Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex

Last updated: October 21, 2019


Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex

We looked at the top Oprah Book Club Books and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Oprah Book Club Book you should buy.

Product Details

In our analysis of 63 expert reviews, the Jeffrey Eugenides Middlesex placed 6th when we looked at the top 7 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

From The Manufacturer

“I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day of January 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of l974. . . My birth certificate lists my name as Calliope Helen Stephanides. My most recent driver’s license…records my first name simply as Cal.” So begins the breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit, witnessing its glory days as the Motor City, and the race riots of l967, before they move out to the tree-lined streets of suburban Grosse Pointe, Michigan. To understand why Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal, one of the most audacious and wondrous narrators in contemporary fiction. Lyrical and thrilling, Middlesex is an exhilarating reinvention of the American epic. Middlesex is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Expert Reviews


What reviewers liked

A rich, complex family drama, spanning multiple generations and featuring heavy subjects like incest, immigration, family secrets and twentieth-century America.
One of the best qualities of this book is the way Eugenides skillfully weaves together history and fiction.
Told from narrator Calliope's Stephanides's perspective, Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffrey Eugenides explores the complexities of growing up female but struggling between male and female identity—while also battling to comprehend a Greek and American heritage. Eugenides used his own part-Mediterranean background to inject Cal's cultural background with authenticity.
The last and best reason you should read Middlesex in my opinion is the ending of the book. Offers a climactic yet resolving finish to an arresting read.
Eugenides is a brilliant stylist, full of clever asides, striking metaphors, and memorable turns of phrase. The prose starts strong, but gets even better as the novel progresses.
It’s a wonderful story full of colorful, involving characters, and Eugenides deserves all the accolades he’s gotten if only for his gift of taking characters (hermaphrodites, immigrants, racial and ethnic minorities) that society treats as somehow “other” and getting us to see ourselves in them.
Amazing book. Keeps you entertained along the entire breadth of it. This is modern fiction that one can enjoy. Recommended!

What reviewers didn't like

In the end, I felt like it didn't deliver. I see a lot of connections Eugendides is making about identity, but they didn't seem developed.
This sharp contrast between the tone and topic of Middlesex has disturbed some readers.
I didn't actually finish the book, but I'm letting it go. Despite getting about halfway through, I just wasn't interested in finishing.
View our Oprah Book Club Book buying guide for in-depth advice and recommendations.

From our partners