Middlesex

by Jeffrey Eugenides | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0747564485 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingcontowing of Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on 6/28/2007
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Thursday, June 28, 2007
Another one I bought some months ago and didn't register. Now, as I was picking it up to finaly get to read it, came here to do so.

The synopsis:
"'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.' And so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time." The odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, is at the tender heart of this long-awaited second novel from Jeffrey Eugenides, whose elegant and haunting 1993 debut, The Virgin Suicides, remains one of the finest first novels of recent memory.
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor."

Journal Entry 2 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Wednesday, July 11, 2007
This book is the epic story of several generations of a family in which the central figure is a hermaphrodite. But, it is so much more than that.
Guided by Cal, one gets to learn the intimate details, the hopes, dreams and fears of the Stephanides family. The story is roughly chronological, but the author kind of confides in the reader along the way, always giving a hint of what is to come. By letting slip these crucial details, the story unfolds not with the breakneck pace of a mystery or suspense novel, but rather the calm elegance of an epic. Just as Homer tells the Iliad to an audience that already knows that Troy has fallen, Eugenides allows the reader to know that Callie becomes Cal some 400 pages and 50 story-years before it actually occurs. This critical piece of information skilfully shifts the reader's focus from the natural question of "what happened?" to the complex details of "how did it happen?" A vague sense of inevitable sadness hangs over the novel, as the reader slowly learns the details of how a girl born Callie turns into a middle-aged man named Cal, yet, this slow transformation is just fabulous.
Also, the descriptions of Greece and Turkish invasions, of Detroit during the prohibition era and also during the race riots are great and extremely detailed. The narration is simple yet not simplistic; witty and insightful, the flow and the rhythm of the novel are just perfect!
Briefly, I loved reading the book.

The pic is a view of Smyrna's harbour during the burning of the city in 1922.

Journal Entry 3 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Sunday, July 15, 2007
Emprestado à V.
__________________

A V. adorou e ficou por lá para ver se o M. o lê...

Journal Entry 4 by kizmiaz from Belém , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Friday, November 14, 2008
This wasn’t quite what I was expecting.
I found the tale a bit too epic, this whole family sagas thing sometimes gets a bit out of hand and that’s what it felt like to me in this book. I felt that the whole family story just never ended and some of it was pointless.
I didn’t care for the pace the author sets (found it too slow going most of the time) and even though the plot is tight some of the scenes are just too descriptive for me.
Make no mistake about it, the author writes a good novel but to me it just felt too long to tell what it’s really telling. And what is it really telling? A whole lot of things related to the main character even if some don’t appear to have any relevance in the matter.
I did enjoy some of the descriptions though, especially the ones about the fall of Smyrna under the Turks and the 1967 Detroit riots (a good point is made when Cal calls it the second American Revolution), as for the rest it was enjoyable but, and forgive me if I repeat myself, just too darn long.

The picture was taken on the aftermath of the Detroit riot, just one of many destroyed downtown blocks.

Journal Entry 5 by wingcontowing from Lisboa (city), Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Saturday, November 15, 2008
E voltou a casa... Fica disponível para se alguém o quiser ler.

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