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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read all year
I'm always searching for a great book to read, and frankly this one was way down my list due to the subject matter, which I didn't think would interest me. How wrong I was! Eugenides' writing sings! I laughed out loud at one point, and I felt the character's pain in others. His masterful ability to weave this story across three generations of an eccentric Greek family...
Published on June 20 2003

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Middlesex
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...
Published on Jan. 13 2012 by Gail Cumberbatch


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I've read all year, June 20 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Middlesex: A Novel (Hardcover)
I'm always searching for a great book to read, and frankly this one was way down my list due to the subject matter, which I didn't think would interest me. How wrong I was! Eugenides' writing sings! I laughed out loud at one point, and I felt the character's pain in others. His masterful ability to weave this story across three generations of an eccentric Greek family makes for fast and enjoyable reading. Several times he put into words concepts and feelings that are not usually conveyed in print. A wonderful book that I will recommend whole-heartedly to my bibliophile friends. Usually I don't bother to review a book, but in this case I think that Eugenides should be encouraged to write another book as quickly as possible! This is one writer that I'll be on the look out for in the future.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A hemaphorodite's family history, June 13 2003
By 
This review is from: Middlesex: A Novel (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book ever, July 5 2007
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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, Aug. 30 2007
By 
J. De Rocher (Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly A Must-Have Book!, June 14 2005
By 
This review is from: Middlesex (Paperback)
I deliberated for quite some time about buying this book. I read Eugenides "The Virgin Suicides" and, though enjoying it, found it lacked somewhat. However, I eventually took the plunge with Middlesex, and it could be possibly the best decision I ever made. I don't usually go for novels that "span generations", as I often find them to be plodding and rather tiresome. Middlesex certainly is not.
I was gripped from the first page and simply could not put it down. It is a lengthy tome but because you are captivated from the very start (with the fantastic opening line of "I was born twice...") and remain so until the very last word, it does not feel like an arduous journey through the pages.
Eugenides writes in such a way that you truly feel you are living through the generations, that you are experiencing the same smells, sights and feelings as the main characters. Take for example, the description of Lefty's job on the production line in the Ford factory. The rhythmic, repetitive prose conjures up so perfectly the mechanics of the production line, that you feel as though you are actually working on it. Trust me, you will feel it!
Middlesex is a marked departure from the almost-throwaway feel of The Virgin Suicides. Middlesex is a novel that will remain with you forever, more than worthy of its Pulitzer Prize. The story is great, the characterization is sublime...are you getting the impression I really enjoyed this book? Undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, novels around, but try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Eugenides, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly A Must-Have Book!, June 2 2005
This review is from: Middlesex (Hardcover)
I deliberated for quite some time about buying this book. I read Eugenides "The Virgin Suicides" and, though enjoying it, found it lacked somewhat. However, I eventually took the plunge with Middlesex, and it could be possibly the best decision I ever made. I don't usually go for novels that "span generations", as I often find them to be plodding and rather tiresome. Middlesex certainly is not.
I was gripped from the first page and simply could not put it down. It is a lengthy tome but because you are captivated from the very start (with the fantastic opening line of "I was born twice...") and remain so until the very last word, it does not feel like an arduous journey through the pages.

Eugenides writes in such a way that you truly feel you are living through the generations, that you are experiencing the same smells, sights and feelings as the main characters. Take for example, the description of Lefty's job on the production line in the Ford factory. The rhythmic, repetitive prose conjures up so perfectly the mechanics of the production line, that you feel as though you are actually working on it. Trust me, you will feel it!
Middlesex is a marked departure from the almost-throwaway feel of The Virgin Suicides. Middlesex is a novel that will remain with you forever, more than worthy of its Pulitzer Prize. The story is great, the characterization is sublime...are you getting the impression I really enjoyed this book? Undoubtedly one of the best, if not the best, novels around, but try it for yourself! Pick up a copy! Another book I need to recommend -- completely unrelated to Eugenides, but very much on my mind since I purchased a "used" copy off Amazon is "THE LOSERS CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, an exceptional, highly entertaining little novel I can't stop thinking about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of things not spoken of, July 20 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Middlesex (Paperback)
I wasn't optimistic going in to this book. The subject material left me a little turned off, but the author has made an incredible piece of art out of this complicated and emotional tale. Not to be taken lightly, this book is not for the faint of heart. Also recommended: Black and Blue, The Bark of the Dogwood, and A Child called it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sprawling, multi-layered cosmos of a story, Oct. 11 2007
This review is from: Middlesex (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Both a place and a gender, June 20 2007
By 
Amanda Richards (Georgetown, Guyana) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This is a BIG book, and a little difficult to get through unless you can negotiate with your family for some quiet time.

Basically, it chronicles the formative years of Cal Stephanides, beginning with the grandparents, Lefty and Desdemona, who were really-too-close for siblings, and who fled Greece as their village burned around them. What ignited even hotter was their passion for each other, and under the billowing smoke, they hatched a plan for a new start in America, jiggling the lifeboats all the way to New York.

Their son Milton eventually married his cousin Tessie, producing a strangely-named son Chapter Eleven, and another child who became their strange daughter Calliope.

Unfortunately for Calliope, the sins of Lefty and Desdemona began the awakening process of a little recessive gene which pushed its way to the nether regions of the second grandchild, forming a little extra something to Calliope's feminine format.

Due to a half-blind doddering Doctor acquaintance, this development is overlooked for years, until more observant doctors at the emergency room make the discovery of the little flagpole.

Referred to a specialist, Calliope tells the doctor exactly what he wants to hear, and after sneaking a peek at the medical chart, beats a hasty exit, emerging from the uncomfortable female cocoon as an uncoordinated young man named Cal.

The story from here moves quickly, as Cal puts his Adam's apple forward (this should have been a giveaway long before) and finds himself quite literally in hot water up to his neck, until he ultimately finds his niche and learns to be comfortable with himself.

There are many stories supporting the main theme, some of which are like "My Big Fat Greek Wedding", and some more like "American Pie". Add bootlegging, drugs, fast food and silkworms, throw in a little racism, religion, extortion and a peep show or two - and there you have "Middlesex".

A bit hefty, but never boring.

Amanda Richards
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sprawling, multi-layered cosmos of a story, June 11 2007
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... well, except for the people in my reading group who all bought their own copies. : )

Middlesex is the perfect place to be on a sultry summer afternoon.
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Middlesex
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Paperback - Sept. 23 2003)
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