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Middlesex Paperback – Sep 23 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (Sept. 23 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0676975658
  • ISBN-13: 978-0676975659
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ken liebeskind on June 13 2003
Format: Hardcover
More than just the memoir of a 41 year old hemaphrodite, Middlesex is his family's history, focusing on his grandparents, a brother and sister who married, passing on a gene that determined Calliope Stephanides fate. The story goes back to their native Greece and the civil strife that led the grandparents to America, where they settled in Detroit, whose own strife, racial riots in the 1960s, would help determine the family's fate. Callie grows up amidst all of it, a happy go lucky girl early in life who doesn't develop the way her friends do at adolesence, which is when things get interesting. The family goes to New York to see the world's foremost gender research doctor, who suggests hormones and minor surgery to restore Callie's feminity. But Callie calls him a liar and takes off, heading West to SF where she lives for awhile, displaying herself in a porn shop. In the end is a family reunion, the high point being a conversation with her grandmother, in her 80s and nearly gone, but lucid enough to admit the truth about her past, which sheds light on Cal's present. A fascinating and impressive book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. De Rocher on Aug. 30 2007
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure if I would like this book initially. A friend had recommended Middlesex to me a couple of years ago and I had made a mental note but other books kept bumping this one down the list. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters. The story spans 3 generations and ultimately captures most of the major themes of life. Our protagonist Callie/Cal is immediately interesting to the reader as she narates her family history whilst foreshadowing her interesting and somewhat tragic gender identity. My only criticism is that the Father Mike scene at the end of the novel didn't seem to fit cleanly with the flow of the story at that point. I did laugh out loud while reading this scene however. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Beyde on Oct. 11 2007
Format: Paperback
This is one of my all time favourite novels and it actually made me start a reading "salon" group in 2003. And I hate reading groups! I was just so excited to share this book with as many people as possible. Middlesex is a multi-layered, sprawling cosmos of a story. Eugenides is as good at tiny details, like the subtle social cues in a group of suburban teenage girls, as he is at conveying the complexity of civil war in Asia Minor and race riots in 1960's Detroit. It is sexy, thought-provoking and wildly original. You can luxuriate in the rich detail or tear through it in the bath while your toes go pruney, because it is such a fantastic page-turner. It's one of those books that leaves you bereft when you get to the last page because you just want it to go on and on. I read this when it came out and for the next year I gave it to just about everyone I knew as a birthday present.

Middlesex is the perfect place to be on a blustery fall afternoon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nath Drouin on July 5 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First of all, I blame M. Eugenides for me being so tired. I just couldn't put this book down, going to bed to late for a mother of young children. Callie/cal is the best character I've ever had the pleasure to read. This book has everything you would want in a book. From being well written to making you laugh. Travelling trou wars and living as a person of another ethicity. Eugenides takes you tru 3 amazing generations of lovable people, making you question if something like that could happen to you and your family. You will not be able to put this book down. Middlesex is light yet hard to take at some periods of time. Sexy and blend, tearfull and wishfull. Enjoy the ride.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cumberbatch on Jan. 13 2012
Format: Paperback
Was really looking forward to this read picked by a member of my bookclub. The subject matter really intrigued me and I had also not read any of Eugenide's work.
Was extrememly disappointed. Kept waiting for the story of Callie to develop. Was so waiting to get into her head! Felt no connection to her or any of the other characters. I wanted more insight on how it felt to be living in her body and mind.
The topic of Hermaphrodites is not a topic explored often and I think this could have been a great platform to do that.
Had a really hard time finishing the book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Littlegeno on Feb. 2 2008
Format: Paperback
It took me 3 tries to get through this book because it just couldnt hold my intrest. I picked it up the first time because of all of its wonderful reviews, the second time because I was in a waiting during a friends surgery and she had lent me this book to read and when I was finally successful in finishing it I was litterally in the middle of nowhere with nothing else to do. For me it was mearly an alright read not a novel worth of all the awards it has been bestowed
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By little lady blue TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 9 2014
Format: Paperback
"Some people inherit houses; others paintings or highly insured violin bows. Still others get a Japanese tansu or a famous name. I got a recessive gene on my fifth chromosome and some very rare family jewels indeed." (Pg.401). "Biology gives you a brain. Life turns it into a mind." (Pg.479). So says Calliope Stephanides.

This sweeping family epic comes down to one family member Callie/Cal who narrates the story of her family from their harried flight from Smyrna, a tiny village in Asia Minor in 1922 to their roots in Detroit, Michigan. It is a story of immigrants and a story of complicated gender issues. A saga spanning three generations that leads this one child to a choice, or perhaps more so `an awakening', compliments of genes and chromosomes. The narrative smartly concerns itself not only with the physical but also, and importantly, the psychological aspects of `intersex' people.

What could be a heavy, ponderous book is written with a lightness of being making it immensely readable while imparting serious and deep revelations.

While symbolism plays a part - not the least of which is the title of the book - this is an intelligent well written story with many aspects for the reader to ponder.
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