DNF: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides

“The haunting, humorous and tender story of the brief lives of the five entrancing Lisbon sisters, The Virgin Suicides, now a major film, is Jeffrey Eugenides’ classic debut novel.

The shocking thing about the girls was how nearly normal they seemed which their mother let them out for the one and only date of their lives. Twenty years on, their enigmatic personalities are embalmed in the memories of the boys who worshipped them and who now recall their shared adolescence: the brassiere draped over a crucifix belonging to the promiscuous Lux; the sister’s breathtaking appearance on the night of the dance; and the sultry, sleepy street across which they watched a family disintegrate and fragile lives disappear.”
***
From the reviews of The Virgin suicides that I have seen on goodreads I can tell that this book is one of those that you either love or hate. Nearly every review is either 5 stars or 1. Unfortunately I’m going to have put mine low I think.

I wanted to love this book, it has been on my tbr list ever since I saw the movie and I loved the movie. However when I started reading it something seemed lacking. The movie did this book more than justice, its amazing but from what I remember of the movie it’s storyline runs very very similarly to this book. Unfortunately it must work better in the movie and at 111 pages in I decided to give the book up. 

I loved the way the movie’s story was told, from an outsider looking in, and although this is the same as in the book I felt like the book was lacking. It didn’t have the visual stimulation which was needed for such a voice, and it really bugged me that the narrator kept pointing to “exhibits” that I couldn’t view myself! 
I remember the movie flowing so well, I remember that there was a time period between the first Lisbon sisters suicide and the next but I didn’t think it was a long time period at all. However in the book I started getting bored. Nearly halfway through and only one of the girls had committed suicide and the story was so boring. I decided that for my own sake I was going to stop reading and change to something else.
I really hope that this isn’t the start of a bigger reading slump. I don’t think it is to be honest though. I really wasn’t connecting to the story, it took me three days to get 111 pages in (even though I’d read a 200 page book the morning I started this one!)  and I kept putting off reading to do other things (a definite sign I’m not enjoying a book!) I’m annoyed at myself for stopping reading but I think if I carried on it would have taken me all week to read it and I would have enjoyed it even less! 
I may try and read it again one day. I know its a cult classic but at the minute I’m not in the right kind of mood to push myself to read a book I’m not enjoying. All I know is I’m glad I managed to find it in a charity shop for 1.99 rather than bought it at full price! 
  • I’ve had this one on my wishlist for a couple of weeks now. I’ve never seen the film but it’s got such good reviews that I thought I’d give it a go.

    I hate when books aren’t accessible though – I don’t want to have to work at getting into a book! I might let it slide down the wishlist a few spaces then…

    Helpful review, thanks!

  • I’ve not seen the movie or read the book. In fact I’d never heard about it until I read your review here. I don’t even really fancy it from the synopsis.

    It’s strange that the book brings out such totally opposite emotions in people with the 1 star and 5 star ratings. I don’t think I’ve come across such a book before.

  • I haven’t seen the film either, but my brother has and he loved it. He has also started reading the book, but I don’t think he has managed to get very far. I actually like the sound of the story, but I haven’t been in the mood to start reading it as of late. It will probably take me even longer to get to it now…

    I also think it’s rather strange about the completely opposite ratings… Either 1 or 5? It seems a little too extreme.

    Thanks for the honest and very helpful review, Raimy! šŸ™‚

  • I haven’t read the book, but it sounds good. But I just hate it when you can’t connect with a story, and yes, when you’re putting off reading to do other things it’s a definate sign of no-connection.
    Great, honest review! šŸ™‚

  • I’m really sad that you didn’t like this considering it’s like, my fave book. I wonder if you’d responded differently if you hadn’t seen the film first?? I still haven’t watched it, I need too.

  • I thought this was a good and really interesting book, but I can see that if somebody remembered the film really vividly whilst reading it might be a bit of a letdown as there isn’t really much detail in it that isn’t in the film.

  • Aww, what a shame! I really loved this book but I can see how watching the film might take something away from the story.