by Jeffrey Eugenides | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: Global Overview for this book
Registered by citrus on 4/15/2004
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8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by citrus on Thursday, April 15, 2004
As I don't have the time to read a lot books now i decided to make this one a bookring...

participants so far:

1. Toadee (UK)
2. gill846 (Canada)
3. PButtercup (Canada)
4. senorag (USA)
5. Axelp (Netherlands)
6. Zoe1971 (Germany)
7. Valmue (Germany)
8. Skyrider (UK)
9. back to me...

Journal Entry 2 by Toadee from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, May 17, 2004
received today from citrus as part of a bookring.

Journal Entry 3 by Toadee from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 27, 2004
I found this to be a slow read but it kept my attention and contained some thought provoking and some humourous moments.

Journal Entry 4 by Toadee from Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 29, 2004
Posted to gill846 today, hope you enjoy it!

Journal Entry 5 by gill846 from Victoria, British Columbia Canada on Friday, June 11, 2004
Came home from work yesterday and found this waiting for me! Can't wait to read it. Have one bookring ahead of it, but will start it as soon as that's done.

Journal Entry 6 by gill846 from Victoria, British Columbia Canada on Monday, June 28, 2004
Well, I have yet to pick up a Pulitzer Prize winner and be disappointed... and this book is no exception. From its opening line "I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974," the book was totally un-put-down-able. Jeffrey Eugenides has taken a subject that people cannot help being intrigued by, steeped it in the flavour of his own ethnic background, and constructed an enjoyable, thought-provoking and nearly epic tale. Definitely one of the best books I've read in at least two years.

Citrus, thank you so much for sharing and I hope that when this excellent book makes its way back to you, you will have the time to dive into it!

Journal Entry 7 by PButtercup from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, July 06, 2004
Received this in the mail today - very exciting as it is the first bookring book I have ever gotten. I will be reading it right away.

Journal Entry 8 by PButtercup from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Thursday, July 15, 2004
I loved this book. I enjoyed the setting as I lived for two years in Detroit and am familiar with a lot of the places mentioned. The story was very interesting and unique. You really felt for the main character - Cal/Callie and his struggle to find out his true identity. Thank you citrus for the chance to read this book. I will be sending it on right away.

Journal Entry 9 by PButtercup from Toronto, Ontario Canada on Monday, July 19, 2004
Mailed off to senorag this morning - enjoy!

Journal Entry 10 by SenoraG from -- Wild released somewhere in the state, New Jersey USA on Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Came today. I am almost done a book for another ray than I will start this one. Thanks for the chance to read it.

7.29.04 Well, I gave it my best try. It was interesting, but just too slow moving. I could not stay with it. I jumped to the end to see what happened. Thanks for giving me a chance to try it. I will PM . Axelp for the address and keep it moving.

Journal Entry 11 by SenoraG at on Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Released on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 at next in line in bookring in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Moving right along to the Netherlands. Enjoy

Journal Entry 12 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Tuesday, September 14, 2004
Got it just before travelling, hence the late entry.

Liked it a lot. A good read, and interesting angle of US immigrant
story. Now off to the next in line. Thanks for sharing!


Journal Entry 13 by Zoe1971 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I found the book in my mailbox today, and I'm so happy that it made it's way twice across the Atlantic ocean from Europe to the US and back. Thank you very much for sharing, citrus!

Some friends of mine told me only the best about Jeffrey Eugenides after they read "The Virgin Suicides" or "Middlesex". They really made me curious about this author. I hope I'll get to reading this novel real soon and tell you about my impressions about Jeffrey Eugenides (did you know he lives in Berlin?).

Once again, thank you very much, citrus for starting this bookring and to Axelp for passing it on! Let's stay friends!

Journal Entry 14 by Zoe1971 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, April 09, 2005
I have to say I really loved this book. I can't wait to read "The Virgin Suicides"!

