Book 885 Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides

I read The Virgin Suicides back in 2000, I read that there was a film adaptation and I can’t watch the film version before I read the book  and I was lucky enough to find the novel on the shelves of  the local bookstore (back then there were only two indie booksellers now they’ve been taken up by chain stores) and I finished it in a couple of blissful sunny summer days.

What I found interesting about the books was that it’s set in present and a narrator is collecting items dealing with the elusive Lisbon family who have moved away. We then flashback to the time when the five Lisbon girls were the object of the neighborhood males and the novel takes place from the past on to the present day again (with the odd interjection on some  artifact from the Lisbons).

Throughout the novel we see how the Lisbon girls try to interact with society and attempt to break free from their over protective parents but it seems that it always ends up as a disaster as none of the girls can really cope – the prom scene being one of the highlights. By the end the girls find their own way of escaping American suburban life and it affects their parents (and neighbourhood males) drastically.

Leaving the social commentary aside, The Virgin Suicides contains many evocative descriptions which heighten the reading experience, my favourite one being  a stream of blood creating a pattern a toilet. The flashfowards are cleverly done as well.

A perfect novel? in every way and to be honest I don’t think that Eugenides as really managed to top it as yet. Sure Middlesex was great but did it make you emote as much as this book?


2 thoughts on “Book 885 Jeffrey Eugenides – The Virgin Suicides

  1. anothercookiecrumbles August 1, 2010 / 8:38 am

    I actually think I enjoyed Middlesex more than I did Virgin Suicides. Has something to do with my copy of the latter being compared to “Catcher In The Rye” on the cover, and it just wasn’t even half as good as Catcher (in my opinion, anyway). So, I was disappointed.

    I know, I know – I should treat a book as a stand along, and not juxtapose it against one that’s an all-time favourite. However, and this is the big however – I didn’t make the link with the Salinger classic! The publishers did. So, really, it’s their fault.

    • deucekindred August 1, 2010 / 9:44 am

      Comparing Virgin Suicides to Catcher???? – that’s just plain silly – It’s amazing the lengths publishers go to in order to sell a book! the two novels couldn’t be more different – well they share the same underlying theme but it’s executed in a totally different manner.

      re Middlesex – I liked it but I felt that it wasn’t so consistent in places. VS on the whole is a tighter book (imo of course)

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