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)
A very good novel. I had to put it down and pick it back up a few times but at certain parts I couldn't put it down. A very very long listen but worth sticking with it through to the Middle(sex) :-) and on to the end. You can't not want to get to the end after you've gone so far.
This is probably the longest audio book I've listened to in awhile. The story is very well written (told) and very comprehensive. It really gets you thinking about peoples heritages, how they got to the US and how the world is so much different here.
Wow. What an amazing accomplishment. A mesmerizing book read by one of the most dynamic readers I?ve ever had the pleasure of listening to. I actually went through withdrawal when it was finished!! This book has a great deal of heart and an amazing (and addictive) epic quality that makes it difficult to put down. The story twists and turns like a mountain road. Along the way you get to travel (both physically and metaphysically) and even learn a thing or two.
This book stays with you long after after you've turned your MP3 player off........
In Vonnegut's Timequake the author mentions that he would have liked to write a novel about his German immigrant family, but concludes there are not enough interested people to read about Germans in middle America. Middlesex proves this point wrong, or maybe right. While this book has received much praise, including The Pulitzer Prize for fiction, I had a hard time sticking with this long book. Much of the imagery used is overly cute, such as TV images ("Now let's see all this in fast forward . . ."). This problem for me is that the reflexive narrative tools are too shallow and have little meaning of their own, but rather are just like candy thrown out to prove the book is post-modern. All that said, the book starts and ends with the interesting story of Cal. What the reader ends up with is not this tempting story, but all the family history that has come together to create the genetic defect. This is a bit interesting. Eugenides uses the genetic defect to lead his story through all the details of the family members who own the DNA.
Very well developed plot and an interesting approach to an often taboo subject matter. Characters are intriguing... yet I found the ending a little abrupt.
The best audio book I have listened to yet. A beautifully written book about history and people and lives lived. The quality of the writing is enough to give it 5 stars. A peculiar subject but in no way drawn to be offensive or purient.
I also have listened to hundreds of audiobooks. This was by far the best, due to in part to the enthusiastic narrator. He made listening to the story more like watching a movie. The book itself is incredibly unusual, interesting and well-written. Stick with it even if you have reservations about the subject matter. You will find yourself loving and sympathizing with all of the characters. I don't know much about hermaphroditism other than that it does happen to some people. The story made me appreciate how hard it must be for them to adjust and fit into the world. You will be rooting for Callie right up to the end.
Definately worth the "read". Very imaginative story and down to earth protrayal of what if would be like to be married to a "Chrono-impaired" person.
This is my first experience with an Audible audiobook and it was awesome. Middlesex was a riveting story from start to finish. Hard to explain to anyone when asked what it is about because it is not only the story of the main character Caliope's physical and emotional life, but that of her ancestors, familiy and friends. The story is rich in character detail and environmental detail. You are literally there in the story with the characters. The narrator is also superb and made the experience even more enjoyable. I listened to this book while gardening and cooking and didn't want to put it down so I got a lot of work done! Thanks Audible books for a great introduction to your service
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