Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief.
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.
When the lives they've built come crashing down, brother and sister have nowhere to go but home, where they discover that Caleb and Camille are planning one last performance - their magnum opus - whether the kids agree to participate or not. Soon, ambition breeds conflict, bringing the Fangs to face the difficult decision about what's ultimately more important: their family or their art.
Filled with Kevin Wilson's endless creativity, vibrant prose, sharp humor, and keen sense of the complex performances that unfold in the relationships of people who love one another, The Family Fang is a masterfully executed tale that is as bizarre as it is touching.
©2011 Kevin Wilson (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"The Family Fang sparkles with Kevin Wilson’s inventive dialogue and wonderfully rendered set-pieces that capture the surreal charm of the Fang’s most notable work. With this brilliant novel, the family Fang is destined to join the families Tenenbaum and Bluth as paragons of high dysfunction." (Amazon.com review; Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2011)
This is a really funny and ridiculous book, esp. if you know your contemporary/performance art. Characters are really well described and plot keeps you interested.
Buster Fang, because he's so hapless. He's the absurd underdog you just can't resist.
Dry reading is perfect for these jokes, but the reading is also just right. I especially liked how she read the part of Camilla Fang, who had some truly enigmatic responses.
If you like Sedaris, you might like this novel. It's not essays, but humor works in some of the same ways.
Very ... interesting story. I didn't *love* it, but enjoyed it well enough. The author did a great job developing the characters, and I really felt for child "a" and child "b." An interesting look at what constitutes "art" and the effect it (and Caleb and Camille) has on the Fang's children.
I liked this book a lot! But the parents, as parents, were very unsettling. Even though I really liked this book, I am still undecided if it would not have been a stronger and better ending to NOT have included the final chapter. Before the final chapter, the story built up to such a poignant and emotionally powerful place. The resolution of A & B???s lives in the last chapter, although forward looking and hopeful, at least for me, dulled the emotional ???edge??? created in the climactic scene.
Wilson's is a really original approach to the family dysfunction novel, through the metaphor of performance art. A refreshingly creative achievement. The narrator is exceptionally good.
No. I can't think of a friend who I believe would enjoy it.
It is probably perfect for someone who wants to read about intentional dysfunction, chaos without payoff, and a random acts of unkindness. Randomness can be charming, but in this case I found it unembracable.
The whacked out psycho mom. Her pathetic character is so well defined.
I'd pass. Life is too short for so-so books.
Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!
Yes, but not for some time. I had a very difficult time with the family reunion at the end.
Not a book, but a movie. The Family Fang is very similar to Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tennenbaums." The themes are very similar, that oddball humor that I LOVE, the overall wackadoo tone. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Oh man, the "Kill All Parents" performance art scene had me almost driving off the road because I couldn't stop laughing! SO good!
Let's change the question. How about, if I could punch any character from The Family Fang in the face, who would it be? Answer: CALEB. And then I'd go find Camille and punch her in the face. And then I'd call it art. Seriously, not just the worst parents ever, but how about worst people ever! SO self absorbed and truth be told, cruel. Ooo they made me mad. Here's the thing. I LOVE the idea of performance art. Of course not all of the projects were winners. But there was a lot of fun in the art. Making it a family affair is great. And family should come first. But the idea of "the only thing that matters is art," really pisses me off. I won't go into details so I don't spoil anything, but let me say that the "final project" made me livid, stunned, hurt. Good writing, by the way. I felt like I was being told the details of the project in person.
VERY happy I got this book! I LOVED IT!
This is one of the most creative stories I have read in a long time. So often, creativity in novels takes the form of novel literary devices and little else. Here, it is the story itself that is so unusual and so truly "new" feeling. The narrator is also excellent and well-suited to the author's writing style.
Yes, I think I would, and that's saying a lot because I almost never listen to or read books a second time.
It's actually quite unique. On the one hand it is obviously absurd, but it never leaves the realm of the just-barely-possible. You are constantly thinking - yes, there ARE people like this, and they MIGHT do things like this. It's not like someone waking up as a cockroach...And, despite their overall weirdness, you grow to like and care about each of the characters.
What I actually liked best was that there were several instances where I thought I had reached the end of the book - only to discover that it was another plot turn and the story continued to yet another fabulous entertaining chapter.
I almost didn't buy this book because it sounded too weird. What a mistake that would have been. This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read, EVER. You can read it on many levels, think about it - or not - be surprised and entertained and moved. Trust me. Get this one.
Quite an innovative story. I was left wanting more at the end. The ultimate tale of parents' that loved making art more than they loved their offspring. An odd form of art also!
Not many like these
Made me think.
I tried my best to enter the world of the Fangs but could only find foolishness in their communications and actions. Meaningless ramblings of just another dysfunctional family.
I could find no pathos, no humor, no message and therefor no reason to finish this book. Save your investment of time and credit, this book deserves neither.
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