Friday, January 06, 2006

3. "Middlesex" ~ Jeffrey Eugenides

Author of The Virgin Suicides, Eugenides leaped from a novella of creepy fascination to an epic saga spanning the webs of sexuality, geography, and incest.

Loved it.

Told in the first person omniscient POV - via Calliope Stephanides - this book describes the descent of genetics through three generations, culminating in the birth of a chromosomed-"defective" child: Calliope. Of course, she/he is a hermaphrodite, adding the not-so-subtle pun to the novel's title.

The depth of this world is perfect. When Eugenides waxes philosophic about the nature of Playboy and Hugh Hefner in the early 1970s, I buy it. It is the "dedication to detail," to steal a former professor's words, that makes this book so delightful. I wondered whether the author had to do years worth of research, but then I realized I didn't care. I believed it whether or not it was factual.

There are two WTF moments in the book where I thought Eugenides stretched plot plausability, but other than that, I found it an intriguing look at one family's Detroit dynasty.

4.25 out of 5.0 Bonapartes Secret Greek Battles.


Anonymous said...

I thought this book was fucking brilliant.


Eros said...

This is such a great great book and written by one of my favorite authors. And yes, it was fucking brilliant.