21st Century Book Club discussion

Middlesex > Eugenides' narrative voice.

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not very far into Middlesex yet, but one thing I really feel like pointing out is how unique a quality Eugenides writing has. Usually, when reading a recent novel, I can point out similarities between the book and classic writers, for better or for worse. Obvious examples are like Gaiman's similarity to a more modernest Lovecraft, or even going farther back, pointing out the similarities between Albert Camus in "The Stranger" and Franz Kafka's "The Trial." With this, however, I'm stumped. I think it is wholly unique and I really love it.

message 2: by Andre (new)

Andre (andreb) What struck me as I was reading it, was the presence of honesty in the narrative. You really get the sense that you get to know everything about the characters.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah and it reads like an autobiography; if I didn't know better I would swear it was a true story.

message 4: by Andre (new)

Andre (andreb) I felt the same way. It wasn't until hearing interviews with Eugenides where I was finally convinced that it wasn't his memoir. He did grow up in suburban Detroit however and is also Greek in ethnicity so that would account for the level of accuracy with the details. Its a very interesting approach to a story. Its almost as though he looked for a scenario or character that was dramatically different than himself, then put that character in the setting that matched his own life. The result is that the character is not so different then himself after all. That seems to be the result of the common experience for the reader as well. In the beginning we all feel very distant from the sideshow-tabloid world of hermaphrodites and incestuous relationships, but in the end we all feel like we can relate to this character. I think Eugenides had the same experience writing this novel as we all have reading it. That is a sign of a powerful writer.

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