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Middlesex: A Novel Audiobook, by Jeffrey Eugenides Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides Narrator: Kristoffer Tabori Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2003 ISBN: 9781593971045
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Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Audie Award for best unabridged fiction, Middlesex marks the fulfillment of a huge talent, named one of America's best young novelists by both Granta and The New Yorker. In the spring of 1974, Calliope Stephanides, a student at a girls' school, Grosse Pointe, MI, finds herself drawn to a chain-smoking, strawberry-blonde classmate with a gift for acting. The passion that furtively develops between them - along with Callie's failure to develop - leads Callie to suspect that she is not like other girls. The explanation for this shocking state of affairs takes us out of suburbia - back before the Detroit race riots of 1967, before the rise of the Motor City, to 1922, when the Turks sacked Smyrna and Callie's grandparents fled for their lives, back to a tiny village in Asia Minor where two lovers, and one rare genetic mutation, set in motion the metamorphosis that will turn Callie into a being both mythical and perfectly real: a hermaphrodite. Sprawling across eight decades - and one unusually awkward adolescence - Jeffrey Eugenide's long-awaited second novel is a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Part Tristram Shandy, part Ishmael, part Holden Caulfield, Cal is a wonderfully engaging narrator…A deeply affecting portrait of one family’s tumultuous engagement with the American twentieth century.”

    New York Times

  • “[Eugenides] is well on his way to becoming a spectacular mythologist, attacking some of our most enduring riddles with heroic energy, keen wit, and genuine compassion…Everyone we meet in Middlesex is vibrantly alive…Eugenides has taken the greatest mystery of all—What are we, exactly, and where do we come from?—and crafted a story that manages to be both illuminating and transcendent.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Rollicking, gleefully inventive…Middlesex serves as a tribute to Nabokovian themes…Eugenides recounts the revelation of Callie’s genetic abnormality through a series of near-discoveries that are amazingly comically missed.”

    Washington Post

  • “[Middlesex is] one of the most impressive American novels…Eugenides has created a spirited, high-energy comic epic.”


  • “A big, cheeky, splendid novel…It goes places few narrators would dare to tread…Lyrical and fine.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Unprecedented, astounding…The most reliably American story there is: A son of immigrants finally finds love after growing up feeling like a freak.”

    San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

  • Middlesex is about a hermaphrodite in the way that Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel is about a teenage boy…A novel of chance, family, sex, surgery, and America, it contains multitudes.”

    Men’s Journal

  • “An epic…This feast of a novel is thrilling in the scope of its imagination and surprising in its tenderness.”


  • “Vibrantly strange and heroic…Nothing is simple in this bighearted, restless story, not even choosing the right pronoun to describe the protean hero.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Tenderly rendered…It also is a story of assimilation on a much more embracing, even epic, scale, a story viewed through the scrims of psychology, the language of Middlesex pops, screeches, clatters with noise and life, with the muffled moans of passion in an upstairs bedroom, the siren whine and pounding thunder of Henry Ford’s assembly line, the sharp crack of ice under the wheels of a rumrunner’s Packard, the trill of a clarinet solo piercing a muggy summer night, the whole raucous booming-thudding-wailing soundtrack of the century.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Eugenides invites one and all to populate the great Greek-American novel…Boisterous…With Middlesex, a mirror house love poem to his Greek ‘family,’ Jeffrey Eugenides proves he has literary muscle second to none.”

    Philadelphia Inquirer

  • “Poetic verve…He evokes an entirely fresh shade of tough, enduring love…A revelation of originality and vast invention.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “At last Detroit has its great novel. What Dublin got from James Joyce—a sprawling, ambitious, loving, exasperated, and playful chronicle of all its good and bad parts—Detroit has from native son Eugenides.”

    Detroit Free Press

  • “Epic and wondrous…Middlesex begins as a generous, tragicomic family chronicle of immigration and assimilation, becomes along the way a social novel about Detroit, perhaps the most symbolic of American cities, and incorporates a heartbreaking tale of growing up awkward and lonely in 70s suburbia. It’s a big, affectionate, and often hilarious book.”

  • “Amazing…A modern classic.”


  • “Big, funny, flamboyantly imaginative…As warmhearted as it is unpredictable.”

