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Middlesex

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  433,826 ratings  ·  18,515 reviews
Wie machen die das bloß? Kaum hat man Die Korrekturen einigermaßen verdaut, legt mit Jeffrey Eugenides ein weiterer Amerikaner um einen Roman von epischer Wucht vor -- und gewinnt völlig zu Recht den Pulitzer-Preis.

Ähnlich wie bei Franzen geht es um Familienbande, Generationenkonflikte, um amerikanische Träume und Albträume. Außerdem ist Middlesex ein Roman über ethnische

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Hardcover, 736 pages
Published May 1st 2003 by Rowohlt (first published 2002)
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Caelin Webber Because his brother drives the family business into bankruptcy, Cal refers to him by a specific portion of the US bankruptcy law.
Geraldine Sy apparently, the book's rights were sold to HBO in 2009, with rumors of it being adapted into a one-hour drama series. source: …moreapparently, the book's rights were sold to HBO in 2009, with rumors of it being adapted into a one-hour drama series. source: http://filmschoolrejects.com/features...(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Trina
I got off the bus from Bumbershoot around 1 AM, exhausted. Convinced that even the cars speeding past my window couldn’t keep me from this night’s rest, I opened the door to a stench of exceptional vileness. Not a dead stench, or a spoiled food stench. This was the stench of sewage. From a spot in the center of the living room I surveyed the apartment and discovered the source: the commode and the area around it were covered in yuck. I dialed up the landlord. The exchange went something like thi ...more
Peter
Don't judge a book by its cover.

I'd seen this book on the shelves of a number of friends and in the arms of a number of travelers, so I decided to pick it up. The title, "Middlesex", suggested English countryside to me. On the cover was what looked like a steamship, and a quote on the back began "Part Tristram Shanty, part-Ishmael..." So I came to the foolish conclusion that this was some 19th century English seafaring novel. (Typical.)

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Middlesex is the story of a
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Jason
Alright, it’s high time I review this hermaphroditic little masterpiece.

Being a pseudo-biochemist (pseudo in the sense that I only pretend to be a biochemist, whereas in reality I write scientific development reports and other documents that no one will ever read but which I’ve convinced myself are just as fulfilling as doing real science), I find the premise of this novel to be incredibly interesting.

5α-Reductase deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder; autosomal meaning that the gene cod
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Andrew
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cassy
This isn’t so much a review as an embarrassing story. I gave the book four stars for a reason. The writing is beautiful. I would recommend it. Now onwards to my shame.

So Brooke and I were standing in line to meet Eugenides. Please understand it was a really long line after a similarly long day at work. We passed the time chitchatting about this and that at our workplace and life in general. By the time the organizer offered post-its* to our segment of the line, we were getting silly and joked ab
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Taylor
Mr. Eugenides can do everything, or at least I am convinced of such after reading Middlesex.

I passed on this book for a long time. I kept picking it up in bookstores and putting it down. I've seen quotes from it everywhere, all of which were beautiful, and kept hearing wonderful things about it from friends. To be perfectly honest, what kept me from picking it up in the subject: a hermaphrodite. I think of myself as someone with an open mind, but the thing is that I just wasn't sure if I'd be ab
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Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

The CCLaP 100: In which I read a hundred so-called "classics" for the first time, then write reports on whether or not they deserve the label

Book #15: Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)

The story in a nutshell:
The tale of "the most famous hermaphrodite in history," Middlesex is the second and lates
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Trevor
"When I told my life story to Dr. Luce, the place where he invariably got interested was when I came to Clementine Stark. Luce didn't care about criminally smitten grandparents or silkworm boxes or serenading clarinets. To a certain extent, I understand. I even agree."
I agree too. This quote comes from page 263 and is really where the story picks up and gets into the subject the book promises--Cal's life as a hermaphrodite. Honestly, while the first 263 pages were interesting and had some impor
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Kim
This book has all the major players....

Incest, war, teenage girl-on-girl experimental sex, deadheads, undescended testes, and a 2 inch penis.

Yep, it took me all of one chapter to realize that Middlesex was referring to something besides a county in England.

Best Part: Answering Maurice's question "What's that about?" then watching him squirm and cross his legs in obvious pain.

