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Showing 1-10 of 875 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,902 reviews
on March 28, 2014
this is a sumptuous novel rich in mythology, history and medical thinking of the sixties. The author has traced the development of a mixed gender youth from her birth as Calliope to her final metamorphosis as a young man, Cal. Eugenides traces the genetic history of this young hermaphrodite from her grandparents exodus out of Turkey in 1902 to their landing at Ellis Island hiding a secret which was to influence the development of a genetic defect to appear two generations later. Eugenides vividly describes the burning of Smyrna, the immigrant experience in a Ford factory, the race riot in Detroit in the late 60s and the snobbery of the housing in Grosse Pointe Michigan as well as the cruelty of a sex gender clinic in New York. Totally a winner!
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on August 10, 2016
Product arrived in excellent condition.
The story makes for a thrilling read. I highly recommend the book. This should be required reading for rednecks and bigots, and perhaps even for students/practitioners of genetics.
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on January 4, 2017
What a great book! Caused so many feelings. It made me cry, more than once. I love how Greek culture is a major part of the storyline. The writing style is incredible. The story, believable. So worth buying!
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on January 13, 2014
This book was a slow starter, I actually put it down, forgot about it for a while and started again, but when it got going it was fascinating and shocking at the same time. Knowing hermaphrodites (the middle sex) exist, but not knowing why or how they live was what kept me reading. I yearned to understand. If you want to learn about sexual differences and want to understand them, please read this book. I highly recommend it. Warning, there are a lot of sexual situations but if you persist, you may finish with more understanding of why hermaphrodites exist and it is through no fault of their own. They are human beings trying to live their lives like everyone else is.

L. Fenstermacher
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on January 3, 2017
I first heard it as a book on CD and it was hilarious. IF you can get the CD of this book, do it. Outrageously entertaining.
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on September 10, 2014
What an interesting book! I've lived in the pages, and also dipped into history books, atlases and dictionaries to gain more understanding. And understanding in head and heart grows in me with every chapter.
The sense of authenticity appeals to me, as does the self-deprecating humour. So much that the author and I do not have in common has still touched me and drawn me in.
The writing draws me along, from page to page. The whirls of stories within the story are picturesque and enchanting. The overall story is ultimately satisfying.
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on October 19, 2016
Phenomenal narration and excellent use of multiple storylines. Readers experience the narrator's family history all the way back into WWI as well as an intimate view into the narrator's life and thoughts. Excellent characterization, never overdone or under-worked.
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on January 12, 2013
Middlesex was my first exposure to the author. I say that as preface to establish that I was a blank slate at the time I read the work. Discovering Mr. Eugenides for me has been the most pleasant experience. This book, as anyone can discern for themselves by reading a synopsis - concerns itself with Calliope who becomes Cal, and more importantly the story of his (or her) family. The clumsiness of my ability to assign gender aside, which may or may not be be politic, this book is emphatically not about gender. Oh, that is not to say that the book does not touch upon the subject. My point is that the intersex subject matter is not the crux of the story, but rather of symbolic importance, a way to access the family history. At one point in the narrative, early on, the narrator even says that this is a genetic history, the story of a single gene through the generations.

Thus we come to my titular description of a "small" epic. Although that is unfair. It would be more accurate to say that it is close, because it deals with one family, and yet that would be just as inaccurate in its own way. I would say instead that nearly every character, and certainly the family. is imbued with characteristics that deepen them; in effect, make them more real. There are exceptions of course; it is not a perfect work, but any imperfections for me were worth it for the actual experience that is the good in this book. Portions of this book, particularly the insight the author gives into our protagonist, is pure poetry. This will always be a major plus for me. Of course I was not expecting the same kind of treatment to extend to a geography, Detroit, but I could certainly handle it. Normally, I don't respond nearly so well to an author who takes on a space as muse, especially in this kind of narrative that has a depth-ness of both time and space, but again, for me it didn't detract. At worst, the long soliloquies about Detroit only slowed down the narrative. Of course as a reader, it is slightly irritating that ostensibly for the amount of time that is spent on it, the zeitgeist of Detroit is a character itself. However, I don't know how much of this is the novel itself, or simply the limitations of the genre. Any work that concerns itself heavily with the passage of history, has to deal with that history. For all of the beauty of the words then, this book is pragmatic in that sense.

But, to reiterate. When this book is good, it's good. Like candy or cake melting on the tongue. We get to see the characters as the ultimate snapshots of humanity - in highs and lows and everything in-between. Most impressively, for all that this book clothes itself in allusions towards mythology and tragedy, all of this is done without pretension.
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on July 7, 2016
Wow this book had me totally enthralled. Its very intelligently and sympathetically written about an extremely emotional and difficult situation. I was fascinated by the story of the family history and I feel I want to know more. What happened next?? I have already recommended this book to others and will continue to do so. I won't forget the experience of "Middlesex".
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on November 19, 2013
One of the best books I have had the pleasure to read. The story telling is very clear and takes you carefully through a very complicated life and a myriad of emotions. You feel placed right in the middle of the atmosphere where everything is taking place. This powerful story makes you cry, laugh, sad, happy, relieved, worried, just as if you were Cal herself/himself! Its an eye-opening tale of love, shame, ignorance, innocence, sexual discovery and the importance of finding one's true identity. There is no way you can put this book down, only until you finish it. (And even then, you won't want to put it down) EXTREMELY RECOMMENDED!!!
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