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The Virgin Suicides Paperback – 20 Jun 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 195 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; 01 edition (20 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007524307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007524303
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (195 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'A Catcher in the Rye for our time' Observer

'Entire and unstoppable … a sparkling work' The Times

'Wonderfully original' Independent

‘Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary’ New York Times

Book Description

The international bestseller, reissued to coincide with the publication of The Marriage Plot --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Even though you know what is coming from the very beginning of reading the book it is nevertheless a shock as the girls are successful in committing the ultimate act.
The description of decay in the girls, the household and the community is so evocative.
A gripping story but probably not for those who have been affected by suicide in their own lives.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing book! I love the writing style, the character concepts, and the story as a whole is just so great. Read it none stop. The last chapter and how it went is just what I wanted too, just good from start to finish! I could only wish it was longer but, then it wouldn't be the book I love.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Outstanding use of the first person for a whole group. Truly remarkable novel that manages to plumb the depths of collective consciousness. I read it in one sitting and started it again as soon as I was done. The language shimmers and the narrative is sublime.
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By Amy on 26 Jan. 2017
Format: Kindle Edition
Where to begin. I have read some of the reviews of others who did not care for or get this book. I admit that the plot/storyline, though unique, is not what makes this story great--it's the prose. The writing is luminous and reads more like poetry than a novel. We don't even know exactly who the narrators are--it is narrated in first person plural and the name and even number of narrators is left vague. Eugenides uses metaphor to describe the deaths of the sisters as the disintegration of a suburban neighborhood--the trees are being cut down because of the threat of Dutch Elm disease; there are dying flies everywhere that are described by the first sister to commit suicide as not even having time to eat before their lives are over. There are so many themes in the story--going through the layers is akin to peeling an onion. The writing is so lovely that it induces a dreamlike state in the reader. Everything is described so perfectly that you can not only see clearly what is being described, but smell the various smells and recall with clarity everything from that time period. Eugenides did not throw this book together; in my mind's eye I see him sitting at his desk turning each phrase over and over in his hands until he gets it exactly right. Yet, the writing is not strained at all--in fact, it seems to have flowed effortlessly from his pen. This is a gifted writer whose work will be read for generations to come, long after Eat, Pray, Gag is in the remainder pile. Elizabeth Gilbert, Chris Bohjalian, Jodi Picoult, Robert James Waller, John Grisham, read this and weep. To this list I add myself, since I would give anything to be able to write half as well as Eugenides.Read more ›
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By A. Rose TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 23 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't know what I expected from this book but it wasn't this. There wasn't much of a storyline and the sisters' school and home lives was a bit unreal. One of the things I didn't get was who the narrator or storyteller was. I found it painfully slow and a boring read.
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Format: Paperback
"The Virgin Suicides" has been my favourite novel since I was fifteen (ten long years ago now) and I enjoy it as much now as I did then. It is a beautifully sad tale that follows the Lisbon sisters, living in Grosse Pointe Michigan, watched from afar by their besotted adolescent boy neighbours who document their every move.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I read The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides last month and it reminded me how highly I had thought of Middlesex some years ago, remaining then was The Virgin Suicides, a novel which has been lurking about my house unread for at least 5 years, and I decided to pick it up and get it done.

I saw the film featuring Kirsten Dunst with music by the band Air around 12 years ago not long after it came out, so had an idea of what to expect.

In The Virgin Suicides, the five Lisbon sisters are infamous among the boys in their town. Ethereal, enigmatic beauties they intrigue, intice and arouse those boys, who are desperate to know them and their lives.

The tale is told by those local boys, now grown up who reflect on that period of time, those girls and what it all meant in such as manner as if they are writing a biography or notes on an exhibition. Photographs are referred to as if they are visible to the reader which they aren't as well as news articles, again not featured and articles of the girls clothing.

The story of the fascination with the Lisbon sisters began before the first suicide attempt with boys daring each other to steal the girls bras and makeup. Their notoriously strict mother has created an intense prison for her daughters since they hit puberty and they are rarely seen alone or out of the house besides at school which only serves to add to their mystique.

When the youngest Cecelia only 13, attempts suicide, fails, but quickly thereafter succeeds, the chain of events that engulfs her sisters is chronicled by the watching neighbourhood boys.
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