Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 2003In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school in Grosse Pointe, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop physically - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. In fact, she is not really a girl at all.
The explanation for this shocking state of affairs is a rare genetic mutation - and a guilty secret - that have followed Callie's grandparents from the crumbling Ottoman Empire to Prohibition-era Detroit and beyond, outlasting the glory days of the Motor City, the race riots of 1967, and the family's second migration, into the foreign country known as suburbia. Thanks to the gene, Callie is part girl, part boy. And even though the gene's epic travels have ended, her own odyssey has only begun.
Spanning eight decades - and one unusually awkward adolescence - Jeffrey Eugenides' long-awaited second novel is a grand, original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire.
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©2002 Jeffrey Eugenides; (P)2002 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Unabridged), 2003
" "Impressive [and] wonderfully engaging." (The New York Times)
"Eugenides proves that he is not only a unique voice in modern literature but also well versed in the nature of the human heart. Highly recommended." (Library Journal )
"A towering achievement...a story that manages to be both illuminating and transcendent...[Eugenides] has emerged as the great American writer many of us suspected him of being." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
"Not only are his interpretations of the characters astonishingly credible, but his internalization of the narrative is nothing short of amazing." (Publishers Weekly)
The description of this book, as well as the critical and customer reviews, made it intriguing. However, I was very disappointed overall. The subject matter is interesting, but this story is annoyingly far-fetched, particularly the last fourth of the book. I would much rather read a nonfiction account than this rambling tale. Although the author spends an enormous amount of time exploring several generations of a family, the characters are not really developed in an authentic way. I also found the performance annoying, particularly the ridiculous music/sound effects. No doubt the interesting subject matter has drawn many readers to this book, but I would not recommend it.
Say something about yourself!
This is a difficult book to stop listening to. I finished quit a bit of yard work - happily - listening to this story. It is hard to believe this is fiction, and in trying to explain it to a peer, I had to look it up again to be sure it wasn't autobiographical. I was raised in northern Indiana during the time Callie was "growing up" in Michigan. I remember the riots and the times, it seemed so real. My applause to the author and to the reader.
Full of history and rich characters, there is never a dull moment in "Middlesex". This unabridged title comes in 3 download files and I eagerly moved from one file to the next. The narrator adeptly fleshes out the tone of each character fluidly pulling me through the story. It usually takes me a full month to listen to what ever I download. This title took me just a few days.
Artist, foodie and technology groupie.
Story... Great! Voice... Great!
Heartfelt & poignant story about an individual whose unique genetic history is funny, touching and peopled by the odd characters with whom we are all familiar.
The beginning of this book was better than the end, but all in all it was an interesting read. When I read it I thought it was autobiographical. I've since learned that it is not. This does not diminish the import behind the story at all (because it humanizes and educates about intersexism), but I do tend to give autobiographical stories a bit more leeway in my opinions because there is less control over the flow and details of the story. Aside from feeling that the first half of the book was better than the second half, I also felt the book as a whole was a little too long. I wish there were an abridged version on Audible, because I think it would be better (despite the fact that I usually dislike abridged versions of books). Given that there's not, I'd say go ahead and listen to the book, but if you lose interest in the story somewhere around the last quarter of the book, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you just stop listening right there and get someone else who has read it to summarize the end for you (you'll still get your money's worth since the book is so long).
This book will make the favorite top 5 book of anyone who reads it. The characters are amazing!!! I don't know how to describe it withuout giving anything away, but the story is a must-read! Narration is wonderful.
This was an absolutely outstanding book. If you have any familiarity with Detroit, the details of that city's history will resonate. The detailed nature of the book's descriptions brings alive the plot and the characters. I highly recommend it and very much enjoyed it!
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