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Un narratore "collettivo", voce di un gruppo di coetanei maschi, rievoca a vent'anni di distanza la vicenda delle cinque sorelle Lisbon, oggetto proibito della loro adolescenza, avvolte in un'aura di mistero che la tragica fine comune - si sono tutte tolte la vita nel breve spazio di un anno - ha fissato per sempre. Nella memoria di questi antichi, tenacissimi spasimanti,Un narratore "collettivo", voce di un gruppo di coetanei maschi, rievoca a vent'anni di distanza la vicenda delle cinque sorelle Lisbon, oggetto proibito della loro adolescenza, avvolte in un'aura di mistero che la tragica fine comune - si sono tutte tolte la vita nel breve spazio di un anno - ha fissato per sempre. Nella memoria di questi antichi, tenacissimi spasimanti, esse divengono il simbolo di una possibilità remota e perduta: l'irruzione di un fremito ignoto nel mondo tranquillo, ordinario, opprimente dell'America suburbana degli anni Settanta. Il libro segna l'esordio folgorante di uno scrittore poco più che trentenne, ma già padrone di uno stile e di un universo letterario affatto personali....

Title : Le vergini suicide
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788804459934
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 266 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Le vergini suicide Reviews

  • Matt
    2019-01-25 08:12

    suicide isn't the happiest of topics. the suicides of five sisters is even less pleasant. how do you recommend a book to someone on such a grim topic? easy: just read it. what eugenides does so well is capture the mystery of secluded sisters, as seen through the eyes of neighborhood boys. this is important in reading the novel. it's not necessarily the lisbon sisters' story, but rather the boys' story, and how the suicides affected them all the way into adulthood (the boys are now men and they retell their story). they've never fully recovered from the events of that year, as evidenced by the carefully catalogued and numbered evidence they've collected over the years (faded photographs, scraps of paper, newspaper clippings, etc). it's as though their growth and development from boys to men has been permanently stunted, and it's something of a tragedy to read. euginedes' use of a vague narrator allows the reader to actively participate in the mystery and confusion as the boys try to come to terms with the deaths. the narrator(s) alway refer to themselves as "we," and never "i," drawing the reader in with them. we don't know who's speaking. it could be any of 10-12 boys. it's a particularly useful way of letting the reader experience the same gamut of emotions as the boys. by the end of the book i was every bit affected the same way the boys were and are. beyond the subject of suicide, there's also some very insightful social commentary on how death (particularly suicides) affect not only specific individuals, but communities as well. the narrator(s), for example, notice how all the leaves went unraked during the fall after the first four sisters kill themselves. there's also mention about a day of mourning and an assembly at school, and one boy comments how he felt like they were supposed to feel badly for everything that ever happened...ever. how do adults explain suicide to children? eugenides expertly taps into what it's like to try to grapple with and understand something completely beyond understanding. how do we process suicide and death? can we? should we? i don't think it's beyond reason to make comparisons to 'hamlet' or other literature where 'ghosts' figure prominently. for all intents and purposes, these men are still boys under the spell of five ghosts. it's a thought-provoking novel and one that stays with the reader well after closing its pages, just as the lisbon sisters still haunt the memory of the neighborhood boys. perhaps the most impressive aspect of the novel is the prose itself. mr. eugenides can write. my copy of the book is nearly worn out from all the markings i've made. there are passages that made me jump off my bed and shout at the sky. his prose is as shiny as a newly minted coin. it's as though every word were precisely chosen, every sentence carefully constructed (and i imagine they were). the novel reminds the reader of the printed word's power. i don't know how much eugenides got for his soul (for surely there was *some* sort of bargain with the devil), but i hope it was a hefty sum. unfortunately quality literature seems to be in short supply these days. however, i think it's safe to say that after two books jeffrey eugenides has joined a gradually declining crop of truly great, living, american authors (roth, delillo, morrison, updike, among a few others) and is well on his way to an illustrious, prolific, literary career. this is one of the few books i read more than once. each time i read it i hope to glean some insight into the 'why' of suicide, yet knowning it will never be so. so i'll just keep reading it over and over and try to understand, just as the boys continue to congregate, go over the evidence, seek closure and try to become men.

  • Linda
    2019-02-10 10:08

    I simply didn't get this book. I was so desperate to find hidden meaning in it, but there was nothing. Why waste so much paper and ink on something so overtly pretentious and so utterly meaningless? A group of oppressed sisters kill themselves after flirting with the neighborhood boys. How horrible that it happened in the middle of suburban America, where white picket fences are supposed to render such neighborhoods impermeable to tragic teenage death. In the end, all I got from this book was the fact that the girls were peculiar (and hello! at least one was not a virgin when she committed suicide), the boys were immature, the girls' parents were psychotic. Okay, sure, I get that there may have been metaphors and themes about the hypocrisy of middle America, oppressive religion, etc. etc., but I wasn't impressed. I saw Sofia Coppola's film afterward; no, it did not improve my understanding or appreciation of the film.I had read Middlesex by Eugenides and thought he was a genius. This book proved he is only an occasional genius. Sadness.

  • Jen
    2019-02-06 12:07

    This book is like a preface, where the real book never feels like it begins. Endless foreshadowing mixed in with various teenage boy obsessions about what a home with five daughters must entail...boxes and boxes of tampons, etc. I couldn't wait for these girls to kill themselves just so the book would be over.

