Bookworm Posts: Middlesex

April 04, 2012

Well, it's been a while but I have completed Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. I began reading it after an enthusiastic purchase of about 5 books from an online shop. The reading was interrupted by a book club meet, another book review (which I will post as soon as it is published on the magazine website) and other activities. But none of these reasons reflect on the book, because it is infact a very interesting read. I have a habit of reading before bedtime and this one found me looking forward to that hour or so spent before falling asleep.

Having heard about the book earlier, I was really excited to have it in hand. It had been on my books to read list for the longest time. The moment I realized how much I would like it was when I read the excerpt at the back, in which the narrator talked of being born twice. This points to the fact that he was born with both female and male parts (termed as hermaphroditism). However, it is not the focus of the entire book. The book witnesses the family history of the narrator and the events that lead to his second birth. The stories are threaded together wonderfully, and the shift in time and locations is well described.

The best aspect of the book, I felt, was that the narrator doesn't once complain about his life. He talks of the  troubles he faces, but doesn't make one feel sorry for him. He talks about his life like any of us would. The book also gave me a clearer understanding of hermaphroditism. Like, did you know the name was coined from the Greek deity Hermaphroditus? Born to Aphrodite and Hermes, he was a very handsome boy who caught the eye of a nymph. Once while he was bathing in a pond, she grabbed him from behind and asked the gods to never let them part. So strong was her love for him, that their bodies combined, creating one of both sexes. Interesting.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read about topics other than murder and espionage (like me!). Although it talks of serious topics, the book is a light read. I'm glad to say I can finally cut it off the list. Phew!

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2 comments

  1. OMG I loved this book. So much that it made me sad to read his latest book, because I had the sweet memory of this one ingrained in my mind. I love that both you and your sister love to read. It's a great thing to share! What are some of your other favorite books?

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  2. Yeah, I got my habit of reading from watching her go through a novel a day! :D I get to read a lot of books by upcoming Indian writers these days because of an online magazine that sends them for review. Apart from that I have a long list on my wishlist I am determined to finish this year (let's see). Favorites are a little tough to think of right now, but I did go through a PG Wodhouse phase last year :D

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