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Publisher's Summary

Martin Dean spent his entire life analyzing absolutely everything - from the benefits of suicide to the virtues of strip clubs - and passing on his self-taught knowledge to his son, Jasper. But now that his father's dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the man who raised him in intellectual captivity, and the irony is this: theirs was a great adventure.

From his prison cell, Jasper Dean tells the unlikely story of his scheming father Martin, his crazy Uncle Terry and how the three of them upset - mostly unintentionally - an entire continent. Incorporating death, parenting (good and bad kinds), one labyrinth, first love, a handbook for criminals, a scheme to make everyone rich and an explosive suggestion box, Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole is a hilarious, heartbreaking story of families and how to survive them.

©2008 Steve Holtz; (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

Australian accents!

Definitely a "ripping yarn". It doesn't disappoint...if you can get past the broad Australian accents of the two narrators.

The accent of the first narrator was off putting but I became used to it - and then the second narrator was introduced & it was like nails down a blackboard. I understand it's important, after all the story is Australian, but I have to admit that made me struggle.

Beyond the accents however the story is unexpected, unpredictable & deeply strange (but only in a good way). I admit I've never read a story quite like it, yet it is as compellingly Australian as Ned Kelly.

Listen to the sample & if you can live with the narrator's accent then give it a try, the story is "fanastical".

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  • Overall
  • sarahmoose2000
  • 08-02-09

Fathers and Sons

This story is so well narrated by the leads; you really believe in their characters and find it hard to listen at times, to the traumas they go through. Both appear to be emotionally fragile souls, the father coping with forever being in his brother's shadow, and the son coping with his father's mental eccentricities. You never quite know what is going to happen, but there is a certain air of trepidation, every time the father comes up with a new rant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Astrid
  • 03-20-11

Unforgettable!

I absolutely loved everything about this book. Superb narration ? I found the two narrators didn?t just read the story; they really became the characters, and were utterly convincing. The book had me gripped, had me laughing out loud, and I stayed up until 3am last night to finish it! I?m missing it already!

My favourite listen so far this year!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Simon
  • 01-26-11

Best book I've listened to by far

If you're a man, this book will teach you about yourself. If you're a woman, this book will teach you about men.

It's about the relationship between a father and a son. It's about the relationship between a brother and a brother. It's about love, it's about disappointment and it's about a dysfunctional family that will make anyone else's seem normal by comparison. And it's about life.

This is a must listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Judy Corstjens
  • 05-23-11

A colossal waste of time

The last two sentences of this book read: If anyone does publish this book who would bother to read it? Well, out of 6 billion people on this planet, someone must have two days to waste. Yes, agreed, but how did it happen to be ME? I have never listened to such puerile trash in my life. Is this an explanation of why Australia has such a reputation as a cultural wasteland? The first problem with the book is that it is fundamentally stupid. It has stupid characters, who continually pontificate in an uneducated, pointless stream, and a stupid plot (one time pierced punk female later marries son of richest man in Australia, who dies along with his father and leaves her in total (undisputed) control of richest media empire on earth. People die in fires and then reappear, having miraculously escaped. None of the wastrel heros ever earns money, yet this never stops them catching a bus, train or taxi when convenient. Oh, the second problem? It is very long (25 hours). I hope I can save the other 6b-1 potential readers from this rubbish.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 06-13-17

Droning on down under

There's a good book lurking in here, unfortunately it's swamped by Martin and Jasper's inane philosophy and the lack of an editor to get down to a more snappy 16 hrs or so. I really enjoyed the plot as it was in the Peter Carey vein but found my finger twitching over the 30 second advance button in the last 1/4

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  • Mr Henry
  • 02-15-17

Wow - what an adventure

An incredible story full of mad ideas, crazy characters and outrageous adventures. Bursting with laughs too.

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  • lawrie minty
  • 12-27-16

what a story

excellent story telling. characters are intriguing. enjoyed the string of pieces also the narrative changes

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  • Shiraazi
  • 12-07-16

The best book I've had the pleasure of exploring

it is impossible to sum up this book in a review but if you take on this incredible journey, you will not be disappointed. I have read 100s of books and I can comfortably say this has made me think the most.

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  • L
  • 05-23-14

without doubt one of the best books I've ever read

This was recommended to me by an American friend. It is amazing - I have been telling everyone about it. Tolzte has only written this one so far. It is funny and makes you laugh out loud. It is an epic tale - something that would usually put me off - but it rambles from the youth of the writer,through to his adult hood and all the characters he meets along the way. The australian delivery of the reader is fantastic, he sounds surprised and amazed, justas the reader will be. I will be listening to this again . I never do that !

  • Overall
  • Lily the Pink
  • 12-07-11

I am trying to like this...

This book has had some good reviews, but I just couldn't get on with the angry, bitter atmosphere of the first 30 minutes. I'll try it again when I'm feeling emotionally stronger.

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  • Dan
  • 07-02-15

Brilliant!

Loved it from start to finish. Twisting plot that is eloquently executed. An intriguing view of the world that we live in. I highly recommend it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rick
  • 10-06-15

Great book

Excellent book and great narration. I couldn't stop listening. Best story I've heard for a long time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul A Jennings
  • 02-26-17

Hmmmm?

In my opinion this story was a bit long winded. Enjoyed on whole. Lots to think about. Interesting varied characters.