Search - Middlesex

Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, 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 develop--leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact,...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780374199692
ISBN-10: 0374199698
Publication Date: 9/4/2002
Pages: 544
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.

4.1 stars, based on 290 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

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.
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 + 16 more book reviews
No way to say it but bluntly: this book was an incredible disappointment. Boring beyond belief, pretentiously over-written, and with the main question (why Callie ultimately chose to become Cal -- no spoilers here, it's in the opening line) either entirely unanswered or, to follow the closest thing to an implication, just plain homophobia. Key plot points were also completely unbelievable -- and I'm not talking about those having to do with the hermaphroditism (nor anything possibly definable as magical realism). I forced myself to read each page, with "It has to get good at some point!" ringing in my head -- and when it was finally done I just wanted those two weeks back. It had a lot of potential, but other than a slightly amusing or mildly insightful passage here and there, it just didn't deliver.
reviewed Middlesex on
Loved, loved, loved this book. The style of writing was so interesting by avoiding story telling on a superficial level and takes you to a higher level of reading. THe topic covers multi-generational history and issues, some you are acquainted with and other topics which you may have never thought about. It is not a regurgitation of a common theme of life angst. Can't wait to read his latest work.

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Calliope (Primary Character)
Milton (Major Character)
Tessie, (Theodora) (Major Character)
The Obscure Object (Major Character)
Desdemona (Major Character)
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