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The Virgin Suicides

Eugenides, Jeffrey (Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Virgin Suicides
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The five Lisbon sisters are brought up in a strict household, and when the youngest kills herself, the oppression of the remaining sisters intensifies. As Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Lux are pulled deeper into isolation by their domineering mother, a group of neighborhood boys become obsessed with liberating the sisters. But what the boys don't know is, the Lisbon girls are beyond saving.
Authors: Eugenides, Jeffrey
Title: The virgin suicides
Publisher: New York : Picador, [2009], c1993
Characteristics: 243 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jeffrey Eugenides
Summary: The five Lisbon sisters are brought up in a strict household, and when the youngest kills herself, the oppression of the remaining sisters intensifies. As Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Lux are pulled deeper into isolation by their domineering mother, a group of neighborhood boys become obsessed with liberating the sisters. But what the boys don't know is, the Lisbon girls are beyond saving.
ISBN: 9780312428815
0312428812
Branch Call Number: FICTION EUGENIDES 2009
Subject Headings: Teenagers Suicidal behavior Fiction Suburban life Fiction Teenage girls Fiction Sisters Fiction Memory Fiction
Genre/Form: Mystery fiction
Topical Term: Teenagers
Suburban life
Teenage girls
Sisters
Memory
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Join us for the discussion on Jan. 14, 2015. The five Lisbon sisters are brought up in a strict household, and when the youngest kills herself, the oppression of the remaining sisters intensifies. As Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Lux are pulled deeper into isolation by their domineering mother, a gro... Read More »

First published in 1993, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the bo... Read More »


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Listened to the audiobook, it seemed so incredibly sad that the girls were so unhappy that they had to find ways to die in order to leave the trap of a home their parents had created/neglected/littered. The mother was clearly mentally ill.
The boys who watched them from afar were understandably mesmerized.

The movie visually compliments the book.

Aug 03, 2013
  • EPalmer2295 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The writing is absolutely beautiful; it feels almost like there is a soft filter over the whole book, making it seem slightly surreal. That atmosphere was what really stuck out to me about the book and what really stayed with me. The story is an absolute tragedy--the slow rotting of an entire family--but the group of adoring boys who watch the chaos unfold from their tree houses and bedroom windows tell the tale beautifully.

Mar 31, 2013
  • macierules rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Eugenides is one of my favourite authors. This is beautifully written, but story itself seemed pointless.

Certainly not in the class of his later book "Middlesex". The first part not bad; but, the second part drags on and on with the same repeating detail.

Aug 11, 2012
  • LeahP19 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The reverent language with which this book is written shouldn't be confused with the glamourization of suicide. The narrators' collective obsession with the Lisbon girls and anything connected to them is the obvious source of this impression; the focus instead seems to me to be stunted potential within a repressive environment, the cynical side of growing up and the rabid devotion of youthful obsession. The way it's written somehow manages to recall the idealization and rosiness of memory - beautiful.

From what I recall of the movie adaptation it was really well done and well cast.

Jul 11, 2012
  • hollyheartsYA rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I actually quite liked this book. My first Eugenides! I'd seen the movie ages ago, so I wasn't sure what I would remember (basically not much except for Kirsten Dunst). The collective "we" of the narrator(s) was an interesting point of view and I thought it really brought out the voice of a group of adolescent boys. The character/setting of this suburban town was really brought to life by Eugenides' poetic language and were some of the best written scenes. The characters of the Lisbon girls are so interesting despite the feeling like we never really get to know them and they slip away from us just when we are hoping we'll finally get a glimpse inside their heads. The book was quite a page turner in a way where you almost don't know how much you've read yet a couple hours have past, especially since you know at the beginning that the girls are going to die. This was definitely a great book club pick as there was lots to discuss.

May 31, 2012
  • Pisinga rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Reached the middle of the book. I do not want to continue reading it
despite the beautiful language. I don’t understand why there is so much choking admiration of this book. Suicide, any, and especially of teenagers’, it is a tragedy for everybody. So what can be funny about the suicides of five Lisbon girls? From the first pages of the book you can feel kind of mockery about tragedy.

Never saw the film. Book is better than expected. Will read more of Mr. Eugenides.

Great beginning, but the story lags, possibly because he gives away the ending and uses superfluous detail as filler.

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Sep 21, 2010
  • Iridollae rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

At some point, we looked up into the sky to see that all the fish flies had died. The air was no longer brown but blue. Using kitchen brooms, we swept bugs from poles and windows and electrical lines. We stuffed them into bags, thousands upon thousands of insect bodies with wings of raw silk, and Tim Winer, the brain, pointed out how the fish flies' tails resembled those of lobsters. "They're smaller," he said, "but possess the same basic design. Lobsters are classified in the phylum Arthropoda, same as insects. They're bugs. And bugs are only lobsters that have learned to fly."

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