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December 12, 2014

#FBF: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides


The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
YA | April 1, 1993 | Farrar, Straus and Giroux


THE VIRGIN SUICIDES by Jeffrey Eugenides has been out for quite sometime and this is one of those book gem whose movie version I discovered first before learning of its literary counter part. I skipped the movie because although I love Sophia Coppola, I can't stand Kirsten Dunst so I can't say if the movie is as awesome as the book was. 

It was six years ago when I found a used copy of JEugenides' iconic work and I immediately devoured the book right away. For those of you who are unfamiliar or belong to the younger set, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is similar to John Green's Looking for Alaska and Jay Asher's Thirteen Reasons Why. It's a dark coming of age story set in the suburbs of Grosse Point, Michigan back in the 70's featuring the Lisbon sisters who all committed suicide for unknown reasons. The story is told from the POV of one of the sister's admirers or neighbors who remained anonymous but was close enough to the Lisbons to witness the tragedy first hand.

THE VIRGIN SUICIDES is one of those stories that stayed with me for days and left me shaken, stirred, and on the rocks for a while. Like the boys the Lisbons left behind, I too searched the text and rummaged through their recollections as they reminisce their time with the sisters, trying to figure out WHY they killed themselves. Alas the answers remained elusive and like them all I ended up with are speculations but nothing too definitive. Were the parents too strict? Did the girls have extreme depression? Were they being abused behind closed doors? 

JEginides wrote a thought provoking and emotionally stirring story that can be considered a classic. The writing style is affecting and the voice of the storyteller haunting in its emphatic simplicity. In hindsight, there's nothing truly special about the Lisbon girls aside from their beauty and the air of forbiddenness they have about them. The allure of the story lie on the guesswork to explain the successive suicides that happened and the big unknown that remains. THE VIRGIN SUICIDES might have been published over 20 years ago but I believe the story is far from outdated and I strongly recommend fans of John Green and Jay Asher to read this, I think you'll find it worth your time.








27 comments:

  1. I remember watching the movie a long time ago (probably when it first came out) and feeling the same way. I am sure the book is even more emotional charged than the movie was.

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    1. Maybe so, I wish I can compare. Maybe I'll watch the movie one of these days.

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  2. I have neither watched the movie nor read the book, Braine, but I'm going to read The Virgin Suicides now, for sure! Great review! I love that the story is told by someone exterior to the family, that means the narrator must have guessed at certain things, and sometimes, that actually makes a story more poignant.

    Have a great weekend, Braine.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  3. I saw the movie and it was sad and disturbing. I don't know if I could handle the book.

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    1. If that's the case then I'd think it's more or less the same.

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  4. I've tried to watch the movie a few time shut never make it very far. Maybe the book would be a better fit.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Can't stand Dunst too? Can't blame you

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  5. Love it when a story can shake me and leave me thinking about it

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  6. I've heard so many good things about this book and I am curious now. It definitely sounds like a moving book. I cannot imagine what might cause someone to commit suicide and I guess that's part of the mystery.

    Lovely review, Braine!

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

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    1. Can you imagine 5 sisters doing it in succession??

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  7. Already had it in the TBR, but fantastic review. Should I watch the movie or read the book first? Are there lots of differences?

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    1. Hi Kat! I haven't seen the movie so I can't do a comparison. Definitely read the book though

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  8. I watched the movie before I found out it was a book. Still haven't read it, but maybe one day!

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  9. I remember about the movie (or I think I do), but I didn't know about the book, ad Lily, maybe one day. thanks for the review!

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    1. I wish you'll keep this in mind next time you want to read something haunting

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  10. It's one of my favorite all-time movies, along with The Hours and A Man Apart. I read the book after seeing the movie, and I found it all the more intriguing (as I tend to with movies I like that are based on books).

    So glad to see we feel the same :D

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    1. Great minds! I enjoyed The Hours too, I need to look up A Man Apart

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  11. This sounds fantastic, Braine. I haven't read this one, so I'm glad I can add it to my list of classics.

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    1. Do it! Do it! I think this is a solid recommendation and one you'll greatly enjoy :)

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  12. Oooh, The Virgin Suicides was fantastic, Braine! Although it did make me feel old to hear it was published 20 years ago. ;) It should be considered a classic. I hadn't thought about it for a long time...it is something I should recommend more often. Thanks for the reminder. ;)

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  13. I didn't read the book, but I absolutely loved the movie. Depressing but still good and why don't you like K Dunst? Lols

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