  • Sara
    2019-02-10 11:17

    5/5Tenía ganas de dejar un poco de lado la literatura juvenil, así que decidí coger esta novela que llevaba un tiempo llamándome desde mis estanterías. Qué sorpresa que se haya convertido en uno de los mejores libros que he leído, pero pocos tienen la magia de la que bien puede alardear esta novela. Si tuviera que describir Las vírgenes suicidas con una palabra, ésa sería sin duda "intensa". No sé si fue cosa de la narración, o la necesidad de conocer qué desencadenó la secuencia de suicidios de las hermanas Lisbon, y que además, a pesar de conocer el desenlace de antemano, lograra mantenerme en vilo en todo momento. Viviendo las vidas de este grupo de hermanas a través de diferentes pares de ojos, que terminan formando un caleidoscopio de las mismas. Un caleidoscopio además, gracias al cual acabé pensando que Bonnie, Therese, Mary, Lux y Cecilia eran reales, que las conocía de verdad y al mismo tiempo apenas sabía nada de ellas en absoluto. Como si sólo se narrara lo equivalente a la punta del iceberg, con un fondo tan profundo que se requerirían páginas y páginas para conocerlas realmente. Y es que así somos todos en realidad, ¿no?Me ha parecido desgarradora la forma de tratar el tema del control y la opresión familiares. De cómo los padres de estas jóvenes, que con toda la buena intención quieren llevarlas por "el buen camino", terminan vetando su felicidad y desarrollo como personas. Sin duda, es una obra maravillosa, profunda y muy cuidada, que si bien puede resultar algo confusa al principio (es difícil distinguir la línea que separa el pasado con los pensamientos del narrador, o incluso lo que se desarrolla en el presente), termina creando una atmósfera única y absorbente. Se consigue una transición desde esa confusión inicial, hasta una novela compleja y con un entramado mágico, que me atrapó por completo y me dejó sin palabras. Totalmente recomendado.

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-22 07:57

    For me, what makes this novel different from those that I’ve read so far is the narrator’s voice: first person plural and the brilliant way Jeffrey Eugenides (born 1960) made use of it. Since the story is about 5 teenage sisters and the narrators were interested on them, readers presumed that they were narrating from the viewpoint of schoolboys with raging hormones and think of sex almost every hour of the day. Until the last sentence when Eugenides revealed that the narrators are already middle-age men with thinning hair and soft bellies. My perception of the story as a reader made a complete turnaround. Being a middle age man myself and having a teenager daughter, the last page upped the story’s impact on me.The collective voice of the narrators who are voyeurs of the Lisbon family oozes with innocence (of being young and sexually curious) and guilt (of being voyeurs who did not do anything to save the sisters). If you read this novel in a superficial manner, this is just about 5 young sisters (13-year-old Cecilia, 14-year-old Lux, 15-year-old Bonnie, 16-year-old Mary, and 17-year-old Therese) who killed themselves because of their very strict mother and workaholic submissive effeminate father. They probably lost all hopes of having a good future like finishing school after they were pulled out just because Lux missed the curfew or finding a rich man to marry since they were not allowed to go out anymore. But Eugenides, having an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University, knew better. It would have been too simple for a story to be all about that. In the narration, the boys said that the suicides were act of “selfishness” as the girls were at the brink of adulthood, pretty hence possible sexual preys. They fantasized about having sex with them and even kept with them the “exhibits” that even in their mid-lives still remind them of how they felt towards those pretty young things. The boys thought that they were innocent but the fact that they were watching the Lisbon house through their binoculars, they were communicating with them via songs played on the telephone, the girls were leaving notes posted on the bicycle wheels or in the mailboxes did not give them the inkling to help to prevent the eventual group suicides. They just watched and did nothing. In effect, the boys were the selfish ones and the guilt that permeates in them in their middle-age is what Eugenides, in my opinion, wants to communicate with this novel. Cecilia’s suicide forewarned the narrators. Forewarned the people of small town of GrossPointe, Michigan. Some paid attention: the priest, the social worker. But in the end those were just not enough. The Lisbon sisters committed suicide with the blood left on the hands of the boys and the whole town.And the creepiest thing there is that since Eugenides used "we" and "us" and realizing in the end that those narrators were not teenage kids but were middle-age men, gave me the feeling that I, now a middle-age man myself, was with them watching Lux making out with faceless boys and men on the rooftop making me equally guilty. For me, this is a sample of a novel that seems to be a simple story but very rich in terms of interpretation. It just made me think of my role as a father to my teenage daughter. How I should deal with her especially during those times when we misunderstand each other, she locks herself in her room and cry. Fatherhood is trial and error and they say that one has to only follow his heart and everything will turn out right in the end. I wish it is that simple. Not that our family has the suicidal gene running in our blood but I just have to more sensitive and not bury myself in my office work and books and hope that times like that will go away once she's 20 and no longer an adolescent. Now I have enough motivation to read Eugenides’ Pulitzer-winning novel Middlesex. One hell of a writer.

  • Debbie Petersen
    2019-02-14 15:03

    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. As for those who look for a conventional plot line like all of the other books out there and do not find it (why EXACTLY did the girls kill themselves?) In the real world, not everything in life can be explained.I loved the book so much that I immediately rented the movie. It was awful, with the exception of James Wood who nailed the part of the father beautifully.

