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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
Calliope (Cal) Stephanides, born after World War II, was raised as a girl until the teenage years. Then, at 14, puberty kicked in and Cal matured into a boy. Read morePublished 1 day ago by B. Saffer
Couldn't put this down. The conclusion is known from the start and the author hints at upcoming events throghout, but the bookis still amazing since the storytelling is... Read morePublished 1 day ago by mmcgrad98
Arrived promptly, slightly more beat up than I expected, but it is a good read nonetheless...Published 3 days ago by Richard L. Mellott
This novel opens up a debate that most people have no idea even exists. How do intersex people deal with gender ambiguity? Read morePublished 5 days ago by Swedami
When I started this book I was curious about the subject of hermaphrodites, but this well-crafted book is about so much more. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Kathryn M. Hardin
A page turner. Great story, if a bit heartbreaking. Looking forward to the virgin suicides. I'm hooked with Jeffrey Eugenides.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer