Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – Book review

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

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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.

This is how starts a 2003 Pulitzer winner in fiction category. I’ve ended up reading it as a part of my Book Club assignment. With 500+ pages  this is one of those books that describe a whole era of a time gone by.

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It is a story about a coming of age, but the narrator is not your ordinary self searching character. It is a boy at birth mistaken for a girl because of his hermaphrodite anatomy. The story is enriched by many historical details as a background for the main character. Main character named at birth Caliope is a Greek immigrants descendant. The story starts two generations before the main characters enters the stage.

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I admit I was intrigued by the topic of hermaphrodite character at start. Through the book there were some awesome lines that provoked much thought on the experience of life and how personal a journey this is for everyone.

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In conclusion:

This novel is filled with historical details. some of them annoyed me and some were interesting. The main characters uniqueness was largely tempered down by historical events. It is an interesting narrative but not exactly my type of a book. Melancholy details and mixing up rare and unusual with ordinary, was something that bothered me in a way – I felt that it would have been better to celebrate our differences as humanities most valuable resource than to drown it in a pool of ordinary like this.

In the end I’m glad I was assigned this book to read for it is not a reading choice I would have made on my own.

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