- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 21 hours and 26 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Macmillan Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 25, 2003
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00009KEJ6
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Middlesex Audible – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
|Free with your Audible trial|
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
The brilliance of this book emerges not from the superficial story of a hermaphrodite but from the context - historical, scientific, psychological, political, geographical - of Cal's birth and subsequent rebirth. MIDDLESEX is about much more than gender confusion. Cal's mixed gender can be taken as a metaphor for the experience of first- and second-generations born of immigrants.
While the context of this story provides the substance, the characters provide the vibrancy. Cal emerges as a reliable and likeable narrator. He is sensible, good-humored, and intelligent. The spectrum of his experiences provides a smooth transition between childhood and adult, enabling the reader to embrace the character as both male and female. Cal's family is affectionately portrayed, even with their failings. (Cal's brother, Chapter Eleven, annoyed me with his name, a running gag, but even he ended up a full-blooded character by the end.)
Eugenides has written an expansive, compelling book. Despite its length of over 500 pages, the novel is not a slow read - unless the reader wants it to be, to make it last. Accessible, intelligent, well-paced and plotted, it should appeal to a wide range of readers.
I can't recommend this novel highly enough.
1) the novel cannot be so narrowly defined as simply being about a hermaphrodite; it's about the American dream; racism; finding oneself; the difficulties and confusing emotions of adolescence; politics; the inextricable link between history and each human being affecting and being affected by it... put simply, it's about life. And:
2) Eugenides' writing style is so descriptive and engaging that the reader is transported directly into the mind of the narrator, making the fact that Callie happens to be a hermaphrodite almost irrelevant--she/he is just a normal person with a slightly unusual body.
By the end of Book 3 I was convinced this was the best book I ever read. And then I read Book 4, the last 100 pages, and felt cheated, robbed somehow of the magic of the first 400 pages. The novel takes an exceedingly far-fetched and rambling turn; it is almost palpable that Eugenides was getting pressure from the publisher to wrap things up and rushed through the end of the book without really thinking through a satisfying conclusion. The writing style falls apart; the descriptiveness and magic is gone, and the story degenerates into a rather plain narrative of a freak's life. The real heart of the matter, how a seemingly normal person who happens to be a hermaphrodite copes with the discovery, never comes, and the 25 years of Callie's life between end of story and beginning of narration are never explained. Eugenides almost gives in to the freak factor by the end, leaving the reader with the lingering sensation upon finishing the book that Callie is merely a circus sideshow.
So, proportional to the number of pages that I thought this book was great, it gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. Almost but not quite!
The novel follows three generations of the Stephanides family, and it faces a general problem with such multigenerational works --it's hard to get the reader deeply involved in the lives of the grandparents, then put these characters aside and transfer one's interest to the parents, and then finally to make a third transfer of interest to the children.
Eugenides succeeded in getting me interested in the grandparents (Desdemona and Lefty), their escape from Turkey, and their life in America. But the second generation, Milton and Tessie, was less compelling. Milton becomes a cliche'd Archie Bunker sort of character, and Tessie isn't well-developed at all. They are not very interesting or memorable characters, and we spend way too much time with them.
Cal/Callie's story is fascinating, but it seems to end far too soon. The book ends shortly after s/he has discovered and accepted her transgendered nature at age 15. But the narrator is roughly 40, and we don't get to learn anything about the intervening 25 years. How did Cal get from being a newly discovered boy to being a diplomat in Germany? What was his life like in the intervening years? And what is it like now?
There are real flashes of brilliance in this book, but ultimately I was disappointed and feel that it doesn't come together.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Truly amazing book. Read years ago and recently bought for a friend of Greek ancestry.Published 8 days ago by Marilyn
This book really tugged at my heart and was a bit shocked by parts of the ending. It was a great read.Published 12 days ago by Patricia Godin
Hard to read at some times, but a wonderfully told story. I recommend it to anyone that is lookinng to follow up Virgin Suicides with another heart tugging story.Published 13 days ago by sbivens
This book deals with a lot: incest, immigration, racism, the American Dream, teenage emotions, consequences of our choices, hermaphroditism...like I said, it's a lot! Read morePublished 16 days ago by A L Fraz
What a wonderful story and so easy to read. When I finished reading the book I realized I had felt as if I had been living within the family and when I analysed my thoughts, I... Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Did not expect the book to come in German. Was expecting an english copyPublished 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
INCREDIBLE BOOK!!! Such a good story, hooks you, mind expanding storytelling. I am left looking at the world differently because of this book, in awe of the authors commitment and... Read morePublished 25 days ago by Suzie Bohannon