Book Sixteen: The Family Fang

Ack! Once again I've neglected to write about what I've read as soon as I finished, and once again I can't remember any of the books. This list seems about right, and yet I have a weird feeling I'm forgetting something. I only half finished Isabel Allende's Paula, but I won't include that because there's a chance I'll come back to it at some point.

(And, believe it or not, it's been, like, two months since I wrote that above paragraph and I still haven't written about these silly books. Blargh.)

The Family Fang, Kevin Wilson

I was worried that this would be too cute, since the premise is a bit…. well, cute. Two performance artists involve their kids in their pieces, and the kids (obviously) grow up to resent their parents for it. The books flashes back and forth between the performance art stunts when they were younger and the very dysfunctional lives of the kids now. Child A (Annie) is a relatively successful actress whose life and career have suddenly jumped the rails and Child B (Buster [oh, and how can any contemporary dysfunctional character be named Buster without me picturing them as Tony Hale in Arrested Development?]) is a struggling writer who, in desperation, gets caught up in a daredevil-type moment with disastrous results. Annie and Buster both end up living back home with their parents and then serious things happen.

It is terribly funny. But I was honestly surprised at how touching it was. I had expected to read it wish a kind of cynical distance, but it drew me in and made me feel all kinds of things for these people. I'm sure if one was tired of dysfunctional families this might not be the best choice, but then again, for me it went beyond that and became something really special.


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