The Family Fang Audiobook | Kevin Wilson | Audible.com
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The Family Fang | [Kevin Wilson]

The Family Fang

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (607 )
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4.0 (513 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ed Stark Valencia, CA United States 12-21-11
    Ed Stark Valencia, CA United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2001
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    "Great dry humor: great reading"
    What did you love best about The Family Fang?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Buster Fang, because he's so hapless. He's the absurd underdog you just can't resist.


    What does Therese Plummer bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Family Fang and why?

    All good.


    Any additional comments?

    If you like Sedaris, you might like this novel. It's not essays, but humor works in some of the same ways.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 12-12-11
    Tricia Elkridge, MD, United States 12-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Weird... but good."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ralph California 12-15-11
    Ralph California 12-15-11 Member Since 2003
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    "very creative but unsettling"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew M. Collins Baltimore, MD USA 12-21-11
    Andrew M. Collins Baltimore, MD USA 12-21-11 Member Since 2005
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    "Original voice plus an excellent performance"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Goodlettsville, TN, United States 12-10-11
    Margaret Goodlettsville, TN, United States 12-10-11 Member Since 2010
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    "Quirky redefined!"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. I can't think of a friend who I believe would enjoy it.


    What could Kevin Wilson have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Therese Plummer – was your favorite?

    The whacked out psycho mom. Her pathetic character is so well defined.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd pass. Life is too short for so-so books.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie West Allis, WI, United States 02-03-13
    Marjorie West Allis, WI, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2012

    Love this site! I have a very busy job, so listening to audio books enables me to keep up on great stories!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Art, mischief, parents I wanted to punch..."
    Would you listen to The Family Fang again? Why?

    Yes, but not for some time. I had a very difficult time with the family reunion at the end.


    What other book might you compare The Family Fang to and why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oh man, the "Kill All Parents" performance art scene had me almost driving off the road because I couldn't stop laughing! SO good!


    If you could take any character from The Family Fang out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    VERY happy I got this book! I LOVED IT!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina Ithaca, NY, United States 09-05-12
    Nina Ithaca, NY, United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Truly creative"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl McLean, VA, United States 02-16-12
    Cheryl McLean, VA, United States 02-16-12 Member Since 2006
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    "Fantastic - get this one right now!"
    Would you listen to The Family Fang again? Why?

    Yes, I think I would, and that's saying a lot because I almost never listen to or read books a second time.


    What other book might you compare The Family Fang to and why?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb Southern Pines, NC, United States 01-21-12
    Deb Southern Pines, NC, United States 01-21-12 Member Since 2002
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    "One strange tale"
    What did you love best about The Family Fang?

    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!


    What other book might you compare The Family Fang to and why?

    Not many like these


    Have you listened to any of Therese Plummer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me think.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    greg sarasota, FL, United States 01-05-12
    greg sarasota, FL, United States 01-05-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Foolish"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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