  • Blair
    2019-02-15 10:54

    Honestly, I really wanted to fall in love with this. I've long been aware of its status as a cult classic and many people I know, as well as people I don't know but whose taste seems to correspond closely with mine, have professed to adore it. So I feel a bit uncomfortable about revealing that I disliked it - I'll admit, I have been guilty of judging people a bit if I see they've slated a book I really love, and this seems to be a book that has a lot of meaning for many readers - but, there you go, I can't help it.I DO 'get' a lot of the things people love about the story - the hazy, filmic quality of the writing, the sense of indefinable loss and nostalgia for childhood, the effective use of first-person-plural narrative, the clever structure with the obsessive boys cataloguing every shred of information they can find about the Lisbon girls and collating it into a sort of testament. But I didn't get much enjoyment from reading it. The tone reminded me a lot - A LOT - of The Lovely Bones, which I also disliked, and I presume this book must have been a major infuence on Alice Sebold's style. Some of the descriptive language seemed identical(ly ridiculous), for example the inventory of items thrown out from the Lisbons' house including 'blankets sopped with the picnic of the girls' spilled sleep' - what?! I felt repulsed by a lot of it - the descriptions, the characters - and the general queasy atmosphere made me feel quite ill. I know this is probably a part of what some appreciate, but I couldn't get into it at all. With the narrators seeming so odd, and the Lisbon sisters so distanced from them through the way they are idolised and analysed, I didn't feel a connection with anyone or anything in the story.Thinking about it, this also might be because the characters' everyday experiences were so completely removed from anything I remember about being a teenager, so I didn't find any of it to be something I could relate to either. I know you're not supposed to understand why the Lisbons killed themselves, but as someone who was severely depressed and at times suicidal at that age myself, it all rang so hollow to me and I couldn't shake the feeling that the book itself (as opposed to just the narrators) was romanticising suicide. This is particularly evident in a passage towards the end, discussing the girls attending a debutante party after the suicides: 'they were bound for college, husbands, child-rearing, unhappiness only dimly perceived - bound, in other words, for life.' So the Lisbons got the better end of the deal, I suppose, by escaping from this predestined boredom and misery early? I also couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to accept that ALL THESE MEN would remain so obsessed with the Lisbon girls for the rest of their lives - the bits about always thinking of Lux during sex, etc. Yes, it's believable that being a witness to the suicides of five young sisters would haunt them for a long time, but surely by middle age at least some of them would have moved past it? Surely they wouldn't still be continually fantasising about the early fumblings of a 14-year-old as grown men?! And if any of this is supposed to be at all romantic, I just found it downright weird. By the end I was so, so sick of their tedious obsession.Not for me.

  • Fabian
    2019-02-13 12:58

    Wow, you knew that this guy was the real deal after all.I see this as a perfect segue to his masterpiece "Middlesex". It's simple, it's sad, it is capital I Intriguing. The first novel always announces the author's intentions for those that come next, and Eugenides loves the themes of adolescence in all its tragic shortcomings. The Lisbon girls are monoliths to the nameless suitors who do nothing else but speculate about them and become passionate voyeurs. They do nothing to save them; they only observe and obsess. I guess while girls become emblematic of sexual repression, the foolish boys become symbols of generic apathy and cowardice. It's a symbol of the times; a portrait of suburban un-happiness.

  • F
    2019-01-29 14:01

    So disappointed with this book.I do not understand why it is raved about so much I thought it was so shit. It was a quick read admitted but even so it bored the hell out of me.Couldnt get my head round the characters

  • Ariel
    2019-02-04 07:53

    I don't even really know what to say. I think maybe a few people are going to be disappointed that I didn't give this five stars, and I mean, I'm upset that it wasn't five stars either, but hear me out.The thing I liked the most about this book is the perspective. We're learning about 5 girls who commit suicide.. and we NEVER hear anything substantial from any of the sisters? It was genius. The way this book was written is brilliant. Honestly, every couple of pages I would think to myself "When Jeffrey Eugenides thought to himself that he should write this from the outside view he had one of the best epiphanies ever. Ever." The second thing I liked was the realism. This book is just so true, so pure. It isn't false in anyway, it states it how it is: sad and depressing and demoralizing and harsh and upsetting. But true. Why didn't I love this book? I don't know. I honestly, I don't know. There was something missing. Maybe it was my disconnect from the story, maybe it was my lack of real care for any of the events or characters, or maybe it was the lack of plot. When I'm true to myself, I could act like this was the best book, I could write and essay about how life altering this book is, but it's a lie. Maybe for other people it is that, but for me it wasn't. Sometimes, you just don't connect to a book, and I didn't. I don't know.

  • Maxwell
    2019-02-11 11:11

    I couldn't put this book down. It's not very long, and I'd been meaning to read it for years after hearing some great things about it. So I managed to get through it in a couple flights I took this week. It's utterly captivating; Eugenides's use of the choral narrative voice was unlike anything I've read before and the descriptions and dreamy and compelling. It has its moments of melodrama but those are balanced by the utterly mundane aspects of these characters' lives too. I feel like I need to read it again to pick up on so many elements I may have overlooked or not fully appreciated the first time around. I can definitely see myself reading this one again and am glad to have finally gotten around to it.

  • nicole
    2019-02-20 09:22

    So much better the second time around (and I loved it the first, so...)Gorgeous, creepy. A suburban mythology. At first, I couldn't shake images from the film, which I thought might detract from really appreciating it as a novel, but in the end it didn't. I think that's because I realized Sofia Coppola had done a remarkable job adapting the text. I mean, holy shit, it's pretty much perfect. Such a moody novel with sparse dialogue, but what is there, is so right on (and often funny)... GUSHHHH.Something that I very much loved about the book (and that lacks from the film), are the moments when the boys realize not only that the Lisbon girls are unique entities, but that they're not perfect. One's even described as "horsey". I love that. I love it when people fall in love with real people. People with big foreheads, or big noses. People with crowded smiles.I love the narrator. Worringly obsessed (especially considering the time that's passed) though he may be, it really feels like someone is telling you something true. It's the kind of story you would tell for decades had you lived to see it, and I like to think it actually happened in a town not far from where I grew up, years before I was born, a story I'd hear from locals, never quite sure how much of it was true, and how much had become local legend.

