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A Fraction of the Whole | [Steve Tolz]

A Fraction of the Whole

Stewing in an Australian prison, Jasper Dean reflects on his relationship with his dead father and recounts the many zany adventures they shared together.
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Publisher's Summary

Steve Toltz's exceptional debut has drawn favorable comparisons to the work of New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Safran Foer.

Stewing in an Australian prison, Jasper Dean reflects on his relationship with his dead father and recounts the many zany adventures they shared together.

©2008 Steve Tolz; (P)2008 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"Comic drive and Toltz's far-out imagination carry [this] epic story." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (112 )
5 star
 (48)
4 star
 (31)
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Overall
4.0 (37 )
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Story
4.1 (34 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nancy Brigantine, NJ, United States 09-14-08
    Nancy Brigantine, NJ, United States 09-14-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    106
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    5
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    "Beautifully written, wonderful characters"

    This is a beautifully written book with richly drawn characters. The Dean family will take you on a wild ride around the world, and as unlikely as they and their lives are, this book is so well written you'll believe every bit of it. Clever, ironic, dark, and absolutely worth reading.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philipp Marian Selman Fort Wayne, Indiana 01-27-10
    Philipp Marian Selman Fort Wayne, Indiana 01-27-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Funny and Thought-provoking Tale of Human Nature"

    Okay, I know this might sound weird, but if Dostoyevsky were alive today, Steve Toltz could probably teach him a thing or two about the nature of misanthropy. Still, A Fraction of the Whole manages to push the envelope of absurd to the very limits of transgressional fiction, while remaining humorous enough to sustain most reader's attention spans. The thing is, Toltz's characters are so incredibly hard to sympathize with, that you're likely to find yourself trying hard to understand how they are a reflection of humanity as a whole. And from this effort, the truth of their "every man" identities becomes glaringly obvious.

    Anyone who reads this story is likely to be both disgusted at the characters and reflected within them, all the while laughing despite this. Oh, and if you only like stories that wrap up nice and neat and fall into your lap during the death throws of their denouements — don't read this. However, if you're comfortable with the fact that life doesn't resolve itself like a Polaroid picture, then sit back, strap on a comfy pair of headphones, and enjoy one of the quirkiest tales you're likely to feast your ears on told by a pair of truly talented narrators whose performances are of rare quality.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-04-09
    04-04-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Charming and Fun"

    The book starts off a bit slowly, but you're soon drawn in to a world of villainy, deceit, and hysterically bad parenting. The narration captures each of the characters in a way that I think might not have been as carefully presented--had I just read the book. In short, one of the reasons that I listen to audio books. First class narrators, and a witty, character-driven story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Lindroos Porterville, Ca USA 11-29-09
    Rebecca Lindroos Porterville, Ca USA 11-29-09 Member Since 2003

    Book Bug

    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
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    543
    21
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    13
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    Overall
    "Laugh-out-loud funny"

    A Fraction of the Whole is a sprawling, big and baggy, super funny first novel by the Australian author Steve Toltz. The story goes back and forth between the two narrators, a father and son, telling their own stories of their lives. The father goes back to his childhood and the brother who becomes his nemesis. The son tells more of the later story, but they switch off nicely throughout the book. The ending gets a bit bizarre. Great narration.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie A. Archibald usa 06-02-09

    Postal Bunny

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    Overall
    "Incredible story"

    I didn't want it to end. The characters were frustrating and endearing. You wanted to follow them through all the craziness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Burton Verner 01-13-09

    Tgg123

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "What a ride!"

    Great book. Great narrators. Like nothing I've ever read. Wonderful characters. Hilarious. A strangely great father and son story that i couldn't get enough of. As original as it gets.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Genevieve Arcata, California, United States 09-01-11
    Genevieve Arcata, California, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!!"

    This production is a masterpiece. Author is obviously a genious with wit and a great sense of humor who can actually write! What a rare combination! This is my favorite audio book of all time, favorite author of all time, and favorite narrators of all time. This is a riot in audio due to the Aussie accent of the father and son narrators who got it just right. Buy this!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S Atlanta, GA 10-21-09
    John S Atlanta, GA 10-21-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "40% Great"

    I loved 40% of this book! It tells the story of a father and his son who are both extremely odd and have a very dysfunctional relationship. Most of the book is told from the point of view of the son (the 60% I did not like) and 40% is wonderfully told by the father. The reader of the father portion is much better than the reader of the son portions. If you take the time to listen to it, there are a lot of moments of pleasure, however you have to wade through a lot of muck to get there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Austin, TX, USA 09-03-09
    Connie Austin, TX, USA 09-03-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    4
    1
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    "Audio fan in Austin"

    I found this book "laugh out loud" funny - in many, many places. Both readers were just great. I am recommending to everyone I know who loves smart, funny books!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ttim San Francisco, CA, United States 04-04-14
    Ttim San Francisco, CA, United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Weird but ultimately enjoyable"

    It's impossible to categorise this book. It reminds me of books by Christopher more etc. While there are certain passages of the book which are just downright weird, at the end of the day its a great listen.
    The prose especially really stands out. There are some of the most unusual and interesting similes and metaphors I've ever heard been used in the English language.
    At times thought provoking and hilarious, this is a must listen.

    Also, narration by both narrators is top notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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