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The Virgin Suicides (1993)

by Jeffrey Eugenides

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,776256493 (3.78)1 / 375
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The national bestseller from Jeffrey Eugenides, the Pulitzer Prize–Winning Author of Middlesex and The Marriage Plot

With a New Introduction by Emma Cline

Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
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 boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death.
Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.

.… (more)
  1. 92
    Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: share the same exquisite sense of setting: boring, but not terrible suburban America, second half of last century.
  2. 60
    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath (readerbabe1984, rosylibrarian)
  3. 30
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch (rosylibrarian)
  4. 20
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Virgin Suicides is pretty heavy going however there are quite a few films about teenage angst they might work. Some are darker than others and some are quite old but they could work with Perks... Breakfast Club, Heathers, Girl Interrupted, Rebel without a cause, Footloose, The Year my Voice Broke, Donnie Darko, Ferris Bueller's Day Off.… (more)
  5. 20
    A Crime in the Neighborhood by Suzanne Berne (si)
  6. 10
    Paint It Black by Janet Fitch (jbarry)
  7. 10
    Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote (weener)
    weener: Both books with a srong sense of setting, with a sense of foreboding and decay.
  8. 10
    See How Small by Scott Blackwood (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  9. 10
    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (loulourevisited)
  10. 00
    Whores on the Hill: A Novel by Colleen Curran (jbarry)
  11. 00
    Quiet Chaos by Sandro Veronesi (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Both original and intriguing stories about loss and grieving.
  12. 00
    Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: The styles and narrative perspectives of these two books remind me strongly of one another.
  13. 00
    Practical Jean by Trevor Cole (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  14. 00
    The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  15. 12
    We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates (ainsleytewce)
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Group TopicMessagesLast Message 
 Someone explain it to me...: The Virgin Suicides15 unread / 15Miniwheat, July 2013

» See also 375 mentions

English (237)  Dutch (5)  Italian (4)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (255)
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
Reads a lot like an overly intense and dramatized documentary, but still interesting and very well written. At times it seemed hard to empathize with the entire situation since the parents and the girls were all such insane/inexplicable people. Even if this was the goal that was emphasized by the perspective the book took, it was slightly frustrating... ( )
  mrbearbooks | Apr 22, 2024 |
Most of my theories on the world change every few years. New evidence, new voices in the mix, new ways of thinking tend to do that to a person. But my theory that every book written in the third-person plural is a masterpiece was formed when I read The Virgin Suicides back in my now-distant teens, and it remains unchallenged. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 21, 2024 |
I don't know what to rate this book. Well-written? Yes. But on a personal level, it was disturbing and I probably shouldn't have pushed myself. I've picked it up and put it down many times before; once I got a dozen pages in, I said "Well, I never want to read this again, so I'm going to finish it." I believe I only made it by keeping it at (emotional) arm's length, so I certainly didn't give it a proper reading.

...Reading books is not only about the way the book is written; it also has to be (more than I usually factor in?) about the reader. Maybe.

At least I can put this one behind me now. It actually did make me want to reread Middlesex.

Edit Nov 2017: Fuck not rating books. I hated this. It's literally written from the POV of the male gaze, and it still makes my skin crawl when I think about it. ( )
  caedocyon | Feb 23, 2024 |
The ending was really inadequate. A very complex and compelling story with a cop out ending ( )
  chailatte | Feb 5, 2024 |
The prose in this novel is arresting; the story uncomfortable in so many ways; the symbolism well-placed; and the point of view fresh. The Virgin Suicides unfolds from a first-person plural viewpoint: a group of men collectively recalling the incidents that occurred in their upper middle class Detroit suburb during their teenage years, and against which they continued to measure experiences later in life. It is less a story about the suicides themselves and more about the boys’ adolescent fantasies that seemed to carry with them late into adulthood, still obsessed with what occurred in the period of a less than two years. The teenage boys here seem to have fallen under the spell of the Lisbon girls, who are not allowed to date and kept under the strict scrutiny of their parents. While the backdrop is the girls’ suicides over the course of a little more than a year, the real story is about teenage male desire, fantasizing, mythologizing, and objectifying the girls. ( )
  bschweiger | Feb 4, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 237 (next | show all)
Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Suzanne Berne (Apr 25, 1993)
 
Adopting a tone simultaneously elegiac and loony, The Virgin Suicides takes the dark stuff of Greek tragedy and reworks it into an eccentric, mesmerizing, frequently hilarious American fantasy about the tyranny of unrequited love, and the unknowable heart of every family on earth — but especially the family next door.
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eugenides, Jeffreyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Landrum, NickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Gus and Wanda
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On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide -- it was Mary this time, and the sleeping pills, like Therese -- the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.
Quotations
Obviously, Doctor… you’ve never been a thirteen-year-old girl.
They knew everything about us though we couldn’t fathom them at all.
The girls were right in choosing to love Trip, because he was the only boy who could keep his mouth shut.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Spanish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The national bestseller from Jeffrey Eugenides, the Pulitzer Prize–Winning Author of Middlesex and The Marriage Plot

With a New Introduction by Emma Cline

Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
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 boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death.
Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.

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