Sunday, November 23rd, 2003 • 4 Comments on That Jeffrey Eugenides is One Wacky Guy
So, Jae and I met this morning to discuss Virgin Suicides. We had to do our book discussion at the unfortunate hour of 10 a.m. because I am too much of a social butterfly. The only time I could fit him into my weekend schedule was before work (and next week is Thanksgiving-and-Sheri week, so that was out). I do not do my best thinking in the morning, so I’m sure I forgot to make some key points. There were bagels and cream cheese and yummy Starbucks coffee with chocolate creamer to fortify us and a great discussion of the book which segued into a discussion about how society handles tragedy.
The consensus was that
is a good book with some very confusing and unexplained (and unexplainable?) messages. Jae made some good points that I hadn’t considered, especially about how men need to “fix” things and are intrigued by a woman’s mysterious qualities (whether those mysterious qualities are real or imagined). Eugenides has an interesting writing style and a way of throwing out off-the-cuff comments that stick with you (“the two year-old Catholic mistake” is still my favorite). This is a book filled with sexual and religious undertones, suburban decay and familial rot, wasted youth and numbing adulthood. Now I’m really interested in reading Middlesex.
There’s no doubt that Jeffrey Eugenides is a talented writer (a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, at that), but there is a certain smugness about his writing, as if he’s just a little too impressed with his own cleverness, that gets on my nerves. It’s a minor sticking point and hopefully one he outgrows in
. I’d also have to say he has a twisted little imagination. Makes me wonder what he’s doing when nobody is watching. Then again, maybe that’s the point of the book.