Customer Reviews


156 Reviews
5 star:
 (79)
4 star:
 (33)
3 star:
 (20)
2 star:
 (16)
1 star:
 (8)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic novel of adolescent love and obsession
I saw the film and wanted to read the book to understand the concept more. I wasn't disappointed and was sucked in by the world the boys inhabit and the intensity of their feelings. The girls are indeed mystical creatures and fascinated me from beginning to end. This is a must for all who have seen the film and should not be missed!!!!!
Published on 12 May 2002

versus
54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I got it but I didn't get it
I wanted to love this book. I wanted to fall head over heels in love with it. I thought I would aswell. Books about teenagers are my thing, books about suburbia are my thing, books about suicide are my thing. This should have been my thing, but it wasn't.
This is the story about the Lisbon girls, five sisters who all killed themselves, told by the neighbourhood boys...
Published on 5 April 2006 by imla


‹ Previous | 1 2 316 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like a "Bridge over Troubled Water"., 14 April 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
This is a very touching book. And you have to be a hell of a writer, as Eugenides is, to be able to write an entire book around a story - a very tragic event - you reveal in the very first pages. This is not a book about "what" happened, but a book where, always from a distance, always as "outsiders", we keep questioning ourselves about "why" it happened. As readers, we desperately try to fill the very same gaps that Tom Faheen, Chase Buell and all the other boys in the neighbourhood of the "suicide girls" try to fill. We never know what the Lisbon girls really think, or feel, or want. Their inner world remains a mystery buried inside a house that ends up resembling the perished state of mind of its owners. All we can do is collecting pieces of evidence, observing the girls from afar, spying them through their windows, trying to build a "bridge over troubled water", before the irreparable happens. There is no way of escaping this point of view, the author leaves us no choice. We are like the boys who tell us the story - the narrator is an uncommon "we" - and Eugenides succeeds in getting us as emotionally involved as they are.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to read this book!!!!!, 25 April 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I was literally glued to this book from eight o'clock in the evening till the late hours of the morning. Having seen the film, i was interested in reading the book. I have never been as hooked on a book as i was to this. I couldn't put it down. The plot and sub-plot of this book were fantastically intertwined...I loved the fact that, on the surface, there was the heartbreaking tale of the five sisters who take their own lives, but also the obsession of the group who are telling the story. Intriguing, beautiful, moving... its just brilliant!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignantly haunting, 12 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
This book was one of the best I have ever read. The first and last paragraphs are written beautifully, the last paragraph making me cry with the poignancy of the book.
This tale is of the five beautiful Lisbon sisters, who, by boys in their neighbourhood, are observed with wonder and sadness.
The girls change when the youngest, Cecilia, commits suicide during a party held for her by her parents. Later on, the boys watch as the girls go on their first, and last, date at the prom and wonder how the girls feel when they are mysteriously withdrawn from school. The emotionsranges from the delight the girls feel at being at the prom, to the lonely sadness they must feel as the boys play records down the phone to them. Overall, this book is a fantastic read and will make you feel as though you are in that neighbourhood at that time. A beautiful, poignant book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL AND MAGICAL NOVEL!, 3 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
For anyone who has seen the movie and is considering buying or reading the book, I absoloutely recommend that you do, the book is much deeper than the movie, I learned a lot more about life and death from the book. The characters all though we never really fully undrstand them become more real. This book is one you should read and then take about a half hour off to just think about what you have read.........read it!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them...", 10 July 2007
By 
M. Torun (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written book about a five sisters who commit suicide. It has a unique style in that there is no real protagonist. Instead there are two groups of characters. The first are the Lisbon girls, whose far-away lives and deaths drive the book. Then are the teenage boys who admire and idolise them. Although the book is written from their point of view, the reader has insight into these boys only through their feelings and actions towards the girls.

This unfathomable nature of the characters is purposeful because the book is about the impossibility of understanding adolescence, both of others' and your own. The main characters struggle to understand the Lisbon girls as if revealing the truth about them would explain something in their own lives. The final act of suicide, which tears the girls out of their reach completely, is the most mysterious of all, and leaves them obsessed.

