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Search - Middlesex

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver?s license...records my first name simply as Cal." — So begins...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780312422158
ISBN-10: 0312422156
Publication Date: 9/16/2002
Pages: 544
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.

3.9 stars, based on 2512 ratings
Publisher: Picador
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed Middlesex on + 377 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.
amandaa avatar reviewed Middlesex on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 38
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: 29
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: 17
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.
Bibliocrates avatar reviewed Middlesex on + 252 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
I really liked this book. I'm a fan of long family dramas spanning multiple generations, but I've never read a book about a hermaphrodite before. There were a few parts in the story that I found a bit outlandish, the silk-worming in Detroit, for instance, with the cult-leader who ended up being none other than... (don't want to spoil it), the freak show incident in San Francisco, and the dramatic car chase at the end, just to name a few, great book regardless! I enjoyed the novel's focus on genetics. The sperm as narrator was brilliant, don't want to give too much away. I highly recommend this book, original!
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wiltinglilly avatar reviewed Middlesex on + 33 more book reviews
For anyone that is going through a difficult time, whether it is with your sexuality or your appearance, or if you are just curious about the subject of hermaphroditism, this is the book to read. It tells the tale from infant to adult from the perspective of a hermaphrodite. I found this story incredibly interesting and was hooked right away, though at times it did tend to feel long. I would still recommend this book!
dizreader avatar reviewed Middlesex on + 3 more book reviews
This was a facinating tale, taking me through a well-written romp. Never, was I bored with the story. This is one novel where the first-person narrative works well and provides us with an intimate view of his life growing up in Detrout as a girl and later as a man.
reviewed Middlesex on + 3 more book reviews
This is a great read. It has multiple story lines that merge throught the read. I read parts slowly to savor the rest.

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)


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