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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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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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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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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The greatest book yet written, really, this is one stunning book you have to read!, Oct. 27 2007
This review is from: Middlesex (Paperback)
The beginning of this book will grab you: "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974."

so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time." The odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, is at the tender heart of this long-awaited second novel from Jeffrey Eugenides, whose elegant and haunting 1993 debut, The Virgin Suicides, remains one of the finest first novels of recent memory.

Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin.

Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor:

Emotions, in my experience aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." ... I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." ... I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.

When you get to the end of this splendorous book, when you suddenly realize that after hundreds of pages you have only a few more left to turn over, you'll experience a quick pang of regret knowing that your time with Cal is coming to a close, and you may even resist finishing it--putting it aside for an hour or two, or maybe overnight--just so that this wondrous, magical novel might never end. If you loved the novels CHECKMATE and A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, then you'll warm to this book
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Middlesex, Aug. 19 2008
This review is from: Middlesex (Paperback)
What an exceptional book. A brillant story, a wonderful protagonist, incredible historical facts and references thrown flawlessly into a rich work. I loved this book. It reminded me of why the written word molded by a talented author can be so vastely entertaining. Jeffrey Eugenides takes the reader on a journey of discovery combining the weirdly wonderful parts of human nature with the evolution of modern psychiatry, transgender issues, purberty, love and family dysfunction into a story that is wonderful to read. Make sure you have a couple of days off work and a comfortable chair you will not be able to put this book down.
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Middlesex
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (Paperback - Sept. 23 2003)
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