    Arizona Republic

  • Middlesex is so fully imagined, so vivid, funny, touching, and original, that it often left me grinning with delight.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • Middlesex is also a pleasing mix of discussions of scientifically exact genetics and Greek-American yarns. It is genetics as storytelling.”


  • “An often affecting, funny, and deeply human book…A charming ingenuous writer…Middlesex is an enormously ambitious book, whose many stories do indeed gather to present a broad swath of Greek-American life.”

    New Republic

  • “Eugenides does such a superb job of capturing the ironies of trade-offs of assimilation that Calliope’s evolution into Cal doesn’t feel sudden at all, but more like a transformation we’ve been through ourselves.”

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

  • “[An] exercise in narratological brio…Genuinely moving.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • Middlesex contains scenes that are as wonderful as written prose can get…As it is, Eugenides has written a novel that you could give to your own teenage sons and daughters so that they might better understand their passage through the universal confusion of puberty.”


  • Without a doubt, this audio edition of Eugenide's long-awaited second novel represents an acme of the audiobook genre: the whole equals more than the sum of its parts…Tabori's performance of the text is phenomenal…Not only are his interpretations of the characters astonishingly credible, but his internalization of the narrative is nothing short of amazing. Publisher's Weekly, Starred Review
  • What made me fall in love with audiobooks was not so much the story (which is amazing), but rather the narration of the book done by Kristoffer Tabori. This performance, for me, elevated audiobooks from a convenient way to get more books ‘read' to an actual performance art. Brain Candy Book Reviews

  • “Jeffrey Eugenides is a big and big-hearted talent, and Middlesex is a weird, wonderful novel that will sweep you off your feet. Jonathan Franzen

  • The author is a gifted storyteller who relates 10 decades of one Greek family's life with evocative words and poignant images, which please the ear and mind. Kristoffer Tabori's dramatization gives a strong sense that he's savoring the telling. Audio File
  • Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • Winner of the 2003 Audie Award
  • Winner of the 2003 Ambassador Book Award for Fiction
  • Winner of Great Lakes Book Award - Winner, 2003
  • Winner of Ambassador Book Award - Winner, 2003
  • Winner of Audie Award Winner, 2003
  • ALA Stonewall Book Award - Honor Book, 2003
  • Nominated for Lambda Literary Award - Nominee, 2002
  • Winner of Pulitzer Prize - Winner, 2003
  • Among longlisted titles for (Selected for) Oprah's Book Club, 2007
  • Nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards - Nominee, 2002
  • Nominated for National Book Critics Circle Award - Nominee, 2002
  • A 2002 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2002 Barnes & Noble Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award
  • ALA Stonewall Book Award - Honor Book, 2005
  • Nominated for International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award - Nominee, 2004
  • Among longlisted titles for 100 Audible Essentials, 2007
  • A 2004 International Dublin Literary Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 2003 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction
  • A 2002 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2002 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2002 Chicago Tribune Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2002 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction

Listener Reviews

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  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carmen | 2/16/2014

    " The writing was excellent; but the book really dragged for me in the middle and towards the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/11/2014

    " Fascinating story of one Greek family's journey to America. Long but worthy of the time- I kept coming back for more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 2/10/2014

    " Writing was slow paced until the middle. Lots of background info to bring the reader up to the birth of the child. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frannieannie | 1/18/2014

    " loved every page- did not want the book to end. well worth 5 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Louise | 12/19/2013

    " Excellent writing which transports you into whatever is happening. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Klara | 12/6/2013

    " This is a book I wanted to like more than I actually liked it. Perhaps because it was trying to be the great American novel as well? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Athena | 11/27/2013

    " It took me a bit to get into this book. The story was not completely linear. In the end, I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 11/24/2013

    " An interesting juxtaposition of the decay of a person and Detroit. It got to be a bit dry and slow at times but definitely worth a read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stacey | 9/25/2013

    " Geez. Am I the only one that didn't like this book? I couldn't finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynn | 8/21/2013

    " One of the best if not THE best book I've ever read. The epic story of a young girl starts three generations in the past and fast forward to modern adolescence. Eugenides' weaving of time past, present and future are genius. Love this book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alanna | 8/11/2013

    " SO glad I was able to crack on reading this book, a slow start, very John Irving like... but the meat of it so rich! Well written, well written indeed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Martha | 8/6/2013

    " This is a wonderful book, an epic American tale, and so original. I am happy to finally have read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamsyn | 6/2/2013

    " Second time I've read this one, I think it was better first time around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alanamarielle | 5/18/2013

    " Completely riveting 80-year long family story that felt so true. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megumi | 3/25/2013

    " Finally may get a good night's rest. This book is why I've been up so late the past two nights. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 2/9/2013

    " I had wanted to read this for ages, but was too embarrassed to borrow it from the library. Thankfully, it appeared on their e-book list! A real page-turner from the first chapter, with good characters and a plot that moves along at a good pace. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dina | 10/26/2012

    " While reding it, I realized why it got a Pulitzer Prize. Excellent "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kate | 10/18/2012

    " Very interesting story and I had a hard time getting into it until about half way through. Kind of middle of the road to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Przemek | 10/13/2012

    " I loved the storytelling. Superb parallels are drawn between ambiguity in gender and nationality and personal identity in general. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristal | 9/12/2012

    " It was no Virgin Suicides, but I may be biased. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 6/17/2012

    " A good story. A little too wordy for me, but I hung in till the end and was glad I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lee | 2/3/2012

    " Read this as a book club selection. This will be an interesting meeting. Interesting story line wild ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nell | 10/4/2011

    " I am officially in love with Eugenides' writing. I loved this book. I loved The Marriage Plot. I love his writing so much that I am thinking of reading The Virgin Suicides even though the movie was super boring and made no sense. Good job, Jeffrey Eugenides! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Belinda | 5/23/2011

    " Middlesex made me laugh so much, it was so unexpected! It could have been great, but I think the writer got a little bit lost along the way and the last quarter of the book is a little ridiculous. It is the story of a hermaphrodite - quite sad, really, but intriguing, none the less. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ozlem | 5/23/2011

    " An interesting novel with interesting characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany | 5/20/2011

    " I listened to this book on tape in my car. There was something about the narrator's voice mixed with the writing that made me want to never get out of the car. I may have been late to work a few times just to hear what happened next... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert | 5/17/2011

    " What do I think? It's quite the historical jaunt through three generations and two continents. There's a lot more to this book than the title implies. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 James | 5/16/2011

    " Surprisingly good. The book is very true to Detroit and the suburb of Grosse Pointe. I lived in both cities growing up, so the story had some extra hooks for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 5/16/2011

    " I am not sure why this was a P. Prize winner except for the subject matter. I enjoyed and kept reading this book only because it has the history of Detroit as this Greek family immigrates to here to Michigan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tammy | 5/16/2011

    " I had high hopes for this book. It started out REALLY slow but I hung in there thinking all the while it has to get better. I'm sorry to say it didn't. Although it had it's moments I was overall disappointed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tracy | 5/16/2011

    " Virtuoso, not least for the telling portrait of Detroit "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara | 5/14/2011

    " Some authors write so brilliantly and with such clarity that I'd read the yellow pages, if it was written by them. If Jeffrey Eugenides wrote the yellow pages, I'd read it. While the subject matter may not be for everyone, his captivating written certainly should be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susannah | 5/12/2011

    " Realy well-written. Will read his previous work(s)soon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 5/11/2011

    " Just finished this book and wow. This is going on my list of all-time favorite books right now. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Casey | 5/11/2011

    " Undoubtedly well written but I honestly found it arduous and tiresome to read. The story was interesting, but so drawn out it just failed to appeal to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Polly | 5/10/2011

    " Very interesting book. I enjoyed it. "

About the Author

Jeffrey Eugenides received the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for his novel Middlesex, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and France’s Prix Médicis was also selected for Oprah’s Book Club. The Marriage Plot was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won both the Prix Fitzgerald and the Madame Figaro Literary Prize. The Virgin Suicides was adapted into a critically-acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola. He is a professor of creative writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts at Princeton.

About the Narrator

Kristoffer Tabori made his screen debut when he was six years old and appeared on Broadway for the first time at age sixteen. He has garnered numerous honors for his stage, screen, television, and radio acting and directing, including an Emmy and three Earphones Awards. His first solo narration won the 1993 Audie Award for best audiobook of the year.