Search - Middlesex

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
The author of The Virgin Suicides won a Pulitzer Prize for this long-awaited second novel. In it, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a Grosse Pointe girls' school in 1974, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry blond classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to de...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312427733
ISBN-10: 0312427735
Publication Date: 6/5/2007
Pages: 544
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.

4 stars, based on 928 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Middlesex on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 41
Entirely too long, entirely too much backstory, and entirely undeserving of the Pulitzer Prize. Eudenides spends 3/4 of the book describing in great lengths an episodic history for all of the characters told from the point of view of a narrator who could not possibly know the level of detail he/she is giving.

The last 1/4 of the book is amazingly well-done, with flowing and informative prose, as well as giving the reader a plethora of medical information. I truly felt as if I was in the head of a hermaphrodite. The author excels at this. However, it reads incredibly slow, so only pick it up if you've got some time on your hands.

It's worth the read if you're either perseverant and don't mind a dense, background-heavy story, or if you're like me and are trying to read the Pulitzers.
reviewed Middlesex on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 37
Wonderful! Happy to see gender issues in main-stream literature! Though the book begins with a slower pace as the reader learns the rich history of Cal's grandparents, the second half of the novel flashs by with his personal story.

I loved the novel and wished it kept going... I didn't want to finish it knowing the story would be over. The reader is always aware of two time periods: the present Cal telling the story and his life unfolding during narration and, in the beginning the story of his family, while later in the novel the second time period is Cal's childhood.

I recommend this book if you have the time to devote to reading it, the intellegence to comprehend the wonderful literary techniques and vocabulary, and the trust in the author to deliver a brilliant story. Lastly, anyone studying sex and gender issues would thrill to read the second half, as a thorough workover of sociological nomemclature is utilized.
reviewed Middlesex on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 28
Cal has lived a life in two genders. Raised as a girl, he eventually discovers that he is a hermaphrodite, a person born with both male and female organs. But the story doesn't start here. To discover why Cal is the person he is, we have to go back in time to his grandparents in Greece, then to his parent's relationship, and finally back to Cal's life story as a little girl who found her life dramatically changing once she hit puberty. Middlesex is a wonderfully written novel about a controversial subject. In many ways, it is an epic. By the end of the novel, you will find yourself changed by the story of a little girl who grew up to discover that she was something else.
reviewed Middlesex on + 173 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
Fantastic book. It may take you a bit to get into the story - the author's style is unusual and the start of the book takes you into a foreign land. Beautifully crafted novel that will have you thinking about the story for days after.
reviewed Middlesex on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
I read this book in a book club long before Oprah found it and don't know why she hyped it up so much. I'm open to reading about pretty much anything, but just could not get into this book and was kind of irritated with it. That's just my opinion, but I thought I'd share it.
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reviewed Middlesex on + 3 more book reviews
Loved this book. Dives into the immigrant experience, the downfall of detroit, the complexities of family dynamics, love, and over course, life as a hermaphrodite. Eugenides skillfully weaves it all together.
reviewed Middlesex on + 5 more book reviews
This book seemed really really long. It was interesting, and the POV was enlightening. I think though the story could have been told in well in less words. It was 530 pages and took forever to read. There were parts that I skimmed through, it seemed like there was a lot of filler information that didn't really enhance the story. (I agree with the reviewer who said there was too much information/backstory on the grandparents). At times I was confused about who Cal/Calliope's parents were. It seemed at one point it was Milton and Tessie, and then another point her father was Zizmo.

Aside from being a little too long, I enjoyed the ending. Probably not one I will read again, but it wasn't bad.
reviewed Middlesex on + 25 more book reviews
This was a truly terrific book - beautifully-written, wonderful use of language, and a page-turner to boot. Even though it is quite long, I tore through it quickly and was sad when it ended. The subject matter, which revolves around hermaphroditism, may be too much for some to take, but honestly, it was almost secondary to the rest of the narrative, which was about the journey of a family that immigrates from Greece. Highly recommended.

Book Wiki

Original Publication Date (YYYY-MM-DD)
Calliope (Primary Character)
Milton (Major Character)
Tessie, (Theodora) (Major Character)
The Obscure Object (Major Character)
Desdemona (Major Character)
(Show all 7 People/Characters)