lechatnoir, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by lechatnoir)
I actually listened to this book during my daily 3-mile walks, rather than read it in traditional book form, but all the same, it got to the point where I simply could not tear myself away from it. I was adding time to my walks, listening to it while working around the house, and generally not getting a lot of other things done just so that I could listen longer! Calliope's story is original, compelling and brilliantly narrated against a cultural backdrop that is in many ways foreign to me, yet utterly familiar in the depth of its humanity. An absolute must-read.
zoeladyfletcher, July 15, 2012 (view all comments by zoeladyfletcher)
I started reading this with an open mind and I finished with an open heart. Raw, powerful writing drives you through a life uniquely lived. Eugenides puts his arm around you and escorts you through pain, love and acceptance.
mimiBCN, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by mimiBCN)
My friend recommended Middlesex to me when it first came out. I tried to read it but just couldn´t get into it. Many years later, I tried again. I´m so glad I did! This is the best book I read in 2011, and I read A LOT. I am looking forward to reading more by Eugenides in 2012!
Sofia, October 14, 2011 (view all comments by Sofia)
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." - this is the first sentence of 'Middlesex', and it was enough to ensure I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. This is a novel that manages to be epic in scope and tremendously intimate at the same time, tracing the history of the Stephanides family - a history fraught with war and love and half-realized dreams - until the birth of Cal, raised as Calliope. Euginides' writing is beautiful and evocative, and this book is perfectly crafted, tremendously touching. A true masterpiece.
Picador USA -
This engrossing Pulitzer Prize-winner is the utterly amazing story of a hermaphrodite. It is so emotionally accurate and insightful that it reads like a memoir. It's also laugh-out-loud funny. Beautifully written and remarkable in its scope and accomplishment, Middlesex is a breathtaking masterpiece!
by Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times,
"[A]n uproarious epic, at once funny and sad, about misplaced identities and family secrets....Mr. Eugenides has a keen sociological eye for 20th-century American life."
by Bethany Schneider, New York Newsday,
"It's a gas, a romp, the cat's pajamas....The convolutions of the novel's plot, its big gestures, its deftly handled threads of imagery and symbolism and its wealth of detail combine to produce a largely delightful read."
by Jeff Turrentine, The Los Angeles Times,
"Middlesex isn't just a respectable sophomore effort; it's a towering achievement, and it can now be stated unequivocally that Eugenides' initial triumph wasn't a one-off or a fluke. He has emerged as the great American writer that many of us suspected him of being."
by Stewart O'Nan, Atlantic Monthly,
"[I]t's off proportionally, both section-to-section and overall, its two halves at odds, each interesting at times but neither truly satisfying, despite Eugenides's prodigious talent. Like Cal, it's damned by its own abundance, not quite sure what it wants to be." (read the entire Atlantic review)
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Middlesex vibrates with wit....A virtuosic combination of elegy, sociohistorical study, and picaresque adventure: altogether irrestistable."
by Jonathan Miles, Men's Journal,
"Here's your heads-up....Yes, it's that good....A novel of chance, family, sex, surgery, and America, it contains multitudes."
In his second novel, the author once again proves himself to be a wildly imaginative writer....Likely to hold readers in thrall with its affecting characterizations of a brave and lonely soul and its vivid depiction of exactly what it means to be both male and female.”
by Library Journal,
"Eugenides proves that he is not only a unique voice in modern literature but also well versed in the nature of the human heart. Highly recommended."
The Pulitzer Prize-winning story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American family who travel from a tiny village. Calliope is not like other girls and must uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction.
In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them — along with Callie's failure to develop physically — leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.
The explanation for this shocking state of affairs is a rare genetic mutation — and a guilty secret — that have followed Callie's grandparents from the crumbling Ottoman Empire to Prohibition-era Detroit and beyond, outlasting the glory days of the Motor City, the race riots of 1967, and the family's second migration, into the foreign country known as suburbia. Thanks to the gene, Callie is part girl, part boy. And even though the gene's epic travels have ended, her own odyssey has only begun.
Spanning eight decades — and one unusually awkward adolescence — Jeffrey Eugenides's long-awaited second novel is a grand, original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire.
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