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The Virgin Suicides

Written by: Jeffrey Eugenides
Narrated by: Nick Landrum
Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This nationally best-selling novel from Pulitzer Prize-winner Jeffrey Eugenides was adapted into an acclaimed film by Academy Award-winner Sofia Coppola. A haunting yet wickedly funny tale, The Virgin Suicides has captivated countless readers with its intoxicating portrait of lost innocence. A brilliant fusion of dark humor and tragedy, it is an atmospheric, allegorical masterpiece about five oppressed, suicidal sisters and the boys who dream of rescuing them.
©1993 Jeffrey Eugenides (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC.

What the critics say

"Eugenides' voice is so fresh and compelling, his powers of observation so startling and acute, that most will be mesmerized....This is an auspicious debut from an imaginative and talented writer." ( Publishers Weekly)
"A finely crafted work of literary if slightly macabre imagination....A black, glittering novel that won't be to everyone's taste but must be tried by readers looking for something different." ( Library Journal)
"Mr. Eugenides is blessed with the storyteller's most magical gift, the ability to transform the mundane into the extraordinary." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lexi Lou
  • 2013-11-06

Read this if you want to enjoy this audiobook

What did you love best about The Virgin Suicides?

I purchased this audiobook and was so disappointed when I found I could not tolerate listening to it. The problem was the slow, monotone voice of the narrator. I couldn't take it anymore, as listening became painful and I could not follow the story as my mind wandered. I read many similar complaints in the reviews.
I came back to the book a couple months later and tried it again. This time, I set audible.com's listening app to play it at 1.25 speed instead of the default 1. I was amazed. The audible experience became perfect, as it was meant to be. I do not believe the problem was with the narrator in the first place. I believe the track was slowed down for some reason in post production the the chagrin of may listeners.
If you tried listening to this book and simply could not get past the first chapter without wanting to tear your hair out, do yourself a favor and increase the speed of playback one notch. You will be surprised how wonderful this book, and it's narrator truly are.

Any additional comments?

Must be played at 1.25 speed to hear original recording.

106 of 110 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anna
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 2010-10-01

good listen.

This book kept me engaged. While others noted somewhat negatively about the simplicity of the story telling and odd perspective (as told by the neighborhood boys), I thought that hearing about the fascinating albeit tragic story from an outside view added to it's intrigue. I have not seen the movie and I think this added to my ability to let the vague storytelling encourage my imagination.
Beauty, youth, family issues, crime, sex, and mystery... this story has it all and is told in a way that is thought provoking. I look forward to listening to other books from this author.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2006-05-17

Heartbreaking - but Wonderful!

Having first listened to the masterpiece, Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, I thought that I might be disappointed by the initial offering from this author. I needn’t have worried!. The Virgin Suicides is just a terrific novel. Although absolutely heartbreaking, the story provides the listener with hope and a sense of peace. Nick Landrum is superb in his reading of the story and I defy any listener to have dry eyes during the final 5 minutes of his narration. I can’t wait for the next offering from Mr. Eugenides, who is, in my view, the best author out there.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lori
  • 2010-09-26

Interesting but plotless

This book was interesting, but really didn't go anywhere. I too loved Middlesex and while this book has an interesting premise, it doesn't go much beyond that. You know the ending by the title, and I kept waiting for a surprise. The surprise is, there is no surprise. Didn't hate it, and don't consider it a waste of time, but I was disappointed.

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kerry
  • athens, GA, United States
  • 2011-11-15

narrator fine

I am writing mostly to voice disagreement with previous reviewers regarding the narrator. I enjoyed the book and thought the narration was fine. The pace was possibly a bit slow, but overall I thought it was a good reading and certainly did not detract from my enjoyment in a significant way.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Irving, TX, USA
  • 2006-05-16

SAMPLE BEFORE BUYING

The direction and/or narration of this audiobook is so slow that it makes the book almost incomprehensible. Each comma is a paragraph, each period a chapter. What remains is an exercise in focused concentration, for holding onto the subject of a sentence from start to finish is truely a task.

34 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • 2015-10-27

A study in style

Much as I admired and sometimes revelled in the sheer style and beauty of the writing, this novel left me cold cold cold and empty. Beautiful, but ultimately futile. Which I think was precisely the point.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Palm Harbor, FL, USA
  • 2006-09-14

Tedious

I tried to like it. I really did. I LOVED Middlesex but I found my mind wandering while I was listening to this book and never developed any feeling for the characters.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • joyce
  • 2017-04-23

Disappointed

I finally forced myself to listen to this book on the 4th try. I kept trying because I loved Jeffrey Eugenides previous book. It is hard to identify what I didn't like about it. I think it was the narrator. The book came across as somewhat slow, boring and depressing. The book was written by a man and was read by what sounded like a young man and yet the main story was about the 5 sisters. I think I took offense to the fact that the girl's feelings, thoughts and motivations were being told to me by men who would know nothing about their inner lives nor what happened inside their home. The writing was good, very good at times and I really enjoyed the last couple of hours of the book.
However I am not sure I would recommend the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Malia
  • LONG BRANCH, NJ, United States
  • 2013-03-21

Recommended Listen!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes- for anyone who's watched the film, the book is a great companion with expanded detail and "flavor".

Who was your favorite character and why?

I didn't really have a favorite character, they were all portrayed well by Eugenides. I don't know if it were possible to have a favorite. You feel like you knew them well, and didn't know them at all.

What does Nick Landrum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I've listened to all of the Dexter books narrated by Nick Landrum and I like his voice. It doesn't "get in the way" of the story.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

There was a film! Don't know the tagline, but I'm sure it's just as vague as the deep story.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful