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Friday, September 07, 2007

1001 Book Challenge - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Now I've sat down to write this, words have failed me. How to describe an opus like Middlesex?

Most would know know it's the story with a hermaphrodite as the protagonist and his/her's (really, his) life's journey. But it's so much more. It's about European immigration into America in the early 20th century. It's about cultural attitudes towards men and women and how these have shifted. It's about so much more.

Eugenides is a marvellous writer. I love The Virgin Suicides. His characters are so textured; the plot so precise and deliberate, that I can't help but be reminded of an Australian Modern Classic - Cloudstreet, by Tim Winton. Both are family sagas, portrayed through the generations. Both are told through, or with a mind of, characters with mental/medical difficulties. Both Winton and Eugenides write great women characters - no mean feat, for male authors.

*spoiler*

My slight quibble: the downfall of Father Mike at the end. That just seemed rushed and odd, frankly.

Comments on "1001 Book Challenge - Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides"

 

Anonymous mcewen said ... (6:48 am) : 

Hmm. Might give it a go then.
Cheers

 

Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (4:17 am) : 

A good review there, MM.

 

Blogger Literary Feline said ... (3:41 am) : 

I read Middlesex years ago and it was among my favorites for the year. I loved the way the author weaved "current" events into Cal's own story the most--it gave the story very solid foundation, I thought. I am glad you enjoyed it. :-) Great review!

 

Blogger Framed said ... (9:10 am) : 

I have had "Cloudstreet" on my shelves for months now. Your favorable comparison makes me think I need to get it out. It's on a couple of my challenges.

 

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