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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 (632 )
5 star
 (180)
4 star
 (204)
3 star
 (153)
2 star
 (56)
1 star
 (39)
Overall
3.7 (537 )
5 star
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3 star
 (126)
2 star
 (49)
1 star
 (40)
Story
4.0 (539 )
5 star
 (212)
4 star
 (194)
3 star
 (85)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (15)
Performance
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  •  
    Donna Frisco, TX, United States 03-05-12
    Donna Frisco, TX, United States 03-05-12 Member Since 2011

    Reader, Writer, Artist, Film-Lover, Cook, Knitter/Crocheter, Gardener, Cat Enthusiast, and Marketing Professional.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    10
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    "The Family Fang - A Review"

    This is a story that had to grow on me. At first, I did not like it very much. I was reminded of Swamplandia by Karen Russell, in which all of the characters are eccentrics. I want a character or two to have traits and habits that are conventional. I guess about halfway through this novel, I became more interested, and that may be because a mystery surfaced. The resolution was on one hand surprising (related to Fang parents) and anticlimactic (related to children A and B).

    Therese Plummer is an amazing reader. I am impressed with her range of voices, especially male voices. I will look for other books read by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Don Madison, WI, United States 02-01-12
    Don Madison, WI, United States 02-01-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    21
    3
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    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depressing and a bit trite"

    Follows the lives to two dysfunctional siblings from a very dysfunctional family, as their lives fall apart, and then they put themselves back together. The story of the siblings is depressing (and it's hard to believe how stupid some of their actions are as their lives fall apart), and then the later section where their lives come back together seems somewhat trite and unbelievable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea AGUANGA, CA, United States 01-04-12
    Andrea AGUANGA, CA, United States 01-04-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    40
    11
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    Story
    "Very original and unusual, but not engaging"

    I admired the imagination and creativity of the author, but found it hard to feel involved or even concerned with what happened. The characters were not appealing and the storyline felt rather absurd. I wish the author had tweaked both the characters and the plot slightly to help the reader feel like it was worth the effort to try to figure out what was going on. I found myself getting restless and switching to other books and then returning to this fanciful one before starting the next book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill North Potomac, MD, United States 12-21-11
    Jill North Potomac, MD, United States 12-21-11 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "Hated. This."
    What disappointed you about The Family Fang?

    It was a story about people I not only couldn't care about, but actively disliked and wanted nothing to do with.


    What character would you cut from The Family Fang?

    All of them.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy Elk Grove, CA, United States 11-16-11
    Tracy Elk Grove, CA, United States 11-16-11 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
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    27
    9
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    "Ugg"

    This book was not for me. I did not like the narrator's voice. I did not find the plot compelling and I did not find anything redeeming in the characters.

    I found the narration very monotone, dry and boring. The storyline and the ending were just too unrealistic to interest me. I basically feel like I slogged through to the end. I kept thinking something interesting might happen and since I purchased the book and didn't want to feel like I had wasted my money by not finishing it.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-23-12
    Farrell Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    303
    104
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    5
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's the point?"

    I kept waiting for the point. Just another story of dysfunction. One or two mildly amusing sections, however they were too few.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Raleigh, NC, United States 01-16-12
    Heather Raleigh, NC, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Vulgar"
    What disappointed you about The Family Fang?

    The overall story was so vulgar. I could not treat any character with sympathy or relate to them at all.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kevin Wilson again?

    Probably not


    What aspect of Therese Plummer’s performance would you have changed?

    Her reading of it was fine.


    What character would you cut from The Family Fang?

    All of them.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wilson 01-05-12
    Greg Wilson 01-05-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
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    212
    41
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    0
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy prineville, OR, United States 12-05-11
    nancy prineville, OR, United States 12-05-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    35
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    "Terrible Book"
    What disappointed you about The Family Fang?

    The story line was not remotely plausible, in my opinion. People who are this ill usually don't manage to roam free without someone locking them up. The Fang children were boring characters, and the events in their lives had nothing to do with the main story. Why, for instance, did Buster get hit with a potato gun? What did that have to do with anything?


    Has The Family Fang turned you off from other books in this genre?

    What genre would that even be?


    What didn’t you like about Therese Plummer’s performance?

    Boring. Annie was annoying and boring, Buster was pathetic and very sad sounding.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Family Fang?

    Potato Gun-Buster
    Annie's affairs and movie star life--not credible
    The whole thing about Camille's dark and graphic paintings.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't understand how this book was so highly rated. It was basically extremely depressing, not funny, and slightly sick. I couldnt wait for it to be finished.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin WESTFIELD, IN, United States 12-27-11
    Robin WESTFIELD, IN, United States 12-27-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    9
    9
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    1
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    Story
    "Just okay"

    It took me a while to get used to the narrators monotone. Not my favorite. The story was mostly depressing though it was slightly funny. I'd pass if I were you.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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