The Virgins- Pamela Erens

The Virgins (Aug)

I’m really getting through my novels at the moment, aren’t I? I guess it’s one of the joys of being on summer holiday. Anyway, I’d like to talk to you today about The Virgins. It’s one of those novels you know is going to be serious because it’s subtitled ‘a novel’, in case you were going to mistake it for a Russian tourist or something.

I was drawn to this because the blurb compared it to one of my favourite teenage books, The Virgin Suicides. Like The Virgin Suicides, this novel is set in the 1970s. It revolves around the love affair of two teenagers at a well-to-do boarding school in the States and their attempts to, well, not be virgins any more. The narrator is a slightly creepy boy called Bruce Bennett-Jones who seems to be far too interested in the goings on of other people.

After I read a book, I like to read the reviews of it on Goodreads and Amazon. It’s almost like me and the majority of reviewers read a different book. I hated this. It may be because I recently read another coming-of-age novel set in the 1970s, but this did not make me feel overwhelmed by the story, the characters or the writing style. If I’m honest, I was bored. I didn’t like the characters, the sex scenes made me cringe and I just couldn’t get into it as much as I would have liked.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this is comparable to The Virgin Suicides, however much the critics of the New York Times tell me it is.

*Sent for review

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