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Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor:
Emotions, in my experience aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." ... I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
When you get to the end of this splendorous book, when you suddenly realize that after hundreds of pages you have only a few more left to turn over, you'll experience a quick pang of regret knowing that your time with Cal is coming to a close, and you may even resist finishing it--putting it aside for an hour or two, or maybe overnight--just so that this wondrous, magical novel might never end. --Brad Thomas Parsons
Author was able to put common thoughts of life down on paper, not an easy thing to do with the clarity of a story teller. Read morePublished 5 hours ago by rgigstad
This story was hard to get into but eventually developed into a very moving story about a family and the connection between the past and present.Published 3 days ago by Megan M.
Fabulous book. It hits on so many notes. History, sexuality, family dynamics.Published 4 days ago by Kasey Matthews
Very good. I enjoyed this book and because I live in Detroit it was nice to be in the city the book is set in. Read morePublished 4 days ago by a reader
With engaging erudition rendered in a unique voice, Jeffrey Eugenides displays his, at the time, evolving talent as a novelist in this monumental undertaking. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Thomas Moody
Pretty good but slow going, I enjoyed how much history he added to build up the book. Give it a read, very interesting about life during the a golden age of Detroit.Published 6 days ago by Caitlin