©1993 Jeffrey Eugenides; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC.
"Eugenides' voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized....This is an auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer." (Publishers Weekly)
"A finely crafted work of literary if slightly macabre imagination....A black, glittering novel that won't be to everyone's taste but must be tried by readers looking for something different." (Library Journal)
"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary." (The New York Times Book Review)
I purchased this audiobook and was so disappointed when I found I could not tolerate listening to it. The problem was the slow, monotone voice of the narrator. I couldn't take it anymore, as listening became painful and I could not follow the story as my mind wandered. I read many similar complaints in the reviews.
I came back to the book a couple months later and tried it again. This time, I set audible.com's listening app to play it at 1.25 speed instead of the default 1. I was amazed. The audible experience became perfect, as it was meant to be. I do not believe the problem was with the narrator in the first place. I believe the track was slowed down for some reason in post production the the chagrin of may listeners.
If you tried listening to this book and simply could not get past the first chapter without wanting to tear your hair out, do yourself a favor and increase the speed of playback one notch. You will be surprised how wonderful this book, and it's narrator truly are.
Must be played at 1.25 speed to hear original recording.
This book kept me engaged. While others noted somewhat negatively about the simplicity of the story telling and odd perspective (as told by the neighborhood boys), I thought that hearing about the fascinating albeit tragic story from an outside view added to it's intrigue. I have not seen the movie and I think this added to my ability to let the vague storytelling encourage my imagination.
Beauty, youth, family issues, crime, sex, and mystery... this story has it all and is told in a way that is thought provoking. I look forward to listening to other books from this author.
Having first listened to the masterpiece, Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, I thought that I might be disappointed by the initial offering from this author. I needn’t have worried!. The Virgin Suicides is just a terrific novel. Although absolutely heartbreaking, the story provides the listener with hope and a sense of peace. Nick Landrum is superb in his reading of the story and I defy any listener to have dry eyes during the final 5 minutes of his narration. I can’t wait for the next offering from Mr. Eugenides, who is, in my view, the best author out there.
The direction and/or narration of this audiobook is so slow that it makes the book almost incomprehensible. Each comma is a paragraph, each period a chapter. What remains is an exercise in focused concentration, for holding onto the subject of a sentence from start to finish is truely a task.
little bit country, little bit rock n' roll
I am writing mostly to voice disagreement with previous reviewers regarding the narrator. I enjoyed the book and thought the narration was fine. The pace was possibly a bit slow, but overall I thought it was a good reading and certainly did not detract from my enjoyment in a significant way.
This book was interesting, but really didn't go anywhere. I too loved Middlesex and while this book has an interesting premise, it doesn't go much beyond that. You know the ending by the title, and I kept waiting for a surprise. The surprise is, there is no surprise. Didn't hate it, and don't consider it a waste of time, but I was disappointed.
I saw one description of The Virgin Suicides as a “haunting yet wickedly funny tale.” Hmmm, not so much on the funny part. The novel revolves around five suicidal teenage sisters and their rather strange parents. It was pretty good early, but then really lagged after that.
I like the narrative style, which was from the point of view of a group of neighborhood boys who were so obsessed with the sisters that they conducted interviews and collected memorabilia in the years after in an attempt to piece together what may have been going through the girls’ minds.
Great narration from Nick Landrum. Recommended for Eugenides fans, though I liked Middlesex much more.
I tried to like it. I really did. I LOVED Middlesex but I found my mind wandering while I was listening to this book and never developed any feeling for the characters.
Much as I admired and sometimes revelled in the sheer style and beauty of the writing, this novel left me cold cold cold and empty. Beautiful, but ultimately futile. Which I think was precisely the point.
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.
"Morbid but beautiful"
It's short, I finished it in a few days. The prose is hauntingly beautiful and the narrator's voice makes it even more of a delight. Reading about death is not fun, so leave it if that is what you are looking for.
the narrator was fine with what material he had to read, but the story was tripe.
no, i found the virgin suicides one of the most pointless books i have ever listened to
the whole story had no conclusion no loose ends tied up and no explanation to the suicides, waste of time.
I loved the Marriage Plot so went into this with high hopes. It uses an annoying first person plural narrative voice to recount the macabre observations of a dysfunctional family in a disordered community. All of this makes it hard to engage sympathetically though one should given the subject. Others may like this - he's a good writer but this doesn't do it form.
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