Worst Part: Glaring Oprah sticker on the cover telling me I've succumbed to the masses.
Jacob
April 2012

Goddammit, Middlesex is beautiful. It's epic. And it's roughly 500 pages too short. That's right--too short. As a sweeping, three-generation epic novel that covers the lives of Calliope's grandparents, parents, and her own childhood before she became Cal, it's a damn near perfect novel. As the story of Cal, post-transformation, it's...sadly lacking. The last quarter of the book is rushed and unsatisfying. It's beautiful anyway, but a few hundred extra pages wouldn't have hurt...

It also
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Jason Koivu
What a big pile of everything this is!

I like books like Middlesex, one's that stretch over generations, capturing historic moments in time from different perspectives and encapsulating an era. But sometimes they can be too busy, and Middlesex is toooo damn busy.

Part of the problem is that the transgender struggles of the main character are plenty of story to work with, so there's no need to tie in an immigration from the motherland tale or set it against the 1960s Detroit riots as a background.
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Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cecily
This is a book about transition.
Transition from child to adult to parent and grandparent.
From native to immigrant.
From brother and sister to husband and wife.
From rural dweller to urbanite.
From modest affluence to poverty and up again.
From loving language to losing the power of speech.
From geek to hippie.
From war through peace to civil unrest.
From belief to unbelief.
From rescued to rescuer.
From moral probity to corruption and crime.
Oh, and one character transitions from female to male.

The last o
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Martine
I'm torn on this book. On the one hand, I loved the story, which is, as another reviewer put it, 'the greatest, most incestuous Greek epic since the Iliad'. On the other hand, I had serious problems with some of the writing. I haven't seen my quibbles mentioned anywhere else, so I guess I'm alone on them. Or am I?

In a nutshell, Middlesex is the story of Cal, a Greek American who was born a hermaphrodite and raised as a girl before finally realising he was boy as a teenager. In about five hundred
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Barry Pierce
Jeffrey and I started on very bad terms. I read his Virgin Suicides and well that was an overhyped disappointment. The Marriage Plot is shaping up to be one of the worst books I read this year. So obviously I was apprehensive about starting this. But I did. And I liked it.

What can I say, it’s a good book! Praise the baby Jesus, Jeffrey Eugenides wrote a good book! This is a perfectly fine novel. It held my interest all the way through and I actually wanted to know what happened as the novel prog
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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 17, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006)
Shelves: ex-1001, pulitzer, oprah
Engaging epic of the three generations of a Greek family, the Stephanides. The first generation is composed of siblings, Desdemona and Lefty who leave their country during a political unrest, go to Prohibition-era Detroit and there have an incestuous relationship as husband and wife. Born to them in Detroit are son Milton and daughter Zoe. Milton marries his parent's cousin's daughter, Tessie and move to Michigan. Born to them are son Chapter Eleven and a daughter Calliope or Callie. At 13, Call ...more
Stacey
May 12, 2008 Stacey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: audiobook lovers
Recommended to Stacey by: audible.com reviews
I've read quite a few reviews of this book saying that it was patchy in places, or it bogged down in the historical parts, the character not being believable in others, etc.

I have not read the novel, so perhaps this is true. As an audiobook however, it was magnificent. The story was compelling, the history inseparable from the development of Calliope, and the voice of the reader - Kristoffer Tabori - was genius. His character variations made an interesting concept into a fascinating narrative o
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Sandi
For some unfathomable reason, I decided to start working Pulitzer Prize winning novels into my regular reading. I'd already read several, and it just seems like a good idea.

Middlesex wasn't exactly what I expected. Heck, I'm not really sure what I expected. What I knew was that the protagonist was a girl who discovered that she was really a boy at the age of 14. What I didn't expect was a warm, loving, often funny family saga. Jeffrey Eugenides quite clearly has a fondness for his Greek heritag
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Madeline
A storytelling hermaphrodite chronicles his family's history beginning with his grandparent's emmigration from Turkey to the US in the 1920s.
Incest. Mythology. Dysfunctional Greek families. Explosive secrets. Humor in the most unexpected places. Drugs. Sex. Hippies. Riots. Hitchhikers. The Illiad.

