Avid reader turned listener.
Yes- for anyone who's watched the film, the book is a great companion with expanded detail and "flavor".
I didn't really have a favorite character, they were all portrayed well by Eugenides. I don't know if it were possible to have a favorite. You feel like you knew them well, and didn't know them at all.
I've listened to all of the Dexter books narrated by Nick Landrum and I like his voice. It doesn't "get in the way" of the story.
There was a film! Don't know the tagline, but I'm sure it's just as vague as the deep story.
The narrator ruins this story. He is too dramatic and has no variation to his storytelling. Too bad because the story is good, but I can't get past the dry narration
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
But the sadness doesn't necessarily come from what you would think. The suicide aspect functions as a structure to hang this story on. But the book itself is an extended meditation trying to make sense of the teenage years. The narrator(s) are guys in their 30s or possibly even 40s looking back and sorting out all the details of things that happened long ago. There is a dreamlike quality to this book. Time becomes blurred. Assigning a specific date to these events is impossible as various details belong to anywhere from the late 60s to the early 80s. The obsessive attention to detail getting mired in memory's habit of conflating events. It's dreamlike also in that the story of the Lisbon family is normal in so many respects but so bizarre in others. And it's dreamlike in that the 'boys' who are doing all the reminiscing could not possibly have had as many shared experiences and done all the forensic reconstruction of events as are depicted here. And yet it's all true to the way we remember the high school years. Eugenides has done an incredible job of capturing the way things felt as an adolescent and the way we recall them as adults and the way we can never quite put all the pieces together satisfactorily. Young people may get a lot out of this book, but I don't think anyone younger than 30 will properly appreciate all that it has to offer.
I absolutely loved Middlesex, so I thought I would go back and try this author's first book. A mistake. Now I am worried as I have already purchased his next book. This story is dark, and I do not like dark stories (hated Cold Mountain). The narration was awful. It was so slow, I put the speed to double, and it still sounded normal. But since I cannot leave a book unfinished, I persevered, hoping it would improve.
The story is confusing from the start. It is written by a neighbor of the girls the story centers arounds (the suicides occur, even though they are not all virgins). Why it was even called "virgin" is beyond me, other than the obvious sexual fascination of these boys. And that seems to be the cruxt of it all. They chronicle a tale as if reporting later from an investigator's viewpoint, but still a a child. This wasa tragic event but it is told with no emotion.
Don't wast your credit.
I finally forced myself to listen to this book on the 4th try. I kept trying because I loved Jeffrey Eugenides previous book. It is hard to identify what I didn't like about it. I think it was the narrator. The book came across as somewhat slow, boring and depressing. The book was written by a man and was read by what sounded like a young man and yet the main story was about the 5 sisters. I think I took offense to the fact that the girl's feelings, thoughts and motivations were being told to me by men who would know nothing about their inner lives nor what happened inside their home. The writing was good, very good at times and I really enjoyed the last couple of hours of the book.
However I am not sure I would recommend the book.
I would recommend this book because it is so well written. The story was out of my style of stories I gravitate too but this author is a great story teller. It took me along for the ride and I really liked the descriptions of the times the book was set in. The life of the character was sad but that made it more gut wrenching.
The oldest sister was my favorite characters because she was the craziest and most developed character.
Horrible. I loved middlesex and I loved the marriage plot, and I was very disappointed when I realized I was thinking about getting to work and my day more than listening to the book!
This did not hold my attention, driving or running, which are the two main reasons I listen to books!
Seriously, just what??
Maybe my expectations were set so high after reading the Middlesex. You might find The Virgin Suicides an impressive book if you have not read the Middlesex. It still has some of the nuances, thorough character developments, and intriguing twists that you find in Eugenides writings. I was more impressed by the early chapters and as it got closer to the end of the book, I didn't enjoy it that much.