Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Family Fang - Kevin Wilson

As the result of a facebook post requesting book recommendations, my friend Lucy recommended this little gem.  The Fangs are a family of performance artists - the parents setting up scenarios at local malls to see how the public reacts, all in the name of art.  Kind of like an espisode of Punk'd or Candid Camera.  The two Fang children, Buster and Annie are caught in the middle of it all - forced unwillingly by their parents to be characters in these strange and wacky plays.  As adults, Annie and Buster have become artists of their own, but continue to rebel against their parents' way.  When their parents try to pull-off their ultimate masterpiece, Buster and Annie are left to determine the meaning of their art, whether it has any value at all, and the price they have paid to be a part of this very strange family.  Plot-wise, this was very different than anything I've read in a long time.  It reminded me of something Chuck Palahniuk would have come up with - with everything so twisted and confused, it was sometimes difficult (for the reader and the characters) to figure out what was real and which way was up.  The writing is clever and the dialogue witty.  I didn't particularly like any of the characters, but I found it all very worthwhile.  A definite thumbs-up for Wilson's performance.

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