Rare Book Review

I'm reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It's probably against the rules of book reviews to write a review before you actually finish the book, but I am so enthusiastic that I cannot suppress my rapture.
This book takes the every day, the mundane, and the tragic, and gives them all a mythological flavor. It's just about one person's family. Eugenides does what I wish I could do on a daily basis. The book is inspiring and comical at the same time.
The story takes place mostly in Detroit. The name of the book, Middlesex, is not the town of Middlesex but rather because the narrator is a hermaphrodite named Cal. Cal being gender neutral really works well, actually, because you see the world through a somewhat neutral perspective. Men and women are as men and women will be, and Cal just tells the story. Of his emotional and incestuous Greek-American family who are exactly as weird and wonderful as your own family. (Or maybe just as weird an wonderful as my family?) ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Cal is telling the past story of his family, of his conception, etc., while all the while in the "present" falling in love with a woman. Cal is shy. You know that if you were hermaphroditic, you would be shy, too, especially if you were falling in love. Suspense lies in wondering if and when Cal will reveal his secret. He looks like a guy, so I'm calling him "he" and "him". Back and forth, present and past, everything weaves together in some sort of comical mess. Just like life.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds interesting. I've always found sexual identity issues to be fascinating. I'll check it out!