Monday, December 19, 2005

virgin suicides

I realised that I never got round to reviewing this book. It's quite a while since I read it now, so it's not too fresh in my mind. An interesting read, that certainly gripped me as I finished it in little over a week. The aspect that makes it interesting is the way in which it is written in the first person narrative, but the character of the first person is never revealed. All that is know is that it is a boy who used to live on the same road as the sisters of the title. You would expect a story revolving around the suicide of four sisters to be rather macabre, well this isn't the case. Instead it looks at the strange secluded lifestyle of the girls which bring such fascination and lustful desires to the boys in the street who wish to get to know them better, but are resticted by the lack of socialising the girls are afforded by their mother. It's quite wordy in a few places, and this is something I notice from american literature, like catcher in the rye, and i'm not really sure of it's place. Using first person narrative that includes words that are seldom in everyday language somehow appears strange to me, perhaps american novelists feel they ought to show a good grasp of the english language to produce a book of literary note.

The essence of this book is the story teller looking back retrospectively to a time when life seemed much freer without the resposibilities of jobs etc, and that perhaps the sisters escaped the drudgery of life in their suicide pact.

Worth reading, but not fantastic in my opinion. Must get around to watching the film now.


felicity said...

i recently read "catcher in the rye". i found it's pace and first person narrative quite easy to get on with. i didn't quite get on with the main character, sometimes i felt for his isolation within society, then other times i wanted to knock his head against a brick wall. i left the book feeling a little unsure as to what i had just 'witnessed'. unsure if the character was just an idiot (in the nicest sense of the word) or if he was, in fact, suffering from a mental breakdown.
i'm coming to the 'American classics' a little late, but will certainly add "virgin suicides" to my list.

moog said...

I thought the same, my friend raved about catcher in the rye, but i spent most of the book thinking, just grow up, and if you say phoney once more......