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)
while the root story itself is good, it almost seems as if the author first wrote 100 pages, then discovered he needed to add 300 more, so he went back and inserted little stories between the big ones, that make it so frustrating to listen to, and impossible to stick to.. my review written in this format:
Cal/Caleipea is a greek hermaphrodite, raised as a young girl, and grows up to be a boy (the differences between boy and girl slowly taking shape later in her pre-teens), pre-teens can be an awkward time for everyone (I have a cousin who is awkward even still, his name is Joe) Joe likes to play atari, but he was never really good at it, but his persistence is something that I've always admired. When I was younger, I was never very persistant in anything I did, I always gave up when I should have kept going, but as I grew up I found that I would learn from Joe, who I ended up marrying. Im a strong believer of marriage being a sacred ground, and i think it is because of my father, who when I was 3 told me this story, it was a story he learned when he was just coming off a boat from China, where he had been sold off as a slave to chinese warlords. He had a horrific time getting to America, but he did eventually make it here, alive and whole, and funny at that, he always jokes.. he told me a good one the other day...
and so on and so forth..
I couldnt find the plot because my brain likes to multitask, and this book takes you from one idea to the next so quickly, if you arent planted with your ear to the speaker with your eyes closed doing nothing else, youll miss it.
I did not enjoy this book. In fact, I couldn't even finish it. Maybe it was just not my type of story. I usually enjoy police and spy stories. This book kept jumping around in time so much, and not really dealing with the modern day character at all. Only with his grandparents in the 1920's. The story just could not grab me, and I really tried. I didn't even finish part 1.
A brother and a sister who find the pleasures of the flesh in each other will seduce the reader onto the second page. After the first part I had simply not found enough reason to continue caring what happened to these characters.
Haphazardly written and inexpertly narrated. Jumps from era to era in the middle of a paragraph. This book took me 5 hours to get interested in.
Eugenides is an outstanding writer. Tabori does an excellent job with the accents but mispronounces the medical terms.
I made it through several hours, hoping to find more enthusiasm in the novel, but had to drop the book as generally uninteresting. I regret spending the time I did on this audio.
the reading of this book is so irritating that it really detracted from my enjoyment of this otherwise entertaining and interesting book. the way the narrator comically exaggerated his voice in order to mimic little girls, old greek ladies, etc... would often be so grating and harsh that you couldn't help from being taken out of the story, which itself is really absorbing. i admit i didn't listen to the sample before i got it. i'm still happy i did, but i kind of wish i'd read it instead.
Usually when I bail out on a book it is in the first 30 minutes, but with this book it was at 10 hours 10 minutes and 38 seconds when I rolled my eyes and said, "enough". I give it two stars because of a few lines that made me laugh out loud. If anyone wants to tell me how the book ends then -- no, never mind.
Eugenides succeeds in the difficult task of being both improbable and predictable. The reader tries hard, too hard, and sometimes reads this worthless tale as if it was a children's book, making our suspension of disbelief impossible.
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