WHY AREN'T YOU OUT THE DOOR YET? GO. BOOKSTORE. PURCHASE. READ. YOU'RE WELCOME.
Eve
Middlesex has been stacked in a pile of books I like to refer to as my "Jumanji" books. The two main child characters in the film Jumanji begin a creepy, larger-than-life board game that results in the "Little Man Tate" boy disappearing, and the the young girl running away in horror, putting an abrupt end to the game. Though stowed away in the attic soon after the occurrence and forgotten, a distant jungle drum beat still emanates from the board game, forever beckoning that someone continue the ...more
Erin K
Aug 08, 2007 Erin K rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not sure
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caleb
I've been lounging around in bed all day today, slobbering on this book like a crushing schoolgirl. I'm reluctant to use the word, but this book is truly "epic," and not in a frat-boy kind of way. I don't want to give anything away, so I won't discuss any plot points. But really, the plot plays second string to Eugenides' style. Never in my life have I read a book so smooth, like a malty drink, like a wet porpoise, like clear mountain air. (so maybe these metaphors aren't apealing, but it's an a ...more
Andrew Smith
An epic story documenting the lives and relationships of three generations of a Greek/Turkish family who are forced to flee their homeland to America as a result of a historic and tragic event. Well, that's more the backdrop than the story - the real deal here is the account of the third generation hermaphrodite: the inter-relationships and secrets that preceded his/her birth and life thereafter.
It's stunningly well written and I found myself constantly looking up words I'd never come across be
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Maureen
This Greek family saga, as narrated by a hermaphrodite, has many pages, but I flicked through them easily like so many moistened labia. Moments of tragedy lay concealed within, like undescended testes, but warm humour dominated, swelling forth like a budding penis.
Will Byrnes
This is a family saga with a twist. The main character, Calliope, the product of a lengthy family history with some incestuous elements, was born a hermaphrodite. Yet the narrator (Calliope him or herself) despite telling in some detail about the concerns of being of dubious gender, somehow, by tone, makes it all seem like a personal oddity on the level of something much lesser, like a pair of webbed toes. Still, there is the family, and their background in Turkey, or Greece, or Turkey, dependin ...more
Mara
Aug 25, 2014 Mara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mara by: Steve
Back in the era of the paper book (before people started furtively reading Fifty Shades of Grey and Mein Kampf* on their tablets and whatnot) there were certain books that you'd see everywhere; bedside tables, in this hands of fellow commuters, and staking out beach-chair territory.

Even in the digital era, there are books that it seems like everyone is reading. When this happens, I exhibit a distinct (albeit self-defeating) behavioral pattern wherein if I don't read it hot off the presses, I the
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Bark's Book Nonsense
My final update: Whelp, I finished but I can't sit here and say it was all fun and games. This book was work to finish. I'm sticking with my 3 star rating. In the end, it had moments of interest, moments of tedium and I felt that it was far too long for a book that didn't grab me emotionally. Ah well, many folks love it so don't listen to me.

Update 5/18/15: Take 2. I'm trying this book on audio this time around and am nearly finished. Yay for audio. It is a very long book, rich in characterizati
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Brad
I admit it. I was surprised by Middlesex.

Back when I got stuck in the doldrums of The Shipping News, finally tossing it overboard, then wasted my time with The Stone Diaries a year later, I subconsciously vowed to ignore the Pulitzer Prize forever. I broke that vow in '99 for The Hours, but that was because one of my mentors knew Cunningham, and he recommended The Hours because he knew my love for Mrs. Dalloway. I went straight back to my personal embargo, though, and it stuck until 2009 when I
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Alison
"Why?" she kept crying softly, shaking her head..."Why did you run away, honey?"
"I had to."
"Don't you think it would have been easier just to stay the way you were?"
I lifted my face and looked into my mother's eyes. And I told her: "This is the way I was."


Most people know that Jeffrey Eugenides's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Middlesex" is the story of a girl who was "born twice"--first as a baby girl and later as a teenage boy. Our narrator was born with 5-alpha reductase deficiency, a genetic mut
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Noce
Franzen Gnè Gnè Gnè

“Jeffrey Eugenides è un grande talento e Middlesex vi conquisterà” (Jonathan Franzen)

Ma Franzen dico io!!! Sarai mica invidioso?!?? Il New York Times (che probabilmente è dotato di un generatore casuale di recensioni) avrebbe fatto di meglio.

Davanti a cotanta meraviglia, sei riuscito a partorire solo queste quattro paroline stitiche?

No perché, se tu lo volessi ammettere, guarda che io ti capirei.
Ci sono veramente poche penne che sanno raccontare saghe familiari e contemporanea
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Jeffrey Kent Eugenides is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short story writer of Greek and Irish extraction.

Eugenides was born in Detroit, Michigan, of Greek and Irish descent. He attended Grosse Pointe's private University Liggett School. He took his undergraduate degree at Brown University, graduating in 1983. He later earned an M.A. in Creative Writing from Stanford University.

In
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