The Virgin Suicides

by Jeffrey Eugenides | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 034910543x Global Overview for this book
Registered by Triggerfish of Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on 10/13/2006
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
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10 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, October 13, 2006
From Publishers Weekly
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. The sensationalism of the subject matter (based loosely on a factual account) may be off-putting to some readers, but 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. Eugenides risks sounding sophomoric in his attempt to convey the immaturity of high-school boys; while initially somewhat discomfiting, the narrator's voice (representing the collective memories of the group) acquires the ring of authenticity. The author is equally convincing when he describes the older locals' reactions to the suicide attempts. 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. Literary Guild selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc

Really enjoyed Middlesex, so looking forward to reading this.

Journal Entry 2 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, November 06, 2006
Enjoyed this - if it's permissable to use that word in relation to the story of 5 suicides...
An uncomfortable but engrossing read, lightened with some black humour.

Journal Entry 3 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Uk and Europe Bookray

Hi, I've copied these GUIDELINES from Daemonwolf, they seem sensible!
1) Everybody should leave a journal entry when receiving the book and after the read! Please let us all know what you think about it...
2) Also PM the next person on the list for a mailing address and when that person doesn't answer within 7 days MAX! please PM the one after...
3) Everybody should also try to read the book soon (max - one MONTH?)- but in a joyful speed. It's not about how many books someone can read within a certain amount of time - it's about enjoying it...
4) You can send the book via surface mail or airmail - that is completely up to you.
5) If you find you don't have the time to read it when it's your turn please PM and I'll move you to a later slot.
6) Enjoy

Book will be sent out in following order. PLEASE READ THE GUIDELINES!
PARTICIPANTS (updated 21/6/07)

safrolistics UK :
clw204 UK
JudeK UK
bluecat07 Ger
JamsODonnellToo Ger
DivineSelene Greece
penelopewanders Switz
Gyokuro Ger
LisB France<-- no response to PMs

ray now ended.

Journal Entry 4 by Triggerfish from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, November 27, 2006
Posted to safrolistics.

Journal Entry 5 by Safrolistics from Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Northumberland United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Received in the post today, although I'm in the middle of a HUGE book, so it may take me a week or so to get round to this one.

Journal Entry 6 by Safrolistics from Newbiggin-By-The-Sea, Northumberland United Kingdom on Saturday, December 09, 2006
This is one of my favourite films. And the book doesnt really give any more, other than the last few chapters. But still a great read. On it's way to clw204 now.

Follow this books journey

Released 13 yrs ago (1/9/2007 UTC) at Grahamstown in A bookcrosser , -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom



Journal Entry 8 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Monday, January 15, 2007
Arrived this morning, thank you:-D

Found this tough going, have emailed next on list for address.


Posted to JudeK. Enjoy:-)

Journal Entry 10 by JudeK from Scarborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Friday, March 16, 2007
sorry for delay in journal.. Received this book along with 4 others the same week. Just like buses!!! Will probably be another week before I am ready to send on.

Journal Entry 11 by JudeK from Scarborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, March 29, 2007
can't get into this book so have pm'd next person

Journal Entry 12 by JudeK from Scarborough, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, April 22, 2007
Really sorry, I have just pm'd next person again as hadn't received an email with address to post to and had forgotten I had the book. Will post 1st class as soon as address received.

Journal Entry 13 by wingAnke68wing from Hamburg - Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg Germany on Friday, April 27, 2007
The book arrived here today and I´m looking forward to reading it! Thanks for letting me join that bookring. :-)

Journal Entry 14 by wingAnke68wing from Hamburg - Fuhlsbüttel, Hamburg Germany on Tuesday, May 08, 2007
A strange and sometimes disturbing book... Some parts of it are quite funny, but on the whole it´s a rather sad book - but that´s what you expect when you read a book with a title like that. I had thought that the actual suicides and the time to cope with them would play a bigger part - the last pages seemed quite a bit hurried to me. But nevertheless I´m glad that I read the book, so thanks for letting me join that ring!

As soon as I get bluecat07´s address I will send the book to her.

Journal Entry 15 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Thursday, May 10, 2007
Book arrived today. Thanks for sending it, Anke!

