The Virgin Suicides

Posted by Ryan Jerz on Thursday January 3, 2008.

Author(s): Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
ISBN: 0446670251
Amazon | Shelfari
This is easily the toughest review I have written. It’s definitely the worst, but that doesn’t say a whole lot. I had a hard time figuring this book out. Whenever I read a book, I look the book up and get other people’s takes on it. I don’t wait until I’m done or anything like that. With The Virgin Suicides I struggled because I didn’t think I was seeing it the same way as everyone else. When I watched the movie after finishing the book, that view was pretty much confirmed.

Here is what I wrote at Shelfari:

Tough one to call here. I enjoyed the book, but fear I didn’t get it. It was a smooth read for me and I appreciated the story. The whole thing seemed a little unbelievable to me, but I kept moving along hoping I would eventually get some insight into why these girls did what they did. I suppose there is never one easy answer to that question, and that may have been the point of the book. It was filled with things that can and do happen to people all over the place, but the result here was a freakish act by the girls in the end. Maybe that’s just it. There is no answer for why suicide happens and this book was an honest illustration for that.

What I never got in the book was the humor. As I looked at other people’s opinions, I realized they saw it. So from that point I started seeing what I thought should be funny situations. But until I saw the movie depictions of those situations I didn’t know if what I was reading was serious or not. Most of the time it was funny. All I can say on this one is that I’m thankful that there are smarter people than me making movies.

Did you read the book? Are there things about it that you particularly thought were interesting or funny? I’d love to actually discuss this book with someone who might have better insight. Maybe I can fully understand it with a little help.

Ryan JerzRyan Jerz is an all-around good guy who wants people to eventually refer to him as "that dude who climbs mountains."

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