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.
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.
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.
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.
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.