Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MiddleSex by Jeffrey Eugenides a Book Review!

Another book club book choice. I did notice this book a few times and people mentioning it here and there but I just never got around to reading it. I was excited when they announced this book for book club. It's a heavy book and I mean that both literally and hypothetically.

I did look this book up on Good reads and it did have some great reviews, as well as some mixed.

Without giving this book away I just want to share bits and pieces but nothing that will give away the story.  The book is broken into book 1, 2 etc. The story is about a hermaphrodite and so when I began reading I assumed that is what would be discussed. Book 1 is entirely about the grandparents and their journey in Greece and their struggles. They are brother and sister and for obvious reasons struggle with this but also are forced to leave their village and travel to the states and make a life for themselves their. There perspective is from the main character but he isn't born yet. It's ALOT of reading and ALOT of detail. Everything I just told you is told in about 200 or more pages.

The second book is about the main characters parents who are by the way first cousins. We follow them through life again through the eyes of the unborn main character. This is told in about 200 pages or so and ALOT of details and story. I had a very hard time keeping my focus in the story because by this point I felt 'ok get a move on'.

The third book, ok we are finally on the main character. The character struggles with himself and finding who he is. Has a friendship with someone he calls an object almost an infatuation with this person. The parents find out that the main character is a hermaphrodite and this starts a struggle and adventure of finding oneself for the main character. I found this to be boring as well. It took forever to move along in the story. I felt the author was very detail oriented but I had a very hard time getting attached or involved with the characters. I didn't have a bond with them.

I don't want to give away any more of the story but when I finished the book I sat down and felt angry and disappointed. I had to force myself to read this book and I hate that. I read to enjoy books. I then started to think the story through and try and find symbolism that perhaps was hidden in the book and important messages that may have been placed in the book for me to find and better enjoy the story. Yes, I did find some but again not something that I felt , 'oh wow so and so HAS to read this'

I went to book club having to bite my tongue and be polite because there were people who really enjoyed it and did feel the struggles of the character. People felt that we did need to have all the back story in order for the character to develop.

Overall I gave this 1 star out of 5 and that's just based on the fact that I like reading for leisure and with this book I felt I needed to read it and then break it down to understand symbolism and deeper meaning. I don't care for that when I'm reading for leisure. I want a story not something quite this deep. I also felt that this was about 300 pages too long. I think we could have gotten family and incest out of the way in about 200 and then focused on the main character. I don't recommend it, especially not as a beach read!

What are your thoughts on the book if you read it?

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