  • Josu Grilli
    2019-02-20 12:09

    La verdad es que me he pensado darle esta nota. En lo que llevo de año las novelas que han tenido la puntuación máxima han sido más bien pocas, y es en parte porque me quise exigir un poco más y ser más duro con mis reseñas. Pero Las vírgenes suicidas lo ha conseguido. Podría decir que me la he leído en un día, pues desde la página 41 a la 230 han sido apenas unas pocas horas de viaje. Pero han parecido meses. Y esa es la magia de la novela. La narración es espectacular, con un estilo bastante peculiar que te sumerge por completo en la historia pese a que la historia se cuenta de manera difusa. No nos encontramos con un caso de misterio sobre por qué estas jóvenes se suicidan, que es lo que yo esperaba encontrar (y que por la sinopsis, parece ser el tema del libro), sino más bien con algo más intimista. Es una novela que estudia muchas cosas: las apariencias, los falsos juicios basados en suposiciones, la familia, la opresión... Es más que curioso darte cuenta de cómo realmente no llegas a conocer a las hermanas Lisbon pero crees conocerlas, algo con lo que Eugenides juega muy bien. Lo que más puedo elogiar es la narración, porque como digo, aunque no cuenta realmente nada de un modo objetivo o adorne un par de acciones con historias de otros personajes completamente secundarios, te mantiene en vilo, tragándote sus palabras. Me gusta que un autor tenga esa magia. Y en este caso, es magia de verdad, sin trucos. Pura.

  • B the BookAddict
    2019-02-12 07:55

    Sometimes, you just know when you have found a truly great novelist and Jeffrey Eugenides is one such novelist. I initially rated this book four stars but no, it deserves a five star rating . And where have I been since 1999? On some desert island? How did I not possibly know of this wonderful gem of a book? Mr Eugenides has shot onto my favourite author list and I've ordered Middlesex and The Marriage Plot from my bookseller.This is a haunting, dreamlike, atmospheric and raw novel. Told from the viewpoint of five men now in their thirties. They recount one year some twenty years earlier and the obsession they had with a family of girls; an obsession which haunts them even in their adult years. It begins with the suicide of the youngest girl; the precursor to the preoccupation the boys have with the Lisbon sisters. This is a tale of the atrophy of the Lisbon family; the gradual breakdown of their tenuous lives over the course of 13 months. And it's basically neighbourhood story; Michigan in the 1970's, one street, one year, five girls and the neighbouring boys. The story is told interestingly in plural first person narration by the boys. The sisters are a mystery to the boys then and still some twenty years later where the memory still haunts them. The girls actually remain a bit of a mystery to the reader partly because you never actually hear from their viewpoint. They appear wraith-like and mystical to both reader and narrators. Cecilia, Bonnie, Mary, Therese and Lux have lived cloistered lives. Although they attend the same school as the boys, they keep to themselves; appear unusual and different from the other pupils. The boys have almost a reverent need to know; it seems driven by a pure want to be close to the girls. They start collecting what will be an extensive cache of what they term as exhibits including Cecilia's journal, a faded polariod, Lux's bra and Bonnie's votive candles. Insights other than the boys' own are recounted as the narrators later seek out various neighbours, other pupils, parents and teachers. Although, as they discover, this knowledge will do little to uncover the riddle of the elusive Lisbon girls. The book is light on dialogue and rich with description; delicious detail, detail, detail. Eugenides creates an ethereal, persistent, intriguing mood. It is surrealistic and lingers with you long after you have put the book down.

  • Mateo
    2019-01-25 14:19

    Me habían advertido que lo de Eugenides era cosa seria. Que cuando leías sus novelas te sentías parte de ellas, con una sensación de empatía indirecta, fría e incómoda. Bueno, a todos los que me dieron eso, les digo que me sentí igual que ustedes, como todo un personaje más de la trama. Gracias por el dato, fellas.Lo más atractivo de la novela es la trama, el estilo y la narración. No los personajes, no el entorno, no los acontecimientos posteriores, no. De hecho, de una u otra manera, te cuentan el final en la primera página. Y me gusta, ya que el autor es valiente, se aventura y toma riesgos. Lo cual le hace el trabajo más difícil, ya que mantener al lector enganchado es más complicado.Cómo la sinopsis refleja a la perfección, “Las vírgenes suicidas” sigue la historia detrás de la familia Lisbon. Conformada con los tiránicos padres, Mr y Mrs Lisbon y las cinco hermanas. La novela comienza con la muerte (suicidio) de la última hermana Lisbon, lo cual, a través de un racconto, volvemos a la historia de la primera hermana Lisbon en cometer suicidio, ¿Por qué lo hará? Esa es la pregunta que el lector tiene a lo largo de la novela.Como había dicho anteriormente, el otro aspecto muy positivo de la novela fue la manera en que creó la narración de la historia. Con una primera persona plural, no-omnisciente, digamos mejor, “testigo tímido”, Eugenides te hace un narrador más de la historia, y eso, déjenme decirles, está cool. Es interesante, porque el grupo de narradores son unos hombres que están recordando su adolescencia en donde conocieron (muy de cerca) a las hermanas Lisbon.Sin embargo, sentí que la novela del autor estadounidense tuvo un problema de conexión y de desarrollo de trama (que la trama general está buena, pero la mal desarrolló). Mal desarrollada porque al principio de la novela el ambiente es muy gris y opaco, con una intriga muy potente, la cual le da vida a la novela. Pero el final de la historia, además de brusco y sin sentido, no siguió la línea que Eugenides había trazado desde el principio y a lo largo de toda la novela. En conclusión, lo creado por Eugenides es una novela que se lee muy rápido (un día en mi caso), con una pluma increíblemente pulida y con un contenido valórico muy potente. Refleja el tema de las apariencias, las cuales a veces nos pueden engañar dejándonos un sabor muy amargo en nuestra vida, habla también de la muerte, de las heridas (quizás crónicas) que deja, y como un conflicto familiar mal tratado, puede explotar de la peor forma posible. Una lectura amena e inquieta, la cual sin duda llamará tu atención. Recomendable.

