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5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of the author....
Then you must read this book! Wonderful, insightful writing.....couldn't put it down. After reading it....watch the movie!! Both are very moving in their own way.
Published 16 months ago by Veronica Hylands

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars See the movie instead
Frankly, I almost missed the movie because I'd already read the book. This book's cleverness is in its voice, but the story is truly empty and its characters unmotivated . There are never any revelations about the reasons these "virgins" commit suicide, but from the tone of the narrative and its annoying voyeurism, one can guess the author's inference is...
Published on July 9 2000 by R. M. Calitri


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5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a fan of the author...., Dec 21 2012
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This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
Then you must read this book! Wonderful, insightful writing.....couldn't put it down. After reading it....watch the movie!! Both are very moving in their own way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eugenides is tops, March 21 2007
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
Let's start out by saying that above all things, this novel by Jeffrey Eugenides is macabre, to the inth degree. But, it's also fascinating and totally bizarre--just one of the reasons you should take it on. The story starts out with a suicide, that of oneof five teenage daughters of the Lisbon family. The setting is Michigan in the seventies, where Eugenides is from and where he's set part of his "Middlesex" another great novel. Some may call his themes sensational, but I call them fascinating. And, it's been rumored that this novel is based on actual happenings--an actual account. This is probably the reason it's spoken of in the same breath as McCrae's "Bark of the Dogwood" and Capote's "In Cold Blood" as those too are hybrid novels--both fact and fiction. Yet the material in Eugenides hands, along with the subject matter, make this a one of a kind book. The narrator's voice in this case, in the matter of "Virgin Suicides" is that of a rather sophmoric groups of teens, and at times I was reminded of Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" with its same tone. The title of this book is derived from a fictional rock band named "Curel Crux" which was (fictionally) a favorite of one of the Lisbon daughters. What amazed me the most about this novel was the way the author makes us think that it's actually the teenage boys narrating the whole story. Remarkable. He's extremely successful and I highly recommend this book for anyone seeking a fresh new voice. Must also recommend another great novel that makes a great companion to this one titled "Bark of the Dogwood" which is equally riveting and complex, though on a totally different subject.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessed, June 3 2004
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
That is all I can say and the best way I can describe my feelings for the book and movie.Its very simple. The book and movie changed my life. They affected me in ways that very few other books and movies ever have or have ever had the capacity to do.It has a pretty big place in the fabric of my life.
I read some in the book every day. It and the movie have become a sanctuary for me. Whenever I'm upset or depressed , I run to them and I feel better.It draws me into the Libson's girls world and its fascinating and comforting. Lux, Bonnie, Therese ,Mary and Cecilia are so vivid, that they almost seem like real people to me.They don't seem like fictional characters. They seem like friends.I find myself thinking about them a lot and there are very few made up characters that have ever stayed with me like this.
I'm sure that there is at least one other Virgin Suicides fan out there that feels the same way I do and understand what I mean. I can only hope that it continues to affect and changes peoples lives the way it has mine.Read it. You might be shocked at how it haunts you and the presence it has in your life.I hope I explained it well. Something so luminous and subtextural and dream like yet deeply rooted in your psyche can be hard to explain.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars See the movie instead, July 9 2000
By 
R. M. Calitri (California,USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
Frankly, I almost missed the movie because I'd already read the book. This book's cleverness is in its voice, but the story is truly empty and its characters unmotivated . There are never any revelations about the reasons these "virgins" commit suicide, but from the tone of the narrative and its annoying voyeurism, one can guess the author's inference is that the real tragedy is that the Lisbon sisters died virgins. I'm just kidding, but really, this novel is ridiculous, and offers no more than a hackneyed and stereotypical portrayal of adolescence. Critics have compared it to Birdy which is far superior. I had to laugh at myself for even entertaining the idea of reading this book.
See the movie instead. It's not a masterpiece either, but for a first work, it's far more artistic than this silly screed. Eugenides was a lucky scribbler to have sold it. There's not a shred of plausibilty in this story. I should have taken my cue from the title: VIRGIN Suicides. They're not girls, not women, not even people; they're virgins! And Eugenides kills them off for no reason at all. Please! It should be subtitled: Misogynist Gets Even With Words. Curiously, I suspect that the writer has talent, but this product is not solid evidence.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Macabre, Aug. 24 2007
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This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
There seems to be a lot to say about a book that approach suicide in such a matter as seen by the neighborhood kids. What mystery leaves in those Lisbon sisters with parent who should probably be seeing a therapist.

