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The Virgin Suicides

by

The Virgin Suicides Cover

 

Staff Pick

Long before Jeffrey Eugenides gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex, he delivered this dark jewel of a novel. Set in small town America, this study of a broken family of suicidal sisters will shock you. It is so compelling, you will be absolutely hooked. Wonderful!
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With startling immediacy and dark, deadpan humor, the collective narrator of The Virgin Suicides tells a story in a voice that speaks for an eclectic group of men who once stalked life's secrets on the lawns and sidewalks of an affluent American suburb in the seventies... men whose lives have been forever changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with the five doomed Lisbon sisters: brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and pale, saintly Cecilia whose spectacular demise inaugurates "the year of the suicides."

Juxtaposing the most common and the most gothic, the humorous and the tragic, author Jeffrey Eugenides creates a vivid and compelling portrait of youth and lost innocence. He takes the reader back to the elm-lined streets of middle-class America, to the sights, the smells, and sensations of backyards and schoolyards filled with wonder and mystery. This is the debut novel that caused a sensation and won immediate acclaim from critics and colleagues — a tender, wickedly funny tale of love and terror, sex and suicide, memory and imagination that no reader will soon forget.

Review:

"A piercing first novel...lyrical and portentous." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Deftly written and intricately imagined...sizzling." Newsweek

Review:

"Haunting...compelling...Eugenides creates an allegory so thought-provoking it leaves a profound, indelible impression." Harpers Bazaar

Review:

"Weaves a sinuous spell...shot through with sneaky black humor...intoxicating." Esquire

Review:

"Piercing....With its incantory prose, its fascination with teenage tragedy, and its preoccupation with memory and desire and loss...The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel." The New York Times

Review:

"A rare first novel that ends wondrously, on a note of profoundest, most elegant grief." John Hawkes

Review:

"Displays a certain brilliance...Eugenides has a voice dreamy with mythology and a point of view carved from the poignancy of adolescence. The resulting sensibility is both elegant and quirky, and it infuses his first novel with a graceful, reasoned confidence....Wistful, gloomy, and chillingly funny at once...A fiercely antipastoral novel – one with a shocking, elegiac sadness hidden in the eaves." Boston Globe

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.

 

Its senior year at St. Joans Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they cant.

 

First its the schools queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joans buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

 

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—whos been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

 

Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, whats really happening to the girls at St. Joans?

About the Author

Katherine Howe is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane and The House of Velvet and Glass. She is a lecturer in American Studies at Cornell University. She is also a direct descendant of three of the women accused of witchcraft during the Salem Witch trials, one who was hanged and two who survived. Her books have been published around the world in 23 languages to date. Visit her at www.katherinehowe.com and follow her on twitter @KatherineBHowe.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Courtney Young, January 3, 2012 (view all comments by Courtney Young)
An exquisite, beautifully written book, from the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Middlesex. The narrators are a chorus of teenage boys and in love with the Lisbon sisters who commit suicide one by one. The prose is magnificent and takes us through the devastating deaths during one summer amidst the background of Michigan's deteriorating automobile industry. This book is not to be missed. Eugenides doesn't disappoint!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Chirpee, May 10, 2007 (view all comments by Chirpee)
I was in the middle of another book when I picked this one up and read a couple of pages. I immediatley dropped the other novel, and read the rest of this one within the next few hours. I enjoyed the writing style, and the fact that Eugenides could make me smile while discussing such depressing topics made me both love the book more, and wonder about myself a little. It's an entertaining book that also SAYS something, and I would recommend it to almost anyone.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(30 of 63 readers found this comment helpful)
Aranzazu, February 9, 2007 (view all comments by Aranzazu)
I was forced to read this book.

I am a member of a book club and "The Virgin Suicides" was a decission I never would take by myself to read _as this kind of stories make me creep. But I am grateful for having discovered Eugenides' clean and straight prose. The truth about the day-by-day hell those girls had to live makes you wonder not why they ended their lives, but how they could survive all those years before. Absolutely moving.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(14 of 25 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780446670258
Author:
Eugenides, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Putnam Juvenile
Author:
Howe, Katherine
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Teenagers
Subject:
Memory
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Movie-TV Tie-In
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
Memory -- Fiction.
Subject:
Teenagers -- Suicidal behavior -- United States -- Fiction.
Subject:
Movie-TV Tie-In - General
Subject:
Media Tie-In - General
Subject:
Suicidal behavior
Subject:
School & Education
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series Volume:
IX. Bd.
Publication Date:
20140701
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 12

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Virgin Suicides Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Warner Books - English 9780446670258 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Long before Jeffrey Eugenides gave us the Pulitzer Prize-winning Middlesex, he delivered this dark jewel of a novel. Set in small town America, this study of a broken family of suicidal sisters will shock you. It is so compelling, you will be absolutely hooked. Wonderful!

"Review" by , "A piercing first novel...lyrical and portentous."
"Review" by , "Deftly written and intricately imagined...sizzling."
"Review" by , "Haunting...compelling...Eugenides creates an allegory so thought-provoking it leaves a profound, indelible impression."
"Review" by , "Weaves a sinuous spell...shot through with sneaky black humor...intoxicating."
"Review" by , "Piercing....With its incantory prose, its fascination with teenage tragedy, and its preoccupation with memory and desire and loss...The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel."
"Review" by , "A rare first novel that ends wondrously, on a note of profoundest, most elegant grief."
"Review" by , "Displays a certain brilliance...Eugenides has a voice dreamy with mythology and a point of view carved from the poignancy of adolescence. The resulting sensibility is both elegant and quirky, and it infuses his first novel with a graceful, reasoned confidence....Wistful, gloomy, and chillingly funny at once...A fiercely antipastoral novel – one with a shocking, elegiac sadness hidden in the eaves."
"Synopsis" by ,
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane comes a chilling mystery—Prep meets The Crucible.

 

Its senior year at St. Joans Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they cant.

 

First its the schools queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joans buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

 

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—whos been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago . . .

 

Inspired by true events—from seventeenth-century colonial life to the halls of a modern-day high school—Conversion casts a spell. With her signature wit and passion, New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe delivers an exciting and suspenseful novel, a chilling mystery that raises the question, whats really happening to the girls at St. Joans?

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