  • Michael
    2019-01-30 13:01

    The Virgin Suicides is one of those books that you wish you could erase from your memory after finishing just so you can experience it all over again. Jeffrey Eugenides has the unique ability to transform a very simple story into one of complete beauty. Suicide isn't the most pleasant of topics, especially when it's the suicide of five adolescents, but Eugenides writes it so well that it is impossible not to appreciate it. He blends just enough dark humor in to keep it tasteful and incorporates melancholy passages that completely numbed me. Almost every page of this book had a meaningful quote on it.I think this is mentioned in almost every review, but the first-person plural narration is done expertly. By using "us" and "we," Eugenides drew me into the story and made me feel as if I was one of those neighborhood boys obsessing over the Lisbon girls.I don't really know what else to say about this since the real beauty of this story comes through when you're reading it. I can't really begin to explain it through a review. The movie is one of my favorite book-to-film adaptations as well.

  • Vanessa
    2019-02-22 12:16

    I really loved the way this story was delivered, told from the point of view of the neighbourhood boys who have an obsessive fascination for the five Lisbon sisters who all succumb to suicide. It sounds utterly depressing and it is, but the way it's told it really captures the essence of adolescence yearnings, of unattainable fascinations of the elusive repressed sheltered Lisbon girls. The writing is as beautiful as the sisters, the story travels quickly almost without pause and you get really caught in this captivating story told in this most compelling way. I was completely swept away with this stunning story with it's beautiful sense of melancholia and despair. There is no happy ending but that pretty much sums up suicide. The fact that these girls were in the prime of their life in the midst of their burgeoning womanhood makes this book all the more poetic and unnerving.

  • Flor
    2019-01-25 12:15

    Juro solemnemente no volver a leer nada más del autor. Ha sido insufrible leer esta novela. Definitivamente no es para mi. Se me hizo eterna, tantas descripciones, tantos detalles sin sentido, personajes que aparecían en una escena y nunca más eran nombrados, una cantidad de nombres innecesaria, datos que no aportaban nada a la historia (como por ejemplo la forma que tenía cada vecino de barrer las hojas en otoño). 😐La historia no era tan mala, pero el autor me hizo odiarla con su forma de escribir. Tanto me costó que estuve a punto de abandonar el libro, pero vi la película y me gustó un poco más, y me dio la fuerza para terminar el libro. En fin...no lo recomiendo, salvo que estén en busca de un potente somnífero. 😴😴😴

  • Aliix
    2019-02-03 12:56

    Que decir..Fue una lectura relativamente rápida, sin embargo, tiene un trasfondo emocional bastante denso, el suicidio de las hermanas Lisbon, visto desde la perspectiva de los mocosos, psicólogos,doctores, vecinos, los padres de las chicas, me hubiese gustado conocer de ellas por su voz, cuales eran sus pensamientos, sueños, ilusiones, cual era su sentir, la estrecha relación como hermanas que tenían, no por otras personas que solo suponían sus acciones, sin embargo lo entiendo ya que eso es lo que le da misterio/intriga a la narración.."A fin de cuentas, daba igual la edad que tuviesen, el que fueran tan jóvenes, lo único que importaba era que las habíamos amado y que no nos habían oído cuando las llamábamos, que seguían sin oírnos ahora, aquí arriba, con nuestro escaso cabello y nuestra barriga, llamándolas para que salgan de aquellas habitaciones donde se habían quedado solas para siempre, solas en su suicidio, más profundo que la muerte, y en las que ya nunca encontraremos las piezas que podrían servir para volver a unirlas..."

  • Stacey (prettybooks)
    2019-02-03 10:06

    The Virgin Suicides made me think about what exactly the word 'classic' means when it comes to books (spoiler: I still don't know). I discovered it was first published in 1993 only after I had chosen it to be my eleventh classic of the year. I'd never considered before that one would've been published in my lifetime, but according to Goodreads, many other people have shelved it as 'classic' also. It also has that modern classic feel to it. It seems that everybody has read it or has heard of it yet it's not just popular, but acknowledged to be a literary gem. Regardless of whether it is or not, I felt that it was one of those novels that I must read. And so I did.As per usual, I did not read the blurb before starting the book and so I had assumed that it'd be about a suicide pact, perhaps one started by a group of friends at school. But it's actually about much more than the suicide, because you already know that it's going to happen and how, but not why. It centres around five sisters: the Lisbon girls – Therese (17), Mary (16), Bonnie (15), Lux (14) and Cecilia (13). It is narrated by the boys who doted on them, but twenty years later. They simply refer to themselves as 'we' and seemed to tell the story in a very emotionally detached way and so I couldn't quite work out who they were at first – they often refer to specific 'exhibits' such as photographs. Yet they also often slipped into dreamy reminiscence. The Virgin Suicides felt blissful in spite of the imminent tragedy. The boys knew the girls better than anyone, but also did not know them at all.I usually see storytelling as being more important than the writing, but in this case I couldn't separate the two – the writing is beautiful and the style feels essential to the story. I felt that The Virgin Suicides depicted heightened (and exaggerated) realism and it forces you to truly think about the Lisbon girls, not just as characters, but as real people with intentions. Although the reader is viewing them from the outside, it is still very much the girls' story – it's just that they are not the ones telling it.The Virgin Suicides is a poignant, contemplative and very American novel that takes us on a distorted flashback through adolescent heartache and emotional pain that can be difficult to grasp unless experienced. I'll definitely be watching the movie adaptation because I've heard that although it's very well done, it's very different. I'll also have to read Jeffrey Eugenides' other novels, Middlesex and The Marriage Plot.I also reviewed this book over on Pretty Books.

  • Bonnie
    2019-02-17 08:03

    "With most people," he said, "suicide is like Russian roulette. Only one chamber has a bullet. With the Lisbon girls, the gun was loaded. A bullet for family abuse. A bullet for genetic predisposition. A bullet for historical malaise. A bullet for inevitable momentum. The other two bullets are impossible to name, but that doesn't mean the chambers were empty."This was a strange read for me, yet still managed to be… I wouldn’t say enjoyable. Maybe intriguing is more like it. This book filled me with major confusion as I had constant questions arise since you don’t get the full picture as this story is told from a third-party, an outside party, rather than being told from the POV of one of the sisters. On top of that, it’s actually told as almost a recollection of people who were affected by these girls and their actions. I had of course heard of this story over the years but had never managed to pick it up. Never actually watched the film either so I wasn’t completely aware of what to expect. Even know, writing this review several weeks after finishing the book, I’m not sure how to describe how I felt about it. What I remember most is the author's vivid writing; I will definitely be interested in reading more from him. This was an interesting and thought provoking book but at the same time is a horrible and shocking book that I’m not sure whether or not to recommend. Very sad, very heartbreaking, and one that I certainly won’t be forgetting.

