reminiscence of childhood innocence, The Virgin Suicides... Read more
Very good book to read. Although the subject matter is emotive, the story is easy to read without being overly depressing. Highly recommended.Published 4 months ago by Robina Welch
A very unusual book that not everyone will like. Readers may be disappointed in the lack of conclusions in regards to the reasons for the suicides, but not every suicide is plainly... Read morePublished 6 months ago by YoYumYi