Jeffrey Eugenides is a genious with words. Every sentences will take you to an era of oppression and despare when you will live through the 70's again (depending on your age) and will be able to see the houses of one's childhood blossow before your eyes. You will have known these girls in your school but maybe not all sisters, and will realise how important you are to everyone around you.

This is not Middlesex, there is not laughter and the paragraph are very long which left me out of breath and tire for want of finding a appropriate place to stop reading for the day. In all, you should read it but be sure you are feel to shape that day or it will take you for a ride of depression you were not expected.

I can't wait for Eugenides next book
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4.0 out of 5 stars Bright but dark also, March 21 2007
By 
Pius Mambo (Camp Wallawalla) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
I chose to read The Virgin Suicides as an English assignment and in reading the book I then had to watch the film and write about something that intrigued me. It could either be how they were similar or how they were different and how differing pieces from the novel and the film had an impact on the plot or strength of what it was all about.

I rated this book as a 4 because I thought that Jeffrey Eugenides did an excellent job of portraying life as it was like for many young women back in the 70's when this book took place and as a result often ended in a tragic way. Even though it is not clearly laid out and printed in words for you as to why the book ends as it does we all can interpret for ourselves why and I believe that we would all come up with the same answer.

In reading the book and watching the film I found that Sophia Coppola, director of the Paramount pictures classic, portrayed the lives of the young girls and the Lisbon parents in a very similar fashion as did Jeffrey Eugenides as to not change the true meaning of what the book was expressing. In fact the film is almost an exact replica of what happens in the book with silimar dialogue and chain of events. If you pay close attention little details were left out of the film but nothing that I found that drastically changed what Eugenides was trying to say. As I examined both pieces closely in an attempt to write a paper relating the two in some way or another one thing stood out to me. If you get a chance, notice the way that the relationships that the girls have with the neighborhood boys is different. However, I'm sure that all of you would agree with me, but I found that what Eugenides was trying to portray as a dreamy, fantasy-like friendship with the unattainable Lisbon girls in the book was more tangible and realistic in the film. For that reason I expected the ending of Coppola's film to have somewhat of a different ending considering the fact that their relationship seemed more friendly and that they actually had contact with one another.

But in review as a whole, I pretty much enjoyed the book. It seemed very really to me and I'm sure it is a topic that many people touch on whetehr it be from personal experience or being around a similar situation with someone you know or love.

I chose to read The Virgin Suicides as an English assignment and in reading the book I then had to watch the film and write about something that intrigued me. It could either be how they were similar or how they were different and how differing pieces from the novel and the film had an impact on the plot or strength of what it was all about.

I rated this book as a 4 because I thought that Jeffrey Eugenides did an excellent job of portraying life as it was like for many young women back in the 70's when this book took place and as a result often ended in a tragic way. Even though it is not clearly laid out and printed in words for you as to why the book ends as it does we all can interpret for ourselves why and I believe that we would all come up with the same answer.

In reading the book and watching the film I found that Sophia Coppola, director of the Paramount pictures classic, portrayed the lives of the young girls and the Lisbon parents in a very similar fashion as did Jeffrey Eugenides as to not change the true meaning of what the book was expressing. In fact the film is almost an exact replica of what happens in the book with silimar dialogue and chain of events. If you pay close attention little details were left out of the film but nothing that I found that drastically changed what Eugenides was trying to say. As I examined both pieces closely in an attempt to write a paper relating the two in some way or another one thing stood out to me. If you get a chance, notice the way that the relationships that the girls have with the neighborhood boys is different. However, I'm sure that all of you would agree with me, but I found that what Eugenides was trying to portray as a dreamy, fantasy-like friendship with the unattainable Lisbon girls in the book was more tangible and realistic in the film. For that reason I expected the ending of Coppola's film to have somewhat of a different ending considering the fact that their relationship seemed more friendly and that they actually had contact with one another.