  • Daniella
    2019-02-13 15:02

    You're either gonna think this is really boring, or really solid.

  • Stephen M
    2019-01-25 07:05

    Prose style: 4Plot: 3Depth of characters: 5Overall sense of aesthetic: 4Originality: 5Entertaining: 5Emotional Reaction: 5 Intellectual Stimulation: 4 Social Relevance: 4Writerly Inspiration: 2 Average = 4.1 Click hereI picked this up on something of a whim from the library, audiobook format. Because what the heck? I wanted to mix it up a bit. Because besides my tendency to zone out while listening, it's fun to listen to someone tell you a story isn't it?I was scanning the aisle of worn-out plastic boxes and found this stuffed between two other pop-pulp audiobooks and since most of the shelf was populated with pop-pulp I thoughti really should read this one. that eugenides, he's one of those i really should read. And you know what? I'm really glad I did. Because This one was interesting. Yes, interesting because I'm scraping the empty vaults of my vocabulary and coming back with nothing else. Eugenides tip-toes the line between realism and surrealism throughout this entire book. The first chapter is completely bizarre, and flavored by his somewhat ostentatious prose, it has both a religious and magical feel. Needless to say, it pulled me headlong into the rest of the book. In fact, I spent about the entirety of last night and the day today listening just to finish it!The surrealism kept me very intrigued, and to be honest, the book hits some speed bumps with the other more realistic sections. Eugenides really loves to write about specific details. Writing about specific details is very important to any work of fiction but it can be taken to an extreme. In the case of this book, it is taken to an extreme. Especially in some sections where he will just list off thousands of details about the houses or the Lisbon girls with long strings of adjectives. It frequently occurred to me:what's the point? . Especially the end, which I was hoping to be done with much sooner than it did. Despite this tick of Euginides writing, I feel as though this book will stick with me for a while. There is a lot to chew on and it had me checking the dictionary on more than one occasion. That is a good thing! But I mean "conflagration"?!?!?! "crepuscular"?!?!? Thanks for making me feel stupid and ineloquent! Other than that I don't have anything too new or original to say about it. But if I can impart one thing; it is that it perfectly captures the myopic obsessions of male adolescent libido. He inhabits the mindset that I saw myself and my middle school friends enter so frequently in the cafeterias and in the confines of vapid gossip. The mindset of infatuated boys and the way it drives them to puzzle over the opposite sex and treat them as to-be-discovered riddles. I couldn't help but think of this brilliantnew Moonface song. I almost laughed a few times at how the girls are described by the creepy old men of the town. Each member of the community tries to take their best shot at "figuring out" these girls; the doctors poke and prod in their offices, the psychologists psycho-analyze and the housewives gossip. The Lisbon sisters become cyphers and enigmas under the harsh scrutiny of 60's paranoid suburbia. The book is told all through second-hand accounts. It functions as an investigation of sorts into their psyches. This all makes me think it could have a satirical slant, but I'm not quite sure.This all functions with a touch of Faulknerian-style writing and brilliant usage of first person plural. And when I say brilliant first-person plural, I mean it putsthisto utter shame. It completely works for the book. I think everyone should read this book and I should read Middlesex before The Marriage Plot comes out!

  • Barry Pierce
    2019-02-10 12:11

    I let out an audible sigh of relief when I finished this last night. Finally, it's over. It just wasn't my book. The writing was good, that's what the two stars are for, but the story just BORED me. It would NOT end. Ugh.

  • Scarlet
    2019-02-04 10:17

    "When she jumped, she probably thought she'd fly."The Virgin Suicides, on the surface, promises to be a sad, morbid tale of teen suicide – The Lisbon girls, the eldest being 17, kill themselves over a span of thirteen months. But Eugenides constructs the story so peculiarly that the conventional reaction you expect to have goes flying out the window. The content is depressing. Yet it’s treated in a way that makes it seem surreal and magical, almost romantic, and even darkly funny at times.I’m still not sure what I feel right now. I’m sad, intrigued, a little frustrated, but accompanying everything is a weird sense of detachment and indifference. I feel like I must grieve for these poor girls and their tragically short lives, but I can’t because I’m not moved enough. And strangely, that’s exactly what the book sets out to achieve. You are supposed to know about the girls but not get to know them. You are supposed to know what happened, but not why it happened.The story is narrated from the perspective of a bunch of boys who lived in the Lisbon’s neighborhood at the time of the tragedy. Now in their mid-thirties, the boys are still haunted by the enigma of the girls’ suicides. The tone, in many ways, is like a criminal investigation – the boys have collected a series of evidence and interviewed people (including the girls’ parents) in a desperate attempt to understand what might have happened during those terrible thirteen months.This style of narration is what keeps you detached. The Lisbon girls are never really the protagonists, even though the book essentially tells their story – or at least, tries to. Their lives unfold like a patchwork of recollections and assumptions; a collage of many different, tiny details that when put together only forms a vague impression of five depressed sisters.More than the grief, this book stirred an intense curiosity in me. It’s like I’ve contracted the boys’ collective obsession; like I’ve myself lived across the Lisbons and seen them being consumed by rot and ruin. And just like every other person privy to the tragedy, I find myself making assumptions and theories about what the girls must have felt and thought during the last few months of their lives.Sad. Dreamlike. Weird. I really liked The Virgin Suicides. It's a great piece of literature and its status as a cult classic of sorts is justified. Definitely worth a read, even if you don’t like it."It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together."

