I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
First, I'm a Jeffrey Eugenides fan but clearly not a Nick Landrum fan. It seems that his voices for characters in the book have some life but his voice for the narrator is plodding, measured and dull. It's not that I could do better but that I found listening to his voice un-engaging.
Truth be told, some of the characters were annoying also. The parents would be crushed by the loss of a child, especially the suicide of a child but with 4 other children in the house, one would have to change, to be engaged, to draw together. Difficult of course but to throw away life in the face of 4 daughters seems impossible.
Thankfully, I've no experience with suicide in my family and it's important to consider this issue from many sides so the book is a good experience to have and it's well written, as all his stories are.
I've read others by Jeffrey Euginides & really like his work.
With reservations. I didn't love it.
It was read so slowly that I adjusted the speed to make it go faster which just made it sound weird. Monotonous performance.
I didn't hate it, just didn't love it, yet I was compelled to keep going and finish it
I thought this book would have some dark humor and some humor, but it didn't have either. It was just depressing.
After reading Middlesex, I thought I'd enjoy this book, too. I didn't enjoy it.
It was just depressing.
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.