But in review as a whole, I pretty much enjoyed the book. It seemed very really to me and I'm sure it is a topic that many people touch on whetehr it be from personal experience or being around a similar situation with someone you know or love.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No not Middlesex, but good also, July 13 2005
By 
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
"The Virgin Suicides" is a fictional representation of a time when this wasn't the case. The anguish in this book is muted, always in the background - simply because its scale is so great that to reveal the truth about it would be overwhelming.
The story of the five Lisbon girls is told by outsiders: the teen boys surrounding them, lusting after them, curious about their mysterious lives. The daughters are Cecilia, Mary, Therese, Bonnie, and Lux; the book begins with Cecilia's classically-inspired suicide attempt, as the Lisbons and the doctors puzzle over its meaning.
Obviously, doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl. That's Cecilia's only explanation, and its brusqueness and its quality of "if you have to ask, you'll never know" hint at the rest of the book. The mystery here is palpable - and Cecilia's desire for self-destruction concludes in a single violent gesture at a party.
The social milieu of the book is parties, gatherings, dances - alternated with scenes of solitude. Rarely do we see individual representations of the narrator (a one-time resident of the suburb, who witnessed the year of the suicides) and those surrounding him - and, in fact, the atmosphere of the relationships here is sometimes adversarial. The daughter Lux, surely the book's most compelling character, takes men and boys up to the roof with her out of boredom, vague loneliness, and a defiance borne from pain.
Unsurprisingly, "The Virgin Suicides" doesn't dwell on the morbidity of its subject matter. What's surprising is how well it succeeds in evoking the pain of the girls and the desperation of their final acts. Again, the narratorial perspective here helps to a great extent. We never find out what exactly is going on in the minds of the girls. We're told about the decay of their house, about how they rarely set foot outside following Cecilia's suicide. But the mystery in the darkest rooms of the house is left vague.
The book doesn't exactly dwell on the oppressive atmosphere of its suburban setting. For it to do so would be cliched, and it's a testament to Eugenides's skill that he clearly (yet inconspicuously) establishes the role of suburban ugliness, and lack of regard and caring, in the fate of the Lisbon girls.
The style of the narration, too, is inconspicuous. At times, shocking imagery reminds the reader of the strangeness of the storytelling: an adult male is describing incidents from many years back, told in such detail that one almost turns a cynical eye toward the intentions of the narrator. There is, quite often, a feeling in the narration of fevered stalking - but it comes across as charming, rather than threatening. The real threat in this book is not the unrelenting observation of the girls' every action, or the girls' overprotective parents, but the beast in their minds leading them into darker regions of life.
And that sounds melodramatic, but it's hard not to, in comparison to the novel's technique. A beautiful moment near the end of the novel sums up its emotional atmosphere. In this scene, the Lisbon girls (more reclusive than ever) have received a phone call from the neighborhood boys. Instead of talking, though, they play records over the phone to one another that symbolize their emotions. This could easily come across as contrived, like some statement about the ways in which the vapidity of pop culture overcomes real emotion. But instead, it's a magical and haunting moment.
"The Virgin Suicides": the title is plural, and so it's inevitable that it will end in a spate of deaths. But the real impact of the novel comes from the intervening year it describes: from Cecilia's first cry for help to the conclusion, where private anguish turns into public spectacle.
The book is a countdown - the pace is relaxed, but you know that something horrible is coming in the near future. In spite of its obsessive focus on the transitory things of the material world - the girls, their bodies, the objects and people surrounding them - "The Virgin Suicides" turns out as a reverent tribute to something ineluctable; but try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Eugenides, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No not Middlesex, but good also, June 3 2005
By 
Nancy Taylor ((Frankfort, KY)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
"The Virgin Suicides" is a fictional representation of a time when this wasn't the case. The anguish in this book is muted, always in the background - simply because its scale is so great that to reveal the truth about it would be overwhelming.
