What happens when a pair of successful performance artists have children, what becomes of those children, and where does it take the art? The Family Fang explores these premises with insight and humor, while remaining true to the questions it poses.
The Fangs are about as successful as performance artists can be, and when they have children (Child A and Child B) they include the children in their performance pieces. The children go along with it, as children do, but as they grow up they begin to question their participation and occasionally add their own touches, or resistance, to the pieces.
We get to know Annie and Buster as adults who have been damaged in foreseeable ways by their odd family life, and we also get to know the Fang parents as they struggle to make sense of their art without their children's participation and support.
There are plenty of deeply discussable topics---what can you ask of your children, how does this example of children working in their parents' business compare with children who work at their parents' retail business or gardening route, how do we handle our children leaving us, what does it mean to be damaged by our parents? My favorite among them is, of course, "WHAT IS ART?" which is a topic I could discuss forever.
This is an engaging story, but the performance is outstanding and I imagine that the book is much better in the audio version than by eye-to-brain. It is one of those special performances that makes it worthwhile to be part of Audible. I'm led to figure out how to search Audible's library for other stellar performances. This performance is all the more impressive because it is all done by one voice actor, rather than an ensemble.
Thanks, Audible, for introducing me to this novel.
I have always loved to read, and now I really enjoy listening to my books as well!!
The Family Fang is a book I couldn't wait to listen to--and basically I really enjoyed it. It has a totally original story, and the plot progresses nicely. And the narrator was excellent.
The book revolves around a dysfunctional family, but in a funny, quirky, entertaining way. The ending, however, was very flat, and that always brings an otherwise "great" book down to "good" when it comes to my recommendations.
A good story is hard to find. This is a well written and thoroughly enjoyable story that reminded me of the writing of John Irving. There is that same originality and humanity along with the depiction of life in a way that stays with you.
This is definitely an odd little book, but completely enjoyable! Loved the Fangs in all their hilarious, complicated, messy glory. Great story, great narration. A fun departure from the usual.
The story was just strange and while it was funny at times overall I didn't get the point. This family is totally dysfunctional and the mom and dad do everything for art but their actions are unbelievable; I didn't want to listen to the second part but I figured I had already invested so much time it had to get better. I was wrong!
Disappointment. I wish I used my credit to buy something else
Quirky characters (at least how the story started off). Then it got somewhat boring when it moved the focal from the parents to the kids, which (to me) seems somewhat disconnected to the overall story. To me, the dynamics (or relationship, perhaps even the lack of) of the parents and the kids are the stories to be told here. The plot got a bit more interesting (somewhat intriguing) towards the end, however the final "reveal" was somewhat lackluster and disappointing. It has a bit of depressing element to the whole story, growing up in a somewhat dysfunctional family. Then at the end, finally both the kids get the one single thing that keep them so estrange from their parents all these while, which is somewhat a nice ending to the story.
And that's a big deal for me. I usually can get into any story. I think that the difficulty that I had with this book was that the characters were all so completely unbelievable. They could only be made up people to me. Not to mention the story itself was so sad that I found myself getting depressed. It just was not the book for me.
In a class by itself, unusual story that I can actually see happening
The relationship between Annie and Buster over time
Annie, but I liked them all
Wow, that's tough. I think I would leave it as is
I liked the beginning part of the book best, kind of dragged in the middle, but ended well.
I would recommend this book because it is so off the beaten track.
Listening to each escapade the family had.
Disappointed in the ending...needed to be elaborated upon more, I believe.