Top critical review
A strange but intriguing book
on June 27, 2012
Once in a while I like to skip the Rom-Com-Chick-Flick and read a suitably "serious" book. The kind of book which you can boast about having read, it should have been on a best seller list and won a few of those pseudo awards. I found the perfect answer- Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides.
Middlesex is a narrative covering the love, life and fate of three generations of a Greek family. The story is gripping mostly, with small bursts of rambling which I preferred to skim over till I got to the main plot again. The author has spent a good 500 pages describing every generation in detail. As the book moves, I was taken on a journey from loving and feeling for Desdemona and Lefty (the grand parents) to be worried about Milton and Tessie (the parents) and finally sympathizing and cheering for Cal (the narrator).
This book, like life, covers a lot of ground. It is not very often that siblings turned lovers receive such cheering from readers! But the purity of the story and the simplistic way with which it is told, would make any reader give a shout out for Desdemona and Lefty. However, as the book progresses, I didn't feel the same connection with Milton and Tessie. What was a little disappointing that the author kept giving away the plot much before the event occurred. The journey of discovery was spoilt for me. Dear Author, I'm pretty smart to pick up on the subtle hints you kept dropping!
Ignoring the ramblings and hint dropping, I continued to read on to reach the part I was looking forward to- Cal's self discovery. Here, Mr. Eugenide, take a bow! Brilliantly done without falling into the stereotypical reactions one would expect. But then why oh why did you take our beloved Cal to a freak strip show? If the incest, girl on girl action and minors having sex was not enough, the Freaks Circus definitely made a little alarm go off in my head.
But all in all, a good read. A tad on the long side. Certain parts are best flipped through. Engaging story with riveting characters. Recommended for a long jobless weekend.