  • Julia
    2019-02-08 11:57

    re-read #3, completed on November 7th, 2017 heartbreaking and powerful as alwaysre-read #2, completed on October 9th, 2016 I ADORE this book. The story is tragic and sad but so beautiful. I love the writing and the narration. I have never re-read a book this many times and I still wanna re-read it. I managed to catch some more things I didn't catch before. The characters in this book are so well developed. This book has so much depth to it and I love it to pieces.If you can read books about difficult topics, I would HIGHLY recommend this!------------------------------------------------------ a solid 4 stars the second time aroundRe-read: September 2nd 2016 TW: Suicide, Depression, Self Harm, and PTSDThis novel has yet again left me speechless. It's such a powerful book full of grief and sorrow. It's incredible sad, mystical in ways, also with an interesting narrative. The five Lisbon daughters all commit suicide, and we follow some boys who live across the street that watch them and obsess with there lives. For the daughters, first we have Cecilia, who is the youngest child. She is 13 years old and the first to go, she is known as the odd sibling. Her suicide takes the town and her families lives for a huge turn. We also have Mary, Bonnie, Lux, and Therese. All of the daughters are and there teens and live with extremely strict parents. There very religious, not aloud to where clothes that show to much skin, not aloud to date, not aloud to go to parities or dances, and barley they are barley aloud to leave the house. Can you just imagine a strict home, and the youngest daughter kills themselves? Like all the repercussions this has on the family and the whole town. The boys who narrate give a very interesting insight. They tell us the story from the past about what went down with the Lisbons when they were teenagers. They had lived on the same street and obsessed over this family, more specially the daughters. They describe them and there personalities and all the odd things about this family. These guys are outsiders but manage to tell a raw story about these girls. I think the way Eugenides narrated this book was just so clever. Overall, this book is very heart braking. If your into conclusions were EVERYTHING is explained, that's not what your gonna get here. The second time around the story still took me for a wild ride and had my jaw dropping. I was just so transported into this story. The writing is also so amazing.Quotes: “Basically what we have here is a dreamer. Somebody out of touch with reality. When she jumped, she probably thought she'd fly”“It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.” “We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them.”spoilersaheadImportant/ Interesting Scenes: - How the boys describe the familiarity the paramedics feel going into the Lisbon's home- When Cecilia is in the hospital and she tells Dr. Armonson that it is hard being a teen age girl- When Cecilia and the boys watched as Dominic jumped off a roof- The father, and how he longed for a son, also how he is a teacher- How Cecilia always wore that old wedding dress- The way the boys made the connection of how girls feel- The setting, in 1970, with the old clothes and records- Lux and her cigarettes - The Fence Removal- How grief affects a family- When the father throws a retainer and flushes it down the toilet- Lux's relationship with Trip-They girls only went to school and church- When Trip talks to the father- The Dance- Isolation - Lux destorys her records- The notes and phone calls with the boys - The Distraction ---------------------------------------First read: April 24 20163.75 stars“It didn't matter in the end how old they had been, or that they were girls, but only that we had loved them, and that they hadn't heard us calling, still do not hear us, up here in the tree house, with our thinning hair and soft bellies, calling them out of those rooms where they went to be alone for all time, alone in suicide, which is deeper than death, and where we will never find the pieces to put them back together.”This book has left mespeechless , it was uniquely and powerfully written. Overall a painful and thought provoking read.

  • Karly *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
    2019-02-02 09:21

    E, is for Eugenides.4 StarsSuicide is one of the most IMPOSSIBLE subjects to view subjectively. Everyone has their theories on it, their opinions and no matter how hard we may ever try we will NEVER truly understand the mindset of those who choose to take their own lives. The Virgin Suicides is NOT a novel about the act of suicide, in truth, it is a story about coping with suicide. Of attempting to comprehend the moments which led to the act and whether there was something, ANYTHING, that could have prevented it. What could possibly inspire five beautiful teenage girls to snuff out their short lives this way?!Told through the perspective of one of the neighborhood boys, this story takes place in "the afterward" and is a reflective exploration of the polaroid image moments glimpsed PRIOR to the act, and what they may or may not have meant to the girls...Of course, since it is not told from the Lisbon girls' point of view it is impossible to know what, if anything, these memories meant to them. Our narrator sets images and glimpses into their tragic lives without backstory or subtext and it's incomprehensible. In this way The Virgin Suicides reads very real to life. There are moments which, within context, are grotesque and horrifying simply because of their mundane nature. Boys will masturbate... fantasize about slim pale limbs and glossy blonde hair, this is a fact of life, but with cursory knowledge these acts seem more horrifying than their actuality.This is a bleak read, ladies and gents!! It's a raw, uncensored and unapologetic narration of the attempt to cope with that which is impossible. And that juvenile love, so huge because it never had to survive real life, is more unforgettable BECAUSE when someone dies in your height of love for them, unknown and anonymous but for mere glimpses, they remain forever perfectly perfect in your eyes. Even the screamers of his adult years always hit false notes, and no erotic intensity ever matched the silence in which Lux flayed him alive.

  • Dem
    2019-02-22 13:09

    Wow!Bizarre and Hauntingare the words that come to mind on finishing The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides .The story is set in 1970s Suburbia. The Virgin Suicides tells the story of the Lisbon family. Told through the eyes of the neighbourhood boys who are obsessed with the five teenage sisters and they relate to the reader the tragic events that lead up the the suicides of the 5 Lisbon Girls.I have been pondering how how to write this review for the past 24 hours as I had so many feelings while and after reading this novel. When I started reading this story I was intrigued by the Lisbon family and found it difficult to put this book down, my feelings then turned to frustration as I wanted to get to know the characters as individuals and found myself looking for information that was not there. I wanted so much more from this novel and perceived early on that author was just not going to give it to to me the easy way. I found the writing and prose excellent and really made this novel a pleasure to read.I learned half ways through the novel that this book was about so much more than answers and found myself easily adapting to weirdness of the tale. I enjoyed the pace of the story and loved how the story was narrated in the first person plural by the neighbourhood boys and this is what made the novel so compelling for me.I would love to have read this book as a book club read as it is the sort of book that would make excellent discussion. I think only in a group discussion would I finally find the answers I am looking for!Would I recommend this novel to all of my friends. No! as this is one of those books that I think you should decide for yourself if you want to read. I will say it is not a depressing book but it is Bizarre and haunting.