Journal Entry 16 by bluecat07 from Karben, Hessen Germany on Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Will travel to JamsODonnellToo tomorrow. Thanks for this Ring, Triggerfish! Will write about how I liked the book as soon as I am book from my holiday.

8.7.07: The others are right. This book is disturbing. Especially with the language and the narrator's point of view - it is so easy to read but you know that the suicides will take place. I couldn't understand how everybody just watched the family getting more and more isolated and nobody doing anything. But I guess that is realistic. Happens all the time. This was an interesting read, thanks, Triggerfish!

Journal Entry 17 by JamsODonnellToo from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Found in the mail today, thanks bluecat! It will have to queue up, but I can't wait to read it.

Journal Entry 18 by JamsODonnellToo from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, September 29, 2007
Wonderful! I loved this book, the storytelling, the twisted love for these five creatures that transpires from every page, opposed by the girls' being mostly interested in themselves. The bit about the girls' selfishness, at the end of the book, struck me as very true.

I loved the part in which the narrator describes the effect of Cecilia's diary on the boys. Favourite quote: "We could never understand why the girls cared so much about being mature, or why they felt so compelled to compliment each other, but sometimes, after one of us had read a long portion of the diary out loud, we had to fight back the urge to hug one another or to tell each other how pretty we were. We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colours went together.". Brilliant!

As a side note, I truly enjoyed the character of Old Mrs. Karafilis, a budding Desdemona who then fully blooms in "Middlesex". Ten years went by between "Virgin suicides" and "Middlesex", I hope we won't have to wait that long for the next release - although, if the results are so good, well then I'll wait :)

Thanks a lot Triggerfish for sending this book around, and for allowing me to keep it so long. It's now on its way to Greece (mailed yesterday Sept 28).

Journal Entry 19 by DivineSelene from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The book arrived today! Thank you Triggerfish and JamsODonnellToo!!!

Journal Entry 20 by DivineSelene from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The books is on its way...! Really sorry again for the delay...!

Journal Entry 21 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Tuesday, February 12, 2008
This arrived safely in the Alps today - and will have to wait in line a bit as I have a few other rings which have just arrived as well! Thanks so much for making it available.

Journal Entry 22 by wingpenelopewanderswing from Hasliberg, Bern / Berne Switzerland on Monday, February 25, 2008
I suppose that Middlesex is simply a hard act to follow (although I gather this was written first?). Having read that first, I was blown away by it, and unfortunately this didn't capture me the same way. I've just read the other JEs (I usually avoid reading them in detail until I've actually read the book) and see I'm not really alone.
Eugenides has an astounding way of describing people and situations and his metaphors are terrific, but for me the content of this story just didn't make the grade.
The narrator (or narrators? always the "we"...) remain/s in some ways elusive and in some ways so clearly the gawky, pimply gang of not so cool boys - and yet something about that elusiveness felt a bit contrived.
The girls are so realistic - but so much so, seen with such graphic reality, that it seems strange they should be such objects of fantasy with the scumminess of their bath water and the other grungy details the narrator lovingly fingers like so many rosary beads.
Fortunately the issue of suicide remains relatively remote to me and I felt quite detached from this whole incident. I suspect I would have related more to one suicide, but because it is multiple it seems somehow grotesque . Was it based on a true story?
I still appreciate Eugenides for his ability to conjure up crystal clear images, but far prefer Middlesex to this novel. I am delighted to have been able to read it, however, so thank you so much for making it available. I've PMed for the next address and hope to send it on soon.


Finally got my act together and now this book is on its way from Switzerland to Germany. Thanks so much!

Journal Entry 24 by Gyokuro from Mönchengladbach, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, April 25, 2008
I just started to read, will pass it on by next week's end.

Journal Entry 25 by Gyokuro from Mönchengladbach, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, June 20, 2008
Unfortunately the book met me occupied with a lot of things that don't match any kind of suicide or melancholy at all. So though Eugenides' voice indeed is very special, the story itself couldn' quite get into me.

Released 11 yrs ago (6/21/2008 UTC) at Rathausgasse (Briefkasten vor der Post) in Viersen, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany



Since the next bookcrosser on the list is not responding, Triggerfish agrees to stop this ray here and I am passing it on to someone else.
The Book visits Berlin.

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