Go to read: Middlesex

Posted: December 10, 2013 by jennroig in English, Reviews
Middlesex, by J. Eugenides

Middlesex, by J. Eugenides

I love to read, but for the past years I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I would like to. I mean fictional literature, because 90% of my work is basically about reading stuff.

So, about missing out on great novels or short stories, I could find excuses, little time, had to study, then I was tired after office… but to be honest, I have been having a hard time to find the kind of literature that hooks me without mercy.

But I just finished a book that had be hook for less than a week. Those few days was all I needed to eat every page, a bit more than 500 of them. The book is Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. It is not a new bestseller, it was published around 2000 and its peak of popularity faded a while ago.

I don’t even know how to sell it without spoiling it, and I don’t want to spoil it for new reades because you need to know very little to be able to feel the thrill.

Let’s say that it brings something new. As far as I know, it is the fist time that a writer created a protagonist -a hermaphrodite- that is also a first person narrator. It takes a lot of guts to write from the perspective of such a complex creature, with so many layers and shades. And Eugenides, who’s also the author of the Virgin Suicides, manages to write a perfectly haunting tale.

I can tell you that Cal’s voice will lead the journey. Cal works in Berlin, for the American embassy there. He spends his years moving from a place to another so not to get attached to any. Cal will tell the story of how he was born Calliope, and how one day the truth of his masculinity was revealed.

But in order to do so, to track the gene responsible for his nature, he goes back to Greece, to the mountains where his grandparents used to live before they came as immigrants to the USA. And then the story of the romance between his father and mother, and his own forbiddn first love.

It is a personal, intimate testimony, as much as it is a historic review of the war between Turkey and Greece during the 1st World War, of Cleveland in the 20th Century with the riots, and the whole USA during the deep sexual transformations. Middlesex has it all, great twists told by a captivating, vulnerable voice.

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