  • Karen G
    2019-02-21 10:01

    Loved Middlesex, this one was just okay.. The writing was good, but I just felt so bad for the girls and am just left with a big WHY???

  • Mariel
    2019-02-01 14:57

    A caveat: I've not read Jeffery Eugenides novel The Virgin Suicides since 1999. I did watch the film soon after, and that movie is a dullish carbon copy of the book (of course, this is all subjective like how one song gets to one person and inspires nothing in another). Put that way it was like I'd read it twice, I guess. My memory isn't always reliable. I don't feel particularly teenagerish in the memory of reading, though. Maybe 'cause I've carried it along with me over the years. (I didn't ever go for those teen idols of depression anyway, because depression sucks and I don't want more part of it, thank you very much. It's actually seen as glamorous? But this sucks!)Side film note: I loved Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation. I'm not a hater, by any means. [It bugs me those claims that her ex-husband Spike Jonze, or famous papa, had something to do with her films being any good. Like claims that Harper Lee needed hubby or buddy Truman Capote to write To Kill a Mockingbird. Ugh. Not that it's just the girls. What about the stories that William Goldman wrote Good Will Hunting instead of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck? Inconcievable! {Matt Damon is girlishly pretty, tho.}] Her Marie Antoinette was a gilded prison of boredom that of which I've not felt since my childhood being towed around to fabric stores with my mom, or trips to grandma's house. The "Can I go home already?" feeling. Did she have to pick the most boring person of the French revolution to hinge her story on? It's all about choices. 'Translation' is wonderful because she made great choices like leaving Bill Murray's final words secret because it was (to use Murray's words) "Between lovers". I wish that Coppola had made more choices of her own for 'Suicides', so that the beats would feel more alive than a recording of the past. If I'm making any sense... Not that old photographs aren't revealing in their own way, if timing was right inbetween poses.More people have probably seen the movie than have read the book, and that is a shame. Something I think about a lot is the impression of images in a movie, the connecting to an actor (particularly with someone intimately expressive), music (it's not speaking for everyone, I think, to say that music evokes memories better than most anything, except maybe smells). There is also the reading experience that requires bringing more of yourself to the, well, experience. Bringing it all to life in your head. Sometimes movies are better for me, and other times it is books. If it is something really terrifying to me, I'd prefer a movie because that company makes it less lonely. (I hope I don't sound insane now.) The different perspectives of the boys is what made 'Virgin' so special. The film robbed the story of that particular feeling by focusing it too much inside, too matter-of-fact, less mystery. Okay, the boys are the childish view that is first confronted with the fact that things are swept under the rug. It was like being able to reach into my own memory and remember how I felt when I found out my childhood friend(s. plural, even more sadly) were being molested. I thought that the rest of the world was the safe part, not as bad as my own life could be in its own ways. If Coppola had made her own choices the film might have felt like feeling through someone else's view too, and new eyes. Instead, it's just photographs without the wondering about what those people in the pictures were doing (I can't stop staring at old photographs, sometimes). They had time to pose (no freeze and cheese, awwww). I was a little bored, to be honest.[I rented the third Godfather film on tape. I remember scratching my head, going: "Why all the haters? Sofia Coppola is barely in this!" Turns out I'd put in the second tape first... Hey, the film wasn't that good or surely I'd have noticed the confusion before the credits rolled. Poor girl.]I'm going to get to the book sooner or later, I promise.The Virgin Suicides is not silly teen poster pin-ups of death and pain as "Oh, look at me!" beauty (despite the goodreads chosen book blurb that it is "beautiful and sad". It is beautiful, and it is sad, but put together it is misleading that the two go hand in hand. It's not about romanticizing at all. It's like this form of communication by reading books and films and listening to music: No one can know everything there is to know. Not entirely. Could they have gotten to the know the girls in another way? Well...One of my favorites parts ever is when the boys communicate with the girls with the songs from their records.A bit like the scene in Godard's Une femme est une femme when they show words on book jackets to say how they feel and it goes back and forth in a conversation. It's a language of its own, these stories we collect from other people. A history that isn't shared in the reality that it actually happened, but it's a canonical history of its own all the same. Of the heart, in its way. And they wonder about these girls and maybe get the chance to glimpse something else about how someone else felt. When you're gone, like these girls are gone, this is all that's left. We listen and feel there's a chance someone else gets us. (Other than pondering why Mona Lisa was smiling, ultimately, stories are all that's left when life bites the dust. They get what WE add in with our inceptions.) (There's something to be said for being able to be open in that unjudgemental way of strangers via stories.)And family secrets become bigger than they are like fear winning 'cause it is such a secret. They did their part by taking that away. Why didn't they just wait until after school? Like those bullied kids who ruin forever with some big gesture. So fucking sad (not beautiful).I hate the book covers. They should be record cover titles expressing thoughts and feelings, not glamor puss blonde hair that could be absolutely anyone. There's nothing wrong with any color of hair, of course, but it misses the important "stories" part where you are jolted out of your preconceptions, of superimposing another's image. I do reenact the Godard scene in bookshops and I'd not use the blonde hair image. Means nothing to me (I need Mona Lisa mysterious smile, not "beautiful" that absolutely anyone could say and soooo many writers do just that. Just. That.). Virgin and suicides, though? Great words, great title.