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Topic: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - please, no spoilers!!!

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Subject: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - please, no spoilers!!!
Date Posted: 1/29/2008 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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Okay so I am about 150 pages in to this book and I am LOVING it!!  It's interesting because the PBS reviews are pretty split and a lot of people don't like it.

I really didn't think I'd care for it given the reviews and the fact that I really did not like his other book The Virgin Suicides.

General thoughts on this book?  Like it or no?  Please no spoilers - I still have a ways to go!

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2005
Posts: 470
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I loved this book!  I liked the characters and enjoyed his writing style.  I haven't read "The Virgin Suicides" yet, but it's on my list of things to read, because I enjoyed this so much.  What didn't you like about it? 

I've learned that you can't base your feelings about an author on one book.  Like Wally Lamb, for example - I hated "She's Come Undone" - I disliked the main character, and couldn't relate to her at all, and didn't see the humor in the book that everyone raved about.  It was only because a book group was reading his next book "I Know This Much Is True" that I took it out from the library, and I absolutely ADORED it!  (Funny thing - I was the only one in the group who did.)

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2007
Posts: 5,272
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Oh, I just finished Middlesex and I loved it!!! It's likely the best book I've read in a long while. After I finished reading it, I could *sorta* understand how people wouldn't like it, because it's hard to tell where the story is going in the beginning. At first, I had problems getting into it.... too many characters all at once, and it started off kinda confusing. The more I read it, the more I liked it, and then, pretty soon, it became too hard to just put down.

But it all kinda washes in the end; everything comes together very neatly and cleanly. I haven't read his other book yet, but I think that I might.

I didn't want the book to end! I got very attached to the characters.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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We read this in my bookclub a couple of years ago BOD (Before Oprah Did) and everyone LOVED it.  I thought it was well written, the characters were wonderful and it flowed.  I haven't tried to read any of his other books but I may give them a try. 



Date Posted: 1/29/2008 10:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/26/2005
Posts: 4,490
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Didn't love it, but made my way thru it.   Didn't hate it either.  It was more just another book.  I thought the character development was weak.

Date Posted: 1/29/2008 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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I really liked it!  I read it a while back before it was an Oprah book.  I'm not usually a literary fiction reader -- I'm more into genre stuff -- but I was always interested in gender studies and it just sounded interesting.  I'm really glad I read it, and I had a good time with it.

It's loooong though.  Honestly I got a little bored with some of the earlier parts of the story, when you're more following the story of the gene mutation than of the main character.  I was a little impatient for the main character to make more of an appearance, but the wait was worth it!  Euginides did such a fabulous job with the characterization in that book -- I could swear those are real people.


Date Posted: 1/31/2008 9:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/21/2007
Posts: 2,992
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I loved it... I thought it was neatly tied up at the end, I loved the characterizations, and the narration... but I also really loved Virgin Suicides... even when I don't love the content of a particular passage, I think Eugenides has such amazing writing technique that it gets me through.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 5:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 1,385
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I thought it was really well-written and an interesting story. I really liked it, but I would not say that it was an easy read for me. It took me longer to finish than normal. I liked the multi-generational aspect of it.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2005
Posts: 487
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It's funny; I loved Virgin Suicides but Middlesex, to me, was just 'so-so'.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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 I liked it a lot - read it a couple of years ago. Original and great character development IMHO.

Date Posted: 2/3/2008 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2007
Posts: 4,868
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I finished it the other day and all I can say is WOW, it's on my keeper shelf!!  (I don't feel guilty, LOL, because I already posted a copy I got for free). 

I thought the plot of The Virgin Suicides was just too unbelievable, but the real cincher for me was that I didn't like ANY of the characters, so I didn't care about them in any way.  Plus, the lack of any real details about the town, the era, etc., that just didn't work for me.

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2007
Posts: 40
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I'm about 50 pages from the end of Middlesex and I find myself reading more and more slowly because I don't want it to end!  And to those of you on the Wish List for it, yes, I DO feel guilty ;-) and I'll probably finish it tonight or tomorrow.

The characters are real "pieces of work" -all dysfunctional in some way. Callie/Cal is probably the best adjusted and has the most realistic outlook of the lot. I've enjoyed this book tremendously. Even though it's fiction, it's helped me understand a little better the feelings of those who aren't "comfortable in their own skins". I have a long time friend who is a pre-op male to female transsexual. While not exactly the same situation, I feel as though I can understand her struggle after having read Middlesex.

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2007
Posts: 918
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I loved this book. It only gets better as you read.

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 4/3/2007
Posts: 699
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I "had" to read it for my book club.  I wasn't very optimistic, as I couldn't even fihish the book chosen for the previous month because I found it so boring.  When I looked at Middlesex I thought it looked like it might be hard to get into., but I got totally sucked in the from the first page and really enjoyed it.  It kept me up past midnight several nights and I finished it much more quickly than I thougth I would. 

Without giving anything away, my only complaint is that some of the subject matter and language in the later part of the book made me uncomfortable.  It was interesting, though, and not enough to make me not recommend the book.  Several of my book club members are friends from church and we weren;t shocked or anything.  ;o)


Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2007
Posts: 1,051
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Sorry to post this on this thread but "February Unpostable Deals" isn't working for me:I'm sitting on a copy of Middlesex ISBN 0312422156. It's a bit wrinkly like it was read at the bus stop on a rainy day. If you know anyone who want it, I'll send it to you/them for with an order off my shelf. I'm going to delete this post when PMs me.

Date Posted: 2/9/2008 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2007
Posts: 40
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Shoot, Coco, don't apologise! It makes MUCH more sense to post about your copy here! I'm sure you'll get a taker. Now, about those goats...were they left out in the rain, too? ;-)

Date Posted: 2/15/2008 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 6/14/2005
Posts: 113
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O.k. I'm going to have to read this book. I had it and didn't give it a good shot, so I posted it and it was snapped up right away. Since this, everyone I know has read it and has loved it. They keep telling me I have to read it. I did not like the Virgin Suicides...I also think I was the last person on earth to read Kite Flyer, because of the name of the book. I LOVED IT! I should have learned my lesson!

Date Posted: 2/29/2008 7:37 AM ET
Member Since: 5/5/2006
Posts: 4,325
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This book is definitely one of my faves.

Date Posted: 3/4/2008 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 7/24/2005
Posts: 147
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I liked it alot, wouldn't say I loved it.  I was fascinated because I know someone who has that gene mutation and I never understood it until reading Middlesex!  I also read the Virgin Suicides, but I had seen the movie first which kinda spoiled the book for me.  That is such a shockingly different story, that I think knowing the story spoiled it.

Date Posted: 3/5/2008 8:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/26/2006
Posts: 28
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I was very surprised by how much I liked this book.  I was afraid it would be too outspoken, if that makes sense.  Sometimes books with such outrageous characters and plots just go too far and try to be all "you go, girl!" (or, umm, guy in this case...).  This book was actually really thoughtful, with a wonderful, subtle and sensitive ending.  I thought the narrator was wonderful, able to make fun of her/himself and just sound really down-to-earth.  Great book.
Date Posted: 4/30/2008 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2008
Posts: 14
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I hated The Virgin Suicides but loved Middlesex. It's like they were written by different authors

Last Edited on: 4/30/08 10:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 5/1/2008 1:35 AM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
Posts: 1,905
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I loved this book.  I got sucked in from the very first page, and finished it in one day.

Date Posted: 5/1/2008 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Hmmmm.....I love all the different perspectives...I love The Virgin Suicides and am just about to start Middlesex