The story of the five Lisbon girls is told by outsiders: the teen boys surrounding them, lusting after them, curious about their mysterious lives. The daughters are Cecilia, Mary, Therese, Bonnie, and Lux; the book begins with Cecilia's classically-inspired suicide attempt, as the Lisbons and the doctors puzzle over its meaning.
Obviously, doctor, you've never been a 13-year-old girl. That's Cecilia's only explanation, and its brusqueness and its quality of "if you have to ask, you'll never know" hint at the rest of the book. The mystery here is palpable - and Cecilia's desire for self-destruction concludes in a single violent gesture at a party.
The social milieu of the book is parties, gatherings, dances - alternated with scenes of solitude. Rarely do we see individual representations of the narrator (a one-time resident of the suburb, who witnessed the year of the suicides) and those surrounding him - and, in fact, the atmosphere of the relationships here is sometimes adversarial. The daughter Lux, surely the book's most compelling character, takes men and boys up to the roof with her out of boredom, vague loneliness, and a defiance borne from pain.
Unsurprisingly, "The Virgin Suicides" doesn't dwell on the morbidity of its subject matter. What's surprising is how well it succeeds in evoking the pain of the girls and the desperation of their final acts. Again, the narratorial perspective here helps to a great extent. We never find out what exactly is going on in the minds of the girls. We're told about the decay of their house, about how they rarely set foot outside following Cecilia's suicide. But the mystery in the darkest rooms of the house is left vague.
The book doesn't exactly dwell on the oppressive atmosphere of its suburban setting. For it to do so would be cliched, and it's a testament to Eugenides's skill that he clearly (yet inconspicuously) establishes the role of suburban ugliness, and lack of regard and caring, in the fate of the Lisbon girls.
The style of the narration, too, is inconspicuous. At times, shocking imagery reminds the reader of the strangeness of the storytelling: an adult male is describing incidents from many years back, told in such detail that one almost turns a cynical eye toward the intentions of the narrator. There is, quite often, a feeling in the narration of fevered stalking - but it comes across as charming, rather than threatening. The real threat in this book is not the unrelenting observation of the girls' every action, or the girls' overprotective parents, but the beast in their minds leading them into darker regions of life.
And that sounds melodramatic, but it's hard not to, in comparison to the novel's technique. A beautiful moment near the end of the novel sums up its emotional atmosphere. In this scene, the Lisbon girls (more reclusive than ever) have received a phone call from the neighborhood boys. Instead of talking, though, they play records over the phone to one another that symbolize their emotions. This could easily come across as contrived, like some statement about the ways in which the vapidity of pop culture overcomes real emotion. But instead, it's a magical and haunting moment.
"The Virgin Suicides": the title is plural, and so it's inevitable that it will end in a spate of deaths. But the real impact of the novel comes from the intervening year it describes: from Cecilia's first cry for help to the conclusion, where private anguish turns into public spectacle.
The book is a countdown - the pace is relaxed, but you know that something horrible is coming in the near future. In spite of its obsessive focus on the transitory things of the material world - the girls, their bodies, the objects and people surrounding them - "The Virgin Suicides" turns out as a reverent tribute to something ineluctable; but try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Eugenides, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Virgin no longer, Feb. 8 2005
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
The Virgin Suicides 2/7/05 amazon
This book really relates to those individuals that have struggled with depression. This book allows you to get very close to the characters. At points in the book you can actually feel the girls desperation. This book shows that suicide is a major factor in today's life and how big of an issue it truly is. It also shows how some of us deal with a loss of someone we love and no matter how much we think no one cares, somebody always does------------------------- If you enjoyed books such as McCrae's "The Children's Corner" or "Middlesex," then you'll love this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars haunting, Nov. 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Virgin Suicides (Paperback)
Well-written and haunting. you feel like an outsider peering in. It's a sad tale, from the first sentence, but oddly enjoyable. a story that centers around the Lisbon sisters, and the tragidies that follow. A haunting book like that of "NIGHTMARES ECHO", a bit odd like that of "RUNNING WITH SCISSORS" and just as good as, if not better than "MIDDLESEX". Basically, a wonderful read and better than the movie.
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