I travel the country setting up at comic, toy, sci-fi, and horror conventions. Audiobooks help with the travels.
No it never pulled me in. I felt like i lost interested in the narration within the first hour.
Ready for it to end.
Hard to tell, the story wasn't appealing. Maybe the movie was just casted well.
I was disappointed in this book. I have enjoyed Jeffery Eugenides' The Marriage Plot and will try another book of his another time. However, I kept waiting for this one to get better, and so I kept listening, and kept listening - and it never did. The plot was never really well developed enough for my taste, though it seemed there have could have been a variety of directions to move if the author had chosen to do so. I realize I'm bucking the tide here... but it's true, this book never quite lived up to my expectations.
I know that to apportion blame subsequent to events is a fruitless exercise. Yet this book got me thinking ... and pondering ... and trying to figure - who is to blame? The overly strict and narrow parents, or the teenagers for whom life did not live up to their dreams and expectations. Frustration, futility, and compassion are the order of the day.
The endless battle of generations, of dark and light, of eternal contrasts.
In some ways it reminded me of the play "Equus" by Peter Shaffer. The teenage boys bring an element of sexuality, life and virility into play, as do the girls' passions, while the girls' stagnant environment maintains a status quo of suspended dying. In the same way that in the end death always overcomes life.
The irony - were they all virgins? In body or in mind? In a place as bleak, dark, and unclean as their home. Virginal in life experience?
Readers who enjoy an exercise in psychology and depth would probably appreciate this book. I read it as an intro to Eugenides, as I intend to read Middlesex next, and didn't want to feel disappointed by ''Suicides" as a follow-up.
I gave it three stars because a definite plot would have made the book more interesting.
no, in my sense it is touching on a big subject in a shallow way
I don't know what the other reviewers saw in this book, but for me it was horrid. It was boring, simplistic, and just yuck. It was written from a young boys perspective and dealt with him watching these girls grow up and them killing themselves. I did not find it insightful, touching, memorable, or anything beyond a waste.
Avid Reader and Listener.... enjoy classics, poetry, memoir. Teach College English.
Wow! Not because this book was so good; but, because there is such a stark difference between Eugenides' first novel, this one, and his second, Middlesex, which won a Pulitzer. I couldn't put Middlesex down. I’m SO glad I read it first. It's a good thing I was listening to The Virgin Suicides on audio because otherwise I would have put it down about a third of the way through. Eugenides chooses usual topics but adds unusual twists that hook the reader. That’s a strong writing technique. With VS, it is obvious that there are several suicides among a family of girls. Usual topic: suicide. Unusual twist: they are committed by sisters over the span of about a year. Eugenides includes several motifs in this work but I struggled mainly with his use of descriptive imagery: accurate and articulate, but turned my stomach several times. While reading this book I felt like I was sitting in a car waiting for a driver to take me somewhere. It could be that the stagnancy is deliberate but that’s what I felt. That doesn’t mean the book is bad but it did mean that I didn’t care for it nearly as much as Middlesex. When the book was finally over, I could appreciate it a bit better and the ending lines set a tone that was acceptable with proper resolution.
If you have read Middlesex, be warned, in my opinion, this book is not the same. I’m glad I was driving and multitasking while listening to this book, so I didn’t waste precious hours of my life.
If you are considering reading Eugenides and wanted to start here, please, go for Middlesex first. And if you still want to, come back this one. I have no idea if I will ever attempt The Marriage Plot.
I am one of those people who LOVED Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and was looking forward to reading another one of his books.
This book was so dissappointing I almost stopped listening but since I had paid for the book, I plowed through it.
The narrator read in a monotone that was difficult to listen to, but it may have been that the plot was so boring that he didn't have much to deal with.
Don't waste your time, your credit or your money.
Go read Middlesex.
Live near Yosemite National Park. Listen to Audible books while hiking.
If you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to sink back into your chair and sigh, and think that was a great story, and wish it had not ended, then this is NOT the book for you. If, however, you are the type of person who, upon finishing a book, likes to lean forward and hold your head in your hands and think, “Why did this author write this thing and why did I listen to it through to the end?,” then this is the book for you.
I have listened to all three of Mr. Eugenides books. Middlesex is wonderful.
How it could have been worse is easier to answer. It couldn't have been!!
I've listened to close to a hundred books. This is the first one I couldn't finish. The book may well be good but with this reader I'll never know.
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.