This novel contains everything: comedy and tragedy, the story of (at least)three generations and their traditions and values, the feelings and emotions of girls, boys and intersexuals, serious theatre and peephow business, Asia Minor, the US and "Old Europe" ;-)

Jeffrey Eugenides actually is a great writer.

Here are some of my favourite passages:

The descriptions of how Cal's grandparents arrived after their oddyssey from Asia Minor to NY and what his yia yia felt: "But there was another reason for my grandmother's unhappiness. She opened the silkworm box in her lap. Inside were her two braids, still tied with the ribbons of mourning, but otherwise the box was empty. After carrying her silkworm eggs all the way from Bithynios, Desdemona had been forced to dump them out at Ellis Island. Silkworm eggs appeared on a list of parasites." I can't tell exactly why this reminds me of the current discussion about biometric data and entering the USA.

Or how you can help yourself in a country if you don't speak the language: "When she recognizes Gratiot's diagonal swath, she stood up and called out in a ringing voice: 'Sonnamabiche!' She had no idea what this English word meant. She had heard Sourmelina employ it whenever she missed her stop. As usual, it worked. The driver braked the streetcar and the passengers moved quickly aside to let her off. They seemed surprised when she smiled and thanked them."

"It turned out that when it finally happened, the revolution was'nt televised." (Didn't Gil Scott-Heron do a song about the revolution that wasn't televised??)

And two passages about my hobbies: literature and eating...
1. "But maybe the Charm Bracelets understood more about life than I did. From an early age they knew what little value the world placed in books, and so didn't waste their time with them. Whereas I, even now, persist in believing that these black marks on white paper bear the greatest significance, that if I keep writing I must be able to catch the rainbow of consciousness in a jar." (and he does!)
2. "The doctor's name was Müller. German by blood, he renounced his race when it came to cooking. With postwar guilt, he decried bratwurst, sauerbraten and Königsberger Klopse as dishes verging on poison. They were the Hitler of foods. Instead he looked to our own Greek diet - our eggplant aswim in tomato sauce, our cucumber dressings and fish-egg spreads, our pilafi, raisins, and figs - as potential curatives , as life-giving, artery cleansing, skin-smoothing wonder drugs." Are you as hungry as I am???????

I would love to write down even more about this book, but I can't now - I think I have to visit the Greek restaurant round the corner and do something to clean my arteries... ;-))

Since Valmue won't accept any bookrings at the moment, the book will be forwarded to Skyrider as soon as I got the address...

Released 14 yrs ago (4/12/2005 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



The book is on its way to skyrider, Cambridge, UK.


Journal Entry 16 by Skyrider from Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Thursday, April 14, 2005
I thought I ought to make a quick journal post to let you all know that the book arrived safely. Thank you so much citrus for starting this ring and thank you Zoe1971 for passing it on to me.

I've got one other book to finish first, but this is next in line....

Journal Entry 17 by Skyrider from Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Monday, May 30, 2005
Well, I thought that this was a wonderful book. The opening sentence draws you in immediately and by the time you've understood how the opening is likely to resolve you find yourself entranced by the characters as they all cope with being alien to the prevailing culture — Desdemona and Lefty by nature of their relationship, Milton and Tessie always remaining slightly foreign rather than going native and ultimately Cal(lie) as (s)he comes to terms with a heritage of genetic mutation.

It's not a book that will appeal to someone looking for a good story — the plot is minimal — but the character study is meticulously observed and the prose lyrical and beautiful.

I should be getting this book back to citrus, but I may well get it out of the library. I'd be intrigued to re-read the Smyrna and boat portion with the foreknowledge of how things work out.

The photo shows Charles Darwin's house in the background — somehow this seemed appropriate for a book centred on genetic inheritance.... ;-)

Journal Entry 18 by citrus on Thursday, June 09, 2005
received the book again... thanks for treating it so nicely...

hope you all enjoyed the book, best wishes, k.

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