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on 26 July 2015
This is, without a doubt, one of the most achingly beautiful books I have ever read. The prose was absolutely stunning (I have underlined countless sections); the descriptions were nothing short of magic and the author balances perfectly between comedy and tragedy. The whole novel felt tangibly real, as if I were reading the inner thoughts of the author himself. As cliched as it may sound, this novel really touched me and made me question where we come from and what exactly makes up who we are. Thought-provoking, devastating, and beautiful. I can't wait to read it again.
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on 28 July 2017
I remember watching the film as a teenager (10 years ago) as research for a drama piece on cults and family pressure, but I don't remember that much about it to be able to compare it to the novel.
It's no secret that it's dark and the subject matter is clear from the title but the story is interesting and written endearingly by the neighbours of the girls, watching them from afar. This makes the story more believable, at least I couldn't imagine it working as well in a first person narrative or from an unknown detached narrator.
While the story is famously morbid, there is humour and heart throughout and it is an enjoyable read and not as heavy as you might expect.
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on 10 October 2014
After reading The Virgin Suicides I was particularly keen to try more of Eugenides books and picked Middlesex without really reading much about it only that it had received a lot of critical acclaim. I felt the book was a little slow to get into, a lot of the historical background and starting so far back in his lineage, to begin with felt a little unnecessary however once you are further into the story many of the elements come back into play. As a topic I know very little about I was incredibly interested and enlightened (obviously it is non-fiction) again my only critique would be that after spending so much time going to so much detail in the previous generations of his history and his childhood it seemed like part of the story was very much left out when it came to his older years. However it may be that this was the point, the book was more about the journey than the actual end point. In all I would highly recommend this book, it will open your mind, expand your horizons along with a beautiful story told in Eugenides signature, almost haunting, writing style.
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on 27 April 2017
Amazing book! I love the writing style, the character concepts, and the story as a whole is just so great. Read it none stop. The last chapter and how it went is just what I wanted too, just good from start to finish! I could only wish it was longer but, then it wouldn't be the book I love.
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on 6 January 2014
It's hard to imagine reading this book without knowing storyline, or perhaps having seen the movie. Whilst the storyline is unique, moody and a startling snapshot into suburbia life and the impact of a series of teenage suicides, the storyline is only the tip of the iceberg for this book.
Eugenides prose are out of this world; exceptional and compelling. It's almost reads like poetry, in an unable to step away from the pages style.
The anonymity of the narrators is vague yet spark familiarity and the descriptions, prose and metaphors are both vivid and dreamy all at once.
This novel is carefully crafted, on every level, from the setting of the scenes, the descriptions of the suicides, the minimal dialogue of the characters, to the reminiscent journey questioning the reason behind the deaths.
This book is so picturesque in its language, it feel is like an easy read, this book is anything but simple. This boom has become one of my fat favourites.
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on 21 November 2015
I can't recommend this book highly enough. It is extremely well written, the characterisation is vivid and believable and the subject matter fascinating. It's about identity, both from a gender point of view but also a cultural and national viewpoint. The narrator Cal is an adult male, writing in the present but looking back at his family's Greek roots as third generation immigrants to America. Cal was born a girl but as she reaches puberty she gradually realises that she is not like her peers. It is written gently; her fate unrolls very gradually and we read it from a standpoint of knowing things about her that she initially does not know about herself. We therefore feel for her every step of the way. I was just sorry when it ended...
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on 6 July 2012
I found this book did need my full attention to read it, but loved the style of writing and how vivid and alive the language was. However, I felt like the book took too long to work up to what I considered to be the main story, being how the main character discovers she is a hermaphrodite and how she copes with this. As a result I felt this part of the story was rushed and the book needed to be a few hundred pages longer to explore this more. I did enjoy the beginning about the family history but felt this took over the emphasis of the book, yet still relevant to the story.
I enjoyed the book so much though that I feel upset it is finished and am going to struggle to decide what to read next.
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on 21 October 2012
A very unusual topic for a novel, beautifully and sympathetically told; not for nothing did Jeffrey Eugenides win the Pulitzer Prize for this book! It ranges over the lives of three generations of a family and reveals a guilty secret. A Greek tragi-comedy for the 21st Century, funny and poignant, erudite and very moving, Eugenides has crafted a novel of beauty and understanding which is never voyeuristic or titillating in any way. One takes to all the characters immediately, shares all their joys and sympathizes with them in their sorrows. I was sorry when I got to the last page - I wanted more! Always a good indication of a great story.
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on 16 May 2017
This is the story of the lives and suicides of the five Lisbon sisters, told through the memories of the boys who lived in their street who loved them and watched them from afar. Though the subject matter is sad, it wasn't a wholly depressing read. It was very well written - Eugenides has a masterful vocabulary and the setting is very immersive.
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on 8 April 2016
A saga with a twist. I liked the spanning between Turkey & the USA & the immigrant narrative. Loved the description of life shifting between 1920 & 1970s in one family against the backdrop of American history. And I found the voice of the narrator fascinating.
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