Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Virgin Suicides

I just finished reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides and it will be far too hard for me to convey to you how much I loved this book.

Loved, loved, loved.

Eugenides' combines the common elements of humor and grief into something beautiful and rare.

I definitely recommend this book.

Here are some quotes that I found particularly captivating:

"All wisdom ends in a paradox." (p. 246)

"They had killed themselves over the dying forests; over the manatees maimed by propellers as they surfaced to drink from garden hoses; they killed themselves at the sight of used tires stacked higher than the pyramids; they had killed themselves over the failure to find a love none of us could ever be. In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws." (p. 245)

"The essence of the suicides consisted not of sadness or mystery but simple selfishness. The girls took into their own hands decisions better left to God. They became too powerful to live among us, too self-concerned, too visionary, too blind." (p. 248)

"What my yia yia could never understand about America was why everyone pretended to be happy all the time." (p. 175)

Writing about prostate self exams: "And so we lie on our backs, probing, recoiling, probing again, and the seeds of death get lost in the mess God made us." (p. 170)

"We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colors went together. We knew that the girls were our twins, that we all existed in space like animals with identical skins, and that they knew everything about us though we couldn't fathom them at all. We knew, finally, that the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them." (p. 44)


LeBlanc said...

There is definitely some beautiful writing here. I would be willing to take a gander at that myself...but HP #7 comes out in 10 days and I just gotta finish the last Hannibal Lecter book, I just gotta.

Sarah Ashlee said...

So what do you think, does Harry die? Are you placing any wagers?? :)

When you have time, definitely check out Eugenides will be glad you did!

LeBlanc said...

I can't imagine that Rowling would kill off Harry. He must be like one her very own children by this point in her life. My thoughts are that Snape sacrifices himself to save Harry.

Jenny said...

i meant to comment earlier on this to tell you that in a strange coincidence, i had an urge to watch this movie last week, and right after i watched it i was checking in on new blogs and saw your post on the book. it was kind of spooky. anyways, i love this book (and movie), too. that p. 44 quote is so great.

Sarah Ashlee said...

That is weird! I have a friend that just finished reading Eugenides other book, Middlesex, and was singing his praises. It's weird that we're all interested in his books at this moment in time. :) I just bought Middlesex and can't wait to start reading it!

The Queen of Hearts said...

I absolutely loved this book. Definitely one of the classics from my youth.

Anonymous said...

I Love these Teenage books -

Go ask alice
The perks of being a wallflower

But fter the bell jar nothing else really competed, and i was really looking forward to this and the catcher in the rye but after the bell jar they seem kind of lifeless. :(