A Fraction of the Whole

A Fraction of the Whole

by Steve Toltz
4.0 39

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Overview

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

Meet the Deans

“The fact is, the whole of Australia despises my father more than any other man, just as they adore my uncle more than any other man. I might as well set the story straight about both of them . . .”

Heroes or Criminals?
Crackpots or Visionaries?
Families or Enemies?

“. . . Anyway, you know how it is. Every family has a story like this one.”



Most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn’t decide whether to pity, hate, love, or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who overanalyzed anything and everything and imparted his self-garnered wisdom to his only son. But now that Martin is dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the crackpot who raised him in intellectual captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was a grand adventure.
As he recollects the events that led to his father’s demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries—about his infamous outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin’s constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It’s a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of bohemian Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths, and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition. The result is a rollicking rollercoaster ride from obscurity to infamy, and the moving, memorable story of a father and son whose spiritual symmetry transcends all their many shortcomings.
A Fraction of the Whole is an uproarious indictment of the modern world and its mores and the epic debut of the blisteringly funny and talented Steve Toltz.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385521727
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/12/2008
Pages: 544
Product dimensions: 6.63(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.37(d)

About the Author

resides in Sydney, Australia. A Fraction of the Whole is his first novel.

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Fraction of the Whole 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
DC21 More than 1 year ago
A hilarious account of two brothers who both chose completely opposite ways to live, and saw completely different results from what they wanted. Incredibly fast-paced with tons of small stories that intertwine to create an extraordinary novel. Loved it
Readzer More than 1 year ago
This delightful, deranged family story made me laugh until I cried, read when I wanted to sleep, burn in the sun, not return phone calls, mourn the end when half-way through, relish my eccentricities, redefine madness and humanity, worship the author, question existence/reimagine suicide and cherish my misanthropy. Do I recommend it? Hell yes!
Sparks52 More than 1 year ago
A modern day epic journey following the story of a man from child hood up to adulthood and continues with some of his sons point of view. Philosophers of today, they today's society and try to always keep at arms length from it. One of my favorite books i recommend it to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
very unique. it is poignant, funny, and full of wonderful life lessons.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This amazing book follows the existential struggles of people in odd and interesting life predicaments. This author is clever & thorough in chronicling a very unusual and interesting family history. The book flows along nicely with unexpected turns and twist of epic stature. It weaves love, insanity, adventure, & family loyalty into the criminal mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This amazing book follows the existential struggles of people in odd and interesting life predicaments. This author is clever & thorough in chronicling a very unusual and interesting family history. The book flows along nicely with unexpected turns and twist of epic stature. It weaves love, insanity