This was the second time I’ve read Jeffrey Eugenides’ debut book, The Virgin Suicides. The first time I read it was at least 5 years ago, but I remembThis was the second time I’ve read Jeffrey Eugenides’ debut book, The Virgin Suicides. The first time I read it was at least 5 years ago, but I remember really liking it back then. That changed…for the better with this reading. I fell in love with this book. That’s really the best way I can describe it. Eugenides’ prose is beautiful and it just flows so well that there’s this wonderful picture drawn in my head of the Lisbon girls and I see them just as the narrator does.
The Virgin Suicides is almost a bittersweet tale. You know from the first page that the five Lisbon girls are going to kill themselves. You’re just unsure of the exact circumstances behind that decision. In the meantime, the unnamed narrator constructs this perfect image of the girls as he and his friends saw them when they were boys. The narrator and his colleagues have painstakingly assembled bits and pieces from the lives of the Lisbon girls in a hopeless effort to figure out who they really were. The girls seem to be some sort of strange phenomenon in the book. No one knows what they’re really like and no one ever got close enough to really call them friends.
I think the main reason that I enjoyed this novel so much was just how it was written. It reads like a conversation with an old friend as they’re remembering stories from their childhood. Little tangents pop up about a neighbor or a classmate along the way, but they don’t distract from the main story. Instead they add to it, giving you a more well-rounded sense of the world that these girls inhabited. I can’t even think of another book that was written like this, where I wasn’t annoyed when the writer strayed from the topic at hand.
I don’t really have any qualms with this book. It’s great. That’s it. It’s quickly become one of my absolute favorite books. Now I have to re-watch the movie....more
I feel like everyone has had a bad relationship or at the very least a really bad day. This could lead to feelings of a bad life. Rob Fleming is in thI feel like everyone has had a bad relationship or at the very least a really bad day. This could lead to feelings of a bad life. Rob Fleming is in that situation. His girlfriend of who knows how long left him, his record shop is failing and he’s got no friends. What exactly is he supposed to do now?
Rob looks at himself and how others see him to try and figure out his next steps. The thing is, Rob is a little hard to sympathize with. He’s kind of an asshole (or “arsehole” because he’s British). That being said, I can relate to him. Now, it’s not like I ever knocked up a girlfriend and then cheated on her. I’m not that much of an asshole. I can relate to Rob Fleming because I’ve been in (and I’m still in to a point) a part of my life where I really don’t know what to do. Am I content floating where I am in life right now? Or do I want to see what’s just around the bend even if it’s a waterfall?
The prose in High Fidelity reads like an internal monologue that I wish I’d have. I would kill to be able to talk like that to everyone I know. This is probably what makes me love this book so much. The whole thing flows like a big conversation. It’s like the dialogue in Clerks times a million. The narrator does such a good job of explaining how he feels in each moment that I got so wrapped up in the story. There were times where I literally had to force myself to stop reading the book because it was late and I needed to get to sleep. There are little tangents in the book where Rob explains about a weird thing that happened in the shop or some other piece of his past, but they all relate to the overall story. There’s just no wasted space.
To me, this book is something that I could (and probably will) read once a year. While Rob is a thirty-something suffering from all sorts of problems, his story is easily relatable to anyone that has doubts in life (which I believe would be just about everyone). It’s perfect for a post-college student looking for their right path on life because it just makes sense.
High Fidelity just made it to the #1 position on my Top 5 Books of All Time list. ...more