The Family Fang: A Novel

The Family Fang: A Novel

by Kevin Wilson
3.9 34


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The Family Fang: A Novel by Kevin Wilson

The Family Fang is a comedy, a tragedy, and a tour-de-force examination of what it means to make art and survive your family….The best single word description would be brilliant.”
—Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

“It’s The Royal Tenenbaums meets Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? I’d call The Family Fang a guilty pleasure, but it’s too damn smart….A total blast.”
—Hannah Pittard, author of The Fates Will Find Their Way

Owen King (We’re All in This Together) calls author Kevin Wilson, “the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers.” With his novel, The Family Fang, the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth comes through in a BIG way, with a funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) novel about the art of surviving a masterpiece of dysfunction. Meet The Family Fang, an unforgettable collection of demanding, brilliant, and absolutely endearing oddballs whose lives are risky and mischievous performance art. If the writing of Gary Shteyngart, Miranda July, Scarlett Thomas, and Charles Yu excites you, you’ll certainly want to invite this Family into your home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061579035
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/09/2011
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 9.26(h) x 1.06(d)

About the Author

Kevin Wilson's writing has appeared in Ploughshares, One Story, and elsewhere, and has twice been included in the anthology New Stories from the South: The Year's Best. He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the KHN Center for the Arts, and teaches fiction writing at the University of the South, where he also helps run the Sewanee Writers' Con­ference. Wilson was born and raised in Tennessee, and he lives there with his wife, Leigh Ann Couch, and their son, Griff.

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Family Fang 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
TboneJim More than 1 year ago
I had to be very careful as the first borrower of our library's freshly-cataloged copy not to read the funny parts while sipping coffee. Like the younger characters in the book, I was constantly wondering what was real and what was art. When the weirdness turned maybe serious, maybe real, I was hooked. I received a Nook for my birthday. This will be the first book I'll load into it, wondering whether the e-version is a real book or some kind of high-tech art. While reading this I knew I was in the presence of a gifted writer, a true artist. I picture him strolling the acreage of the Sewanee domain with his mind cooking up something equally bizarre and rewarding for his next one. Years from now someone will comment on another promising, highly original young writer and call him: An Early Kevin Wilson.
Allimuffin More than 1 year ago
The Family Fang is about a family of performance artists. The novel jumps back and forth between their performance art pieces, done when their two children were young, and the present, visiting the family and their now grown-up children. Both left the family business to pursue other careers, but are still tethered to their wildly dysfunctional parents and past. It is both darkly funny and very sad. The novel has been compared to The Royal Tennenbaums a lot, but I enjoyed this much more.
Xrayjen More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's quirky and interesting. The characters are hilarious and sometimes sad. It had me lauging aloud at times and then feeling genuine sorrow at others. I highly recommend this roller coaster read.
Adaptoid More than 1 year ago
I'd like to award this novel a higher rating. Conceptually sophisticated with profane tests to the family structure and absurdist humor, I was immediately drawn to the surreal Fang experience. Unfortunately I would have appreciated a little more character development in the beginning. The antics took first position over a lesser emotionally enthralling son and daughter. I didn't establish much care for the kids until two thirds of the way through the story, which, by the way, was still quite exceptional.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
but that might be why i enjoyed it.
melanie_with_the_eyes More than 1 year ago
This isn't exactly a light and breezy read; it seemed more like a creative writing 101 project and less like a great book to pickup and lose yourself in. Don't get me wrong, it's enjoyable all around, but not necessarily all I hoped it would crack up to be. The timeline jumps around, which typically isn't an issue, but it didn't seem to serve much of a purpose in this case. Not to mention that the ending is about as satisfying as the dreaded it-was-all-just-a-dream (that's NOT the actual ending, by the way). The premise/plot has a lot of potential, and I give the author credit for thinking of such an incredible idea. However the end result seemed simple ok, but not as spectacular as it could have been.
luv2readWI More than 1 year ago
Nothing ordinary about this story and yet the characters seem recognizable in their family dynamic. Everyone survives their childhood somehow, but the Fang's children hang on by their toenails while their parent's film the scene for the drama of it. Interesting, funny, sad and engaging...right up to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I saw this recommended for fans of Wes Anderson movies, so I picked it up on the strength of that. I can see some of the characteristics of Anderson's characters, but the book falls short in that department and takes a wide turn and leaves Anderson way back on the horizon. I felt the ending was a bit unbelievable, or just lacking in some way, but I did enjoy the ride getting to it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, absurd, heartbreaking. An odd book with an original premise. A playful sense of the absurd with a lot of insight into family dynamics and how we manage to become adults in spite of and because of our parents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A creative story, but it resolved with a dull thud that was a too contrived and quite disappointing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book about art, family, and the need for separation of them. When the book comes to a point of two possible endings, I found myself wishing for both. Great characters, great story.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reading this book, I couldn't help but think of the children of the rich and famous who all too often live high profile lives without so much as a thought for the effect on their children.....I will be looking for future books from Kevin Wilson
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book...funny and sad at the same time....
Bismark_B More than 1 year ago
Its pretentious outer shell is what grabs browsers at a store or what have you, but the contents inside takes you to a place familiar. With short and memorable tales of the parents' dysfunctional methods of raising their children in the name of art, the story of A and B finding their own identity is one great exhibit worth experiencing.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was drawn to the idea of a story involving a family social experiment operating in the name of art, mainly because I find performance art fasinating and controversial, and to ad one's family into the mix! (I'm sucker for black comedy). But I found the book a little lacking. The children's characters were well developed and I did enjoy the parents characters as well (their quirks), but I found the parents to be a little 2D. Wilson did describe their passion for art, what lengths they will go to in the name of art, but their actions in the end left me unsatsified. The ending in general felt a little untied, hopeful (evening thought the situation seemed too odd, out of the blue), but it seemed wilson didn't try too hard at the end. Maybe that was what he was going for. I did enjoy the book and would recommend it because it's so original, but I did feel a little unsatisfied at the end- I think I was looking for more.
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