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The Virgin Suicides

A book by Jeffrey Eugenides

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A Modern Tragedy.

  • Jun 30, 2010
Rating:
+4

The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides is an amazingly insightful glimpse into a variety of different worlds and meanings. As readers you are confronted with the blossoming of suburbia, coping mechanisms, tragedy in a modern world, the exaltation of the young woman, adulthood, childhood, sociopolitical commentaries, and an interweaving of countless other narratives. Eugenides effortlessly constructs a suburban bubble in which the ideal, all-American lifestyle is lived and that tragedy and despair cannot penetrate, until the death of the first Lisbon girl. The contrast between the mundane and the tragic is one of the most striking things about his novel. The reader is able to feel that shock and sadness and realize how much more terrifying it is than if it were to happen in a more unfamiliar setting. This sense of anonymity, of "this could have been my neighborhood," etc., is seen in the Lisbon girls themselves. While given some identity, for the most part they are treated as a single entity, a perfect representation of the young female myth. Lolita-esque, we see them through the eyes of young, adolescent boys who are just beginning to notice women in a new, more sexual, light. This narrative lens perfectly shows the mysterious quality women posses in men's eyes and how during adolescence we become aware of the sexual differences between men and women. For all intents and purposes to me this should be considered a modern tragedy, reminiscent of the Greek tragedies of Sophocles. The Lisbon girls are often seen as goddesses to the plebeian narrators, and their short lives perserved for all time by death allow them to remain that way. 

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More The Virgin Suicides: A Novel reviews
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
Horrible, don`t waste your time reading this. There is a lot of better books on the list!
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
Did not like this book. I am still trying to understand why I read it!
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
Such a beautifully written book.
review by . December 16, 2009
Not only does Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides have an intriguing title, but a movie is based on the provocative tale of the tragic- and unpredictable- suicides of five teenaged sisters in early 1970s Detroit over a period of one year. When the smoke clears, the Lisbon's are left grieving the loss of daughter Cecilia, 13, Bonnie, 15, Lux, 14, Mary, 16, and Therese, 17. The story is told from the perspective of a group of neighborhood boys, themselves trapped in the ambiguity of adolescence, as they …
review by . June 28, 2009
From 2005 (paperback) I saw this movie back in October and I didn't care for it, so I moved this book up my reading list... I'm still disturbed by the entire story and I wish we had found out a little more of the "why", but I guess that would have made it unrealistic to me, huh? I mean, do we ever know WHY someone kills themselves? Especially if we are on the outside looking in, which is what the narrators are - just school friends of the girls.    I will say this - the book …
review by . November 19, 2007
If one of the five Lisbon sisters was crazy, it had to be Cecilia, the youngest. At least that's what all the neighborhood boys thought when she proved them right by killing herself during the first party that the sisters had ever been allowed to host. What none of the boys expected at the time was that just one year later all four of Cecilia's older sisters would also be dead, victims of their own bizarre suicides.     Set in 1970s Michigan, The Virgin Suicides is the tragic …
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Ryn Greer ()
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Eugenides's tantalizing, macabre first novel begins with a suicide, the first of the five bizarre deaths of the teenage daughters in the Lisbon family; the rest of the work, set in the author's native Michigan in the early 1970s, is a backward-looking quest as the male narrator and his nosy, horny pals describe how they strove to understand the odd clan of this first chapter, which appeared in the Paris Review , where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for fiction. The sensationalism of the subject matter (based loosely on a factual account) may be off-putting to some readers, but Eugenides's voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized. The title derives from a song by the fictional rock band Cruel Crux, a favorite of the Lisbon daughter Lux--who, unlike her sisters Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Cecilia, is anything but a virgin by the tale's end. Her mother forces Lux to burn the album along with others she considers dangerously provocative. Mr. Lisbon, a mild-mannered high school math teacher, is driven to resign by parents who believe his control of their children may be as deficient as his control of his own brood. Eugenides risks sounding sophomoric in his attempt to convey the immaturity of high-school boys; while initially somewhat discomfiting, the narrator's voice (representing the collective memories of the group) acquires the ring of authenticity. The author is equally convincing when ...
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Tags

Books, Fiction, Jeffrey Eugenides

Details

ISBN-10: 0446670251
ISBN-13: 978-0446670258
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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