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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

ISBN (edition I've read): 9780312422158

Read between: 05-01-2013 to 13-01-2013

It was a thick, 529 pages book. Thick enough to scare the daylight out of me. To top that, it is literature. I knew I was risking so much, but still, reluctantly, I started to rad it. At least, the plot was interesting. It is the first time, I heard changing of sex, as one grows, without them knowing it.


"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver's license...records my first name simply as Cal."

So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of 1967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic.

My take on the book:

My status updates,

"Almost 30 pages down and I am bored of it. The langugage very complicated and though the font size was considerate, the spacing was enough to scare any reader like me. The lines were like they are glued together. I am foreseeing a 530 pages of hell, ahead. Anyways, it is my bad. I should'be taken my friend's advise and shoud've stayed away from literature."

"Disgusting... I don't know what to comment on brother-sister marriage. Love has no boundaries, I know. But marrying your own sister/brother is, for me, disgusting. It is just my view anyway. I know that it is a never-ending debatable topic."

Page 179 - "The slowest read of my life..."

Page 270 - "One week down and I am only half way through the book. Damn slow and many a times boring..."

The very first chapter of the books takes you on a roller coaster ride synopsis of the book. It high-lights and presents the most interesting bits of the story and when you come to read that part in the later part of the story, it gives a deja vu kind of a feeling.

The whole story is divided into four parts - four books, namely. The most interesting bit of story, for me, was the last part - the fourth book. That is the story dealing with the intersexual protagonist. After reading the first chapter, I was thinking that it is the story of the Cal - the protagonist. But there is background story, dating two generations back.

Just a piece of advise for those who are thinking of reading this book.  Read this book only if you are into literature and contemporary. There is too much comteporary than the story. It isn't the kind of a story which follows the plot, but the story which follows the plot and also describes the life of the people at that period, in that place.

For a reader like me, it is damn boring and when I finally completed - I didn't read the whole book, but scanned the whole of it - I feeling I felt was that of relieve. "Finally, I can start something interesting." (Because I like giving up books in the middle.)

PS: Probably my longest read, yet.......

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