Rhythm, music, feeling. The sound of words, unfettered by the demands of formal punctuation. Gone are the so-called ‘elements of style’, the stilted choppy grammatical prisons of words. Eugenides has liberated a world of words to speak a careful thoughtful truth which reflects a looking glass culture as clear as it is fragile, as rigid as it is agile, and characters trapped within it who are expansive before every contraction, larger than life and yet just a fraction. Fractured in the moving picture. I loved Sofia Coppola’s film adaptation of this novel, equally. Both the book and the film are magical, different, unusual. And unusual, in a creative and conscious kind of effort – unusual with a heartbeat – is the sort of rarity which keeps me interested in reading and watching, and engaged in the affairs of humankind. Nice to find a novel which does not leave one stuck in a pigeon pose, fervently scraping gum with a stick out from the rubber mould of a culture always left aside looking for some traction for a soul.