Have you read Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides yet?
|Also, it evidently won the Pulitzer Prize. Huh. How about that.|
I can't believe I've ignored people's recommendations and checked this out TWICE and never dived in. It's very engrossing.
What's not to love? Within the first few pages / chapters / minutes, you get:
Brother / sister incest
It's all there! Plus, a nice history of Detroit, and an immigrant story that rings true.
It took me forever to actually want to read this book, because it was so lauded as being important, which to me translated as dry.
[Also, I was a afraid it was going to be like Middlemarch, by George Eliot, and I cannot, still, ever for the life of me get through that.
But back to the actual book and my years-long reticence: Actually, the whole hermaphrodite thing put me off from reading this book. It's not that I'm biased against hermaphrodites or anything. Instead, I think the problem was that the people who recommended this book to me were very, very scholarly [think PhDs in literature and all that that entails; yes, including the baggy cardigans and earnest expressions] and I was afraid it was going to be some wretched treatise on the duality of man or something.
And it kind of is.
But it mostly isn't.
What it is, is a great story, an engrossing story. I was hooked from the first sentence, which is not something that happens very often. Which may mean nothing to you, but it should. Because I am the arbiter of taste, after all.
The story in Middlesex is not a straight narrative, which can be maddening if you don't just let yourself enjoy the loops and elides of it all. I like the fact that it's storytelling, with all that that entails - when telling a story, when listening to a story, it seems like the best ones always back up or go off on tangents and add layers of meaning and knowledge to the listener. Plus, I cannot emphasize enough, this is not a dry treatise. It's a really, really entertaining book.
The reader, Kristoffer Tabori, is perfect. Absolutely, delightfully, wonderfully perfect. His soft, gravelly voice has just a touch of an accent - enough that you can hear the Greek in his background. It's a delight to listen to, it really is. And his voice is addicting. I kind of want to sit in my car and just listen to him. And I seldom fade out while I'm driving- or if I do, I haven't noticed, which I guess is the same thing.
[This reticence reminds me of my reaction to Beloved.
So, to sum up:
Do not read Middlemarch.
Hermaphrodites actually make for good literature.
[As do ghost stories.]
Speaking of reading, check out my latest post at Secret Society of List Addicts. It's all about the printed word.
Had enough of the printed word? Well, a picture is worth a thousand of them, so get your photo in to the latest Raw Photos Contest! The theme is LOVE. Come on, submit your photo. Everyone needs to see what you love.