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 parent’s 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.
"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)
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Your Mum and Dad, They .... you up
I came to this book with no expectations and was immediately caught up in the lives of Annie and Buster and the havoc wreaked upon them by their performance artist parents. It did make my think about the impacts that we all have on those around us, especially those closest to us. I liked the structure of the story which moved between the near present and family episodes in the past. I thought it was well read too. Overall it's quirky, black humour kept me listening along and satisfied me to the end.