Book Review – Middlesex


One thing I forgot to mention in my back from hibernation top 10 list is the fact that I read two amazing novels, The Kiterunner and Middlesex.  I would write about The Kiterunner but i think everyone knows by now how amazing it is, what with the movie out and all.  [I think it has already reached the point where people will lie about having read it.  For example, A, who read the book, asks B, who did not read the book: ‘hey B, did you read the kiterunner?  and B goes, ‘what? who, me? pssshhh, maaaan.  c’mon now. of course I read the kiterunner.  that’s a classic right there.’   then A goes, ‘what did you like about it?’ and then B goes, ‘oh, well, hey, I mean, what can you say, you know?  everything basically’…pauses while A stares suspiciously…prompting B to reluctantly add, ‘the kites..really nice.  the way they just float in the sky like was really uplifting.’]

Anyway, Middlesex is a reaally different type of read.  It basically tells the story of a second generation Greek American hermaphrodite, her family history, and the trials and tribulations of a confused kid trapped in an even more confused body.  [note: I hate more than anything to find out details about books/movies before I read/see them, so don’t worry, the hermaphrodite bomb is dropped on the first page of the book]. It wasn’t nearly as emotionally gut-wrenching as most novels that I tend to like.  It won’t make you cry, unless of course youre a sissy [although I may have had something in my eye towards the very end]. It’s just brilliantly written.  There is so much detail, so much background, so many sidebars, all put together quite ingeniously.  The author anticipates your every yearning before you even feel it, and so the 500-something pages fly quickly.

Middlesex is also great because of the way it artfully explores the inner tumoil felt by the main character, Callie, not just as a hermaphrodite, but in every phase of her life: as a child, teenager and adult; as a daughter, grand-daughter of immigrants, and little sister; as a friend, schoolmate, object of desire, self-conscious lover, sex object, and case-study.  Callie’s life is so complex, but she herself really is not…she just wants to fit in and feel accepted.  I also loved it from the immigrant perspective…the ranting of the grandmother who tries desperately to cling onto ancestral traditions is very entertaining.  All said, a really fun read.

Rating:  4 out of 5 elongated clitorises

[note…The Kiterunner is an amazing, must-read book, and has earned all the hype.  Rating: 5 out of 5 slingshots]

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