Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Modern Gothic

I just read The Virgin Suicides, by Jeffrey Eugenides. He's the same author who wrote Middlesex, one of my favorite novels of the summer reading period. And, some people might recognize the name since it was made into a movie by Sofia Coppola.

The Virgin Suicides was a really good read. It wasn't quite the book of epic proportions that Middlesex was, but I guess that's what happens when you read a book that won a Pulitzer and then read that same author's first book. (Of course, it's not like Suicides was exactly a failure or even anything near a wallflower of a first book, given the fact it was made into a "major motion picture.")

So, while it wasn't the same breadth and depth, I have to say I recommend it. There's a lot of beauty in the prose, and I can already tell I want to read it again to do a second pass, given there's a lot of allegory and allusion and metaphor that I am pretty sure whizzed over my head the first time.

Plus, I think what I like about it is, that it's the perfect example of the modern gothic tale. The end didn't disappoint though at times, I felt the beginning dragged; the novel speaks of the decadence (read: decay) that the gothic form is truly made of. It's not just your run-of-the-mill "darkness" that for so many, exemplifies the word "gothic."

Thanks for reading,

LLB

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