As the boys ponder about the suicides (years later when they are grown men), collect weird items that the girls left behind and speak to everyone who has interacted with them, you begin to put together a hazy and hopelessly incomplete image of the girls' lives. In the end, no one can explain the motivations behind the their actions, and the reader, like every character in the book, is left wondering.

I would recommend reading the book and watching the film - both equally enchanting.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreakingly beautifuly terrifying, 4 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I don't know what to say about this masterpiece. Thinking about the complexity of the characters and the situation they are thrown into just stuns me into speechlessness. Much better than the film, this paints the picture of the heartache felt by the boys that are so much in love with the girls, something we cn all relate to. Eugenides should be very very proud.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving book, 24 Mar 2003
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
At the title, I expect this book to be filled with doom and gloom - which it is, essentially on the surface.
Eugenides, however has managed to weave the pain these teenagers into a story told be the boys across the street. What follows is full of lust, secrets, and mystery.
A brilliant book I didn't put down until I'd read it at least twice.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect novel for dreamers, 31 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I highly reccomend this novel as it is exceptionally moving and beautifully written. Eugenides evokes the golden, unreal atmosphere of their short, suburban lives and deaths, and he does it in a unique style that involves you in every detail of the girls. The character of Lux is especially strong although there is some distance between you and the girls due to the way it is written from the point of view of a group of admiring boys who watched and recorded their collective demise. Although the fate of the girls is revealed early on you are still drawn into their story by the skilful characterisation, the tone of writing and you experience the attraction of the boys and their idolisation of the sisters. The film also excellently embodies these characters and the mood of the book and soundtrack is worth checking out.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating... I love this book!, 11 Feb 2007
By 
Heather "star_reader" (Leeds, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I am a huge fan of adolescent fiction (think The Bell Jar meets Catcher in the Rye) and The Virgin Suicides is definitely up there among the best of this kind of fiction.

The novel tells the story of the Lisbon sisters, living in 1970's suburban America who in turn each commit suicide. Apart from the great plot, what i loved about this novel was its unique narrative. The story is told from the position of the neighborhood boys who are obsessed with the sisters and try to piece together their lives from fragmented stories, collected possessions and diary entries which they accumulate over the years leading up to, and after the deaths.

I found the Lisbon sisters mesmerizing characters but this is largely due to the fact that we cannot get close to them, and like the narrator we struggle (despite the collected evidence) to understand why they commit suicide so they remain slightly mythologised in our minds.

This is a great novel, beautifully written and imagined. Sophia Coppola's film adaptation is excellent too (sticking closely to the original novel) but i would say that if you are interested definitely read the novel first.

I think this novel could be enjoyed by adults of all ages and i am always on the look out for new people i can recommend it to!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A strange, unusual novel, 24 Jan 2013
By 
Frances Stott (Devizes, Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides: Reissued (Paperback)
I find this novel hard to summarise, as there is little in the way of plot, I never felt I really got to know the characters, and as it builds up to its (slow) climax, there are few surprises. And yet...

For a start, it is quite beautifully written. The writing drew me in where the plot did not, and oddly, it was enough to keep me reading - and enjoying - the book. The first of the five sisters to commit suicded dies at the beginning of the novel, and the story is told from the point of view of an anonymous member of a group of young men who watch, befriend and are fascinated by the girls. We never discover the identity of the narrator, nor do we need to. The girls themselves - vague, amorphous creatures; almost two-dimensional - never really came to life for me, but seemed to drift through the narrative like the pale ghosts they were to become. Their parents - weird, drunken mother and helpless father - are equally vague characters, and it's easy to understand the facination this odd family hold for their neighbours.

As the story builds towards the deaths of the remaining four sisters, there is some tension, but never enough to hold my attention on its own, and I found the ending rather flat. I was left slightly bewildered, but also with the feeling that I had read a good novel.

Would I recommend it? I'm not sure. If you like beautiful writing and unusual stories, then this may be for you. It's not the kind of book I would give to friends, and yet I'm glad I read it.

Three and a half stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 316 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Virgin Suicides: Reissued
The Virgin Suicides: Reissued by Jeffrey Eugenides (Paperback - 3 Oct 2011)
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews