Friday, April 25, 2008

Middlesex: Family Trees

If you read the Publisher's Weekly review I posted two posts ago, you know that Middlesex, and the main character's messed up chromosomes, has some to do with incest. It's kind of creepy actually, but once you get into the story, you forget about all the inter-family marrying going on. However, this did get me thinking about family trees. How much do we really know about our ancestors? I mean, you may know their names and birth dates, but do you know much about your grandparents' or great-grandparents' medical history? Do you in fact know that you're not caring a dormant gene that could spring up and wreck havoc in your children or grandchildren?

It would be wasteful if everyone went around getting a series of genetic tests just to be on the safe side, since most people would turn out just fine. But, it made me think about it. Plus, if anything, it makes me want to learn more about my ancestors.

Also, I'm fascinated by the language and the writing of this book. It's so captivating and descriptive. Another reviewer on the B&N Web site wrote about how this book could be a movie. I agree. As I read, I can see it playing out on screen so easily. I can hear the voice over. I can see the scenes set in Greece, the scenes set in 1930s Detroit. It's a longer book, so the movie would have to be a condensed version. Which, in the end, wouldn't do justice to the novel. But, it's fun to think about.

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