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The Virgin Suicides

by

The Virgin Suicides Cover

ISBN13: 9780312428815
ISBN10: 0312428812
Condition: Standard
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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:

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters — beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys — commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

Review:

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naivete surrounding these bizarre events." The Wall Street Journal

Review:

"A piercing first novel . . . Incantatory prose . . . The narrator's hypnotic voice succeeds in transporting us to that mythic realm where fate, not common sense or psychology, holds sway. By turns lyrical and portentous, ferocious and elegiac, 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] comic and elegiac first novel . . . Eugenides is one of those rare writers who can manage sympathy and detachment simultaneously — and work small wonders with words while he's at it. As The Virgin Suicides puts its heroines through hell, its readers, weirdly enough, will be delighted." Newsweek

Review:

"[A]n auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Juxtaposing the most common and the most gothic, the humorous and the tragic, Jeffrey Eugenides creates a vivid and compelling portrait of youth and lost innocence. He takes us back to the elm-lined streets of suburbia in the seventies, and introduces us to the men whose lives have been forever changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with five doomed sisters: brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and pale, saintly Cecilia, whose spectacular demise inaugurates "the year of the suicides." This is the debut novel that caused a sensation and won immediate acclaim from the critics — a tender, wickedly funny tale of love and terror, sex and suicide, memory and imagination.

Synopsis:

Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.

Synopsis:

Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.

Synopsis:

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

Jefferey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford universities. The Virgin Suicides was published in 1993 and was adapted into a motion picture in 1999 by Sophia Coppola. His second novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in the fall of 2007.

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters—beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys—commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naïveté surrounding these bizarre events."—The Wall Street Journal

"A piercing first novel . . . Incantatory prose . . . The narrator's hypnotic voice succeeds in transporting us to that mythic realm where fate, not common sense or psychology, holds sway. By turns lyrical and portentous, ferocious and elegiac, The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary."—Suzanne Berne, The New York Times Book Review

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naïveté surrounding these bizarre events."—The Wall Street Journal

"[A] comic and elegiac first novel . . . Eugenides is one of those rare writers who can manage sympathy and detachment simultaneously—and work small wonders with words while he's at it. As The Virgin Suicides puts its heroines through hell, its readers, weirdly enough, will be delighted."—David Gates, Newsweek

"The Virgin Suicides takes the dark stuff of Greek tragedy and reworks it into an eccentric, mesmerizing, frequently hilarious American fantasy about the tyranny of unrequited love, and the unknowable heart of every family on earth—but especially the family next door . . . There's much here that's marvelously original, and like Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus or Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, this is one of those debuts that tell you you are present at the beginning of a major career and make you glad you own a first edition."—Tom De Haven, Entertainment Weekly

"Rhapsodic . . . With a deft, often comedic touch, Eugenides examines the concept of mass suicide in a way that might, in less assured hands, strain a reader's credulity. By skillfully displaying the parents' inability to succor the grief of their surviving daughters and by showing a father 'with the lost look of a man who realized that all this dying was going to be all the life he ever had,' the author makes the reader understand the lemminglike conduct of a group of adolescent siblings. By turns hypnotic and elegiac, the novel manages to sustain a high level of suspense in what is clearly an impressive debut."—People

"Eugenides's remarkable first novel opens on a startling note: 'On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide . . . the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.' What follows is not, however, a horror novel, but a finely crafted work of literary if slightly macabre imagination. In an unnamed town in the slightly distant past, detailed in such precise and limpid prose that readers will surely feel that they grew up there, Cecilia—the youngest and most obviously wacky of the luscious Lisbon girls—finally succeeds in taking her own life. As the confused neighbors watch rather helplessly, the remaining sisters become isolated and unhinged, ending it all in a spectacular multiple suicide anticipated from the first page. Eugenides's engrossing writing style keeps one reading despite a creepy feeling that one shouldn't be enjoying it so much. A black, glittering novel."—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

