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)
Reader, Writer, Artist, Film-Lover, Cook, Knitter/Crocheter, Gardener, Cat Enthusiast, and Marketing Professional.
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.
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.
I sat through the first hour before turning it off. Here's what happens in the first hour. I'm not spoiling the plot because there isn't any. A mother shoplifts jelly beans from a candy store, has her daughter report her to the clerk, drops the jelly beans on the floor and has her son eat the jelly beans, and calls it "performance art." An actress is asked to do a topless scene in a movie and doesn't want to do it. A failed novelist writes a story for a men's magazine about guys who make potato guns. The characters, dialogue, and scenes are flat, dull, unimaginative...in a word, boring.
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.
I loved humor sometimes a liitle sad, but other times laugh out loud funny. The narrator was perfect. She knew the characters well. The story was unique and interesting.
I acctually checked to see if there were any other books he had written right after I finished The Fang Family. So the answer is definately.
So perfect. She really knew her characters.
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