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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
I respect the work that the author did to put this novel together, including the research on the gene that causes intersex, but Middlesex was just a so-so read for me. Read morePublished 4 days ago by fra7299
Good idea and plot but it was way way too long. Sorry, I can't stay focused on one book that long. Trim at least 150 pages and you have a very good book.Published 5 days ago by Ed Arnold
"Some people inherit houses; others paintings or highly insured violin bows. Still others get a Japanese tansu or a famous name. Read morePublished 10 days ago by little lady blue
Very well-written book!! I loved how Eugenides couches such an interesting, slightly twisted, family story within the context of historical settings. Read morePublished 13 days ago by B. Bates
An epic journey of an aberrant chromosome through generations and continents. Well told, moving and entertaining. Well deserving of all the praise it has garnered.Published 17 days ago by jolev
Ugh---this book was tedious. Too much back story, not enough interesting info about Callie/Cal's life after the 'decision'. Where did she/he go to school? Read morePublished 19 days ago by WyoEnglishRider
Fascinating novel which deals with ethnicity and the realities of sexual identity in enlightening ways. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Paula Leventman
Good research of social and medical problems with history added. Some editing of length would have improved.
Family is real
Great plot, but the author is WAY WAY too wordy. I prefer to just get to the point. I could have done with out all of the detailed descriptions. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Stacy E