"Eugenides's tantalizing, macabre first novel begins with a suicide, the first of the five bizarre deaths of the teenage daughters in the Lisbon family; the rest of the work, set in the author's native Michigan in the early 1970s, is a backward-looking quest as the male narrator and his nosy, horny pals describe how they strove to understand the odd clan of this first chapter, which appeared in the Paris Review, where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for fiction . . .Eugenides's voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized. The title derives from a song by the fictional rock band Cruel Crux, a favorite of the Lisbon daughter Lux—who, unlike her sisters Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Cecilia, is anything but a virgin by the tale's end. Her mother forces Lux to burn the album along with others she considers dangerously provocative. Mr. Lisbon, a mild-mannered high school math teacher, is driven to resign by parents who believe his control of their children may be as deficient as his control of his own brood . . . Under the narrator's goofy, posturing banter are some hard truths: mortality is a fact of life; teenage girls are more attracted to brawn than to brains (contrary to the testimony of the narrator's male relatives). This is an auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer."—Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Jeffrey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford universities. The Virgin Suicides was published in 1993 and was adapted into a motion picture in 1999 by Sophia Coppola. His second novel, Middlesex won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in the fall of 2007.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

misterlady, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by misterlady)
heartbreaking and sad but uplifting at the smallest moments
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
WisdomSeeker, October 3, 2011 (view all comments by WisdomSeeker)
(NOTE: These are my OWN Comments, and thus I have my own Permission to write the following): This is Eugenides’ (Debut), and the second Novel, I'm Reading. It was with shock, I was initially confronted with the following Impressions, and “WARNING to myself” I Wrote on the Book’s blank page. This could apply to anyone: 09/2/11-WARNING 2 READER: About this Novel--unlike Eugenides' second Novel "Middlesex," which was unbelievably great, and difficult to put down--This is an EXTREMELY DARK NOVEL, containing numerous iterations on Suicide, in all its Raw Vividness, Highly descriptive, and Explicit style. THIS ONE SHOULD NOT be READ, IF ONE SUFFERS from “MAJOR CLINICAL DEPRESSION;” is under A GREAT DEAL of STRESS; IS on a “DEPRESSIVE” CYCLE, of "MANIC DEPRESSIVE SYNDROME;” OR is in the THROES of a “NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.” If the Reader Suffers from other forms of Brain Disorders, that may lead to SUICIDAL IDEATIONS, this Book is NOT RECOMMENDED, (unless, and until the Patient's Health has been Stabilized). In spite of all the Praise this, Eugenides' Debut Novel has received--even I, who do NOT Believe in Suicide--finding myself in a highly Stressful time, could NOT go past pg. 22, and had to temporarily put the book away. (Once my own Circumstances did Stabilize, I returned to the Novel, and am now but a couple of Chapters from its conclusion).Nonetheless, this is NOT a Novel to be “feeble-hearted!” You've been warned!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
anitaballerina, March 27, 2010 (view all comments by anitaballerina)
Beautiful, captivating, sad, interesting. All of these words describe this book. I saw the movie and promptly got the book. The book is so good. The movie follows it right down the line.
This is such a beautiful read to be there with these girls and boys and to see what the boys saw was truly a wonderful experience.
The imagery and writing of this book are so extraordinary! I have recomended this book to everyone I know.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312428815
Author:
Eugenides, Jeffrey
Publisher:
Picador USA
Subject:
Coming of age
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
FIC043000
Subject:
Suburban life
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
Literature-Coming of Age
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20090431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.5 x 0.705 in
Age Level:
Literature-Coming of Age

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The Virgin Suicides Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428815 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 , "Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naivete surrounding these bizarre events."
"Review" by , "A piercing first novel . . . Incantatory prose . . . The narrator's hypnotic voice succeeds in transporting us to that mythic realm where fate, not common sense or psychology, holds sway. By turns lyrical and portentous, ferocious and elegiac, The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel."
"Review" by , "[A] comic and elegiac first novel . . . Eugenides is one of those rare writers who can manage sympathy and detachment simultaneously — and work small wonders with words while he's at it. As The Virgin Suicides puts its heroines through hell, its readers, weirdly enough, will be delighted."
"Review" by , "[A]n auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer."
"Synopsis" by , Juxtaposing the most common and the most gothic, the humorous and the tragic, Jeffrey Eugenides creates a vivid and compelling portrait of youth and lost innocence. He takes us back to the elm-lined streets of suburbia in the seventies, and introduces us to the men whose lives have been forever changed by their fierce, awkward obsession with five doomed sisters: brainy Therese, fastidious Mary, ascetic Bonnie, libertine Lux, and pale, saintly Cecilia, whose spectacular demise inaugurates "the year of the suicides." This is the debut novel that caused a sensation and won immediate acclaim from the critics — a tender, wickedly funny tale of love and terror, sex and suicide, memory and imagination.
"Synopsis" by , Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.
"Synopsis" by ,
Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time.
"Synopsis" by ,

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

Jefferey Eugenides was born in Detroit and attended Brown and Stanford universities. The Virgin Suicides was published in 1993 and was adapted into a motion picture in 1999 by Sophia Coppola. His second novel, Middlesex, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. He joined the faculty of Princeton University in the fall of 2007.

