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Middlesex (book)

82 Ratings: 3.5
A book by Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. The narrator and protagonist, Calliope Stephanides (later called "Cal"), an intersexed person of Greek descent, has 5-alpha-reductase … see full wiki

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, Giroux
Date Published: 2002
22 reviews about Middlesex (book)
review by . June 30, 2010
I am convinced that Jeffrey Eugenides will be a name readers identify for generations to come.  I was impressed by his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, but Middlesex demonstrates an increased sense of the characters and truly keeps the reader in the grips of the plot.  The story of the main characters is compelling, while secondary characters who played parts in important historic events gave depth to a story that took place mostly in Detroit.     SPOILER ALERT- It is …
review by . June 25, 2010
This is an outstanding novel and a very worthy Pulitzer Prize winner. If you told me I'd enjoy a book about a hermaphrodite that finds their true sexual identity - not my kind of thing! But this is a very serious, well thought out, and comi-tragic novel about Cal. Calliope grew up thinking he was a girl until puberty came and oops! Actually not. But it's about much more than just that. The novel is epic in scope centering on the history of Calliope's family and exactly how it came …
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
Depressing
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Well written story about a subject often ignored.
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Very interesting book! Totally outside of what I normally read or expected.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Well crafted and on point.
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
one of my favorite books of all time. vast, sweeping -- i still am amazed by how intuitively eugenides writes as a female protagonist
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
this book is so good that when i first read it, i was convinced of my OWN hermaphroditism although i was born and identify as a female.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
This is one of the most original books I have ever read,it pulls you in with the very first line,and keeps you there until the end.
Quick Tip by . June 16, 2010
awesome story
Quick Tip by . June 12, 2010
I really enjoyed this book.
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Very, very worth reading.
Quick Tip by . June 02, 2010
Very unique, very good!
review by . December 29, 2009
My big, fat Greek family
Cal Stephanides traces his family history back to 1922, when his grandparents were young and living in Asia Minor.  Their love was forbidden but undeniable and they married, keeping a terrible secret.  They immigrated to America, had children who in turn had children, and one of them was Cal who, thanks to his grandparents, was born with a unique anatomy.        As the narrator, Cal paints a vivid and fascinating picture of his family, much like someone …
review by . November 11, 2009
"I was born twice..." this book begins. What an intriguing start. And the story lives up to the promise of those words. The past of a young man's grandparents makes a curious historical love story, taking the reader from the burning of Smyrna to the burning of a Detroit suburb, with odd detours through the beginnings of radical Islam and the American dream. I loved the quiet mystery of the main character, the challenge of unknown identity that slowly changes to known but strange. And …
review by . August 22, 2009
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
All of the recent controversy about the South African runner Caster Semenya prompted me to think about Jeffrey Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel “Middlesex.” It’s the best novel you’ll ever read about male pseudohermaphroditism. The main character Calliope Helen Stephanides is affected by a rare genetic disorder called 5-alpha reductase deficiency which is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. The enzyme deficiency prevents conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone …
review by . February 08, 2009
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 …
review by . March 10, 2008
It's been a while since an ambitious, intergenerational family saga has made a big splash in the book world, and Middlesex has filled the gap. Yes, a major theme in this novel is hermaphroditism (which I doubt any parent today would handle any better than the Stephanides), but Cal, the narrator and central character, does not make her/his entrance upon the stage until nearly the halfway point of this epic. Author Eugenides has done a remarkable job of capturing the Eastern European immigration experience. …
review by . August 19, 2007
I sometimes begin a novel knowing pretty much what to expect from it. I'm either familiar enough with the author that its style doesn't surprise me or I've somehow already picked up enough information about its plot that the book holds few surprises other than its details. Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides, was definitely an exception to the rule because this was my first Eugenides novel (it's his second novel) and I had heard nothing at all about its plot.    Middlesex is a complicated …
review by . March 06, 2004
After reading two highly recommended novels that I had to struggle to get through (though they were well written, I found them boring), I SO needed a book that I could be immediately drawn into and fully enjoy...Middlesex came along at the right time. I was captured from page one through the last page, and found the writing to be deliciously descriptive. In fact, I left several little sticky notes throughout the book as I read to mark passages that left a particular mark on me.To give you an idea …
review by . September 06, 2003
This is an outstanding novel and a very worthy Pulitzer Prize winner.If you told me I'd enjoy a book about a hermaphrodite that finds their true sexual identity - not my kind of thing! But this is a very serious, well thought out, and comi-tragic novel about Cal. Calliope grew up thinking he was a girl until puberty came and oops! Actually not. But it's about much more than just that. The novel is epic in scope centering on the history of Calliope's family and exactly how it came to be that two …
review by . January 15, 2003
Jeffrey Eugenides has taken his time since his debut success with 'The Virgin Suicides' to ponder, create and elegantly write a story that almost defies telling. The title MIDDLESEX is typical of his canny abilities: it stands for the name of the Detroit home which is the ultimate dwelling of an extraordinarily interesting family of Greek emigrants, but it also refers the 'third gender' or hermaphrodite that is the embodiment of the main character. From the first paragraph the author accompanies …
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82 Ratings: +3.5
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