First published in 1993, The Virgin Suicides announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters—beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys—commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. The Virgin Suicides is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naïveté surrounding these bizarre events."—The Wall Street Journal

"A piercing first novel . . . Incantatory prose . . . The narrator's hypnotic voice succeeds in transporting us to that mythic realm where fate, not common sense or psychology, holds sway. By turns lyrical and portentous, ferocious and elegiac, The Virgin Suicides insinuates itself into our minds as a small but powerful opera in the unexpected form of a novel."—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary."—Suzanne Berne, The New York Times Book Review

"Arresting . . . uncannily evokes the wry voice of adolescence and a mixture of curiosity, lust, tenderness, morbidity, cynicism, and the naïveté surrounding these bizarre events."—The Wall Street Journal

"[A] comic and elegiac first novel . . . Eugenides is one of those rare writers who can manage sympathy and detachment simultaneously—and work small wonders with words while he's at it. As The Virgin Suicides puts its heroines through hell, its readers, weirdly enough, will be delighted."—David Gates, Newsweek

"The Virgin Suicides takes the dark stuff of Greek tragedy and reworks it into an eccentric, mesmerizing, frequently hilarious American fantasy about the tyranny of unrequited love, and the unknowable heart of every family on earth—but especially the family next door . . . There's much here that's marvelously original, and like Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus or Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, this is one of those debuts that tell you you are present at the beginning of a major career and make you glad you own a first edition."—Tom De Haven, Entertainment Weekly

"Rhapsodic . . . With a deft, often comedic touch, Eugenides examines the concept of mass suicide in a way that might, in less assured hands, strain a reader's credulity. By skillfully displaying the parents' inability to succor the grief of their surviving daughters and by showing a father 'with the lost look of a man who realized that all this dying was going to be all the life he ever had,' the author makes the reader understand the lemminglike conduct of a group of adolescent siblings. By turns hypnotic and elegiac, the novel manages to sustain a high level of suspense in what is clearly an impressive debut."—People

"Eugenides's remarkable first novel opens on a startling note: 'On the morning the last Lisbon daughter took her turn at suicide . . . the two paramedics arrived at the house knowing exactly where the knife drawer was, and the gas oven, and the beam in the basement from which it was possible to tie a rope.' What follows is not, however, a horror novel, but a finely crafted work of literary if slightly macabre imagination. In an unnamed town in the slightly distant past, detailed in such precise and limpid prose that readers will surely feel that they grew up there, Cecilia—the youngest and most obviously wacky of the luscious Lisbon girls—finally succeeds in taking her own life. As the confused neighbors watch rather helplessly, the remaining sisters become isolated and unhinged, ending it all in a spectacular multiple suicide anticipated from the first page. Eugenides's engrossing writing style keeps one reading despite a creepy feeling that one shouldn't be enjoying it so much. A black, glittering novel."—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

"Eugenides's tantalizing, macabre first novel begins with a suicide, the first of the five bizarre deaths of the teenage daughters in the Lisbon family; the rest of the work, set in the author's native Michigan in the early 1970s, is a backward-looking quest as the male narrator and his nosy, horny pals describe how they strove to understand the odd clan of this first chapter, which appeared in the Paris Review, where it won the 1991 Aga Khan Prize for fiction . . .Eugenides's voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized. The title derives from a song by the fictional rock band Cruel Crux, a favorite of the Lisbon daughter Lux—who, unlike her sisters Therese, Mary, Bonnie and Cecilia, is anything but a virgin by the tale's end. Her mother forces Lux to burn the album along with others she considers dangerously provocative. Mr. Lisbon, a mild-mannered high school math teacher, is driven to resign by parents who believe his control of their children may be as deficient as his control of his own brood . . . Under the narrator's goofy, posturing banter are some hard truths: mortality is a fact of life; teenage girls are more attracted to brawn than to brains (contrary to the testimony of the narrator's male relatives). This is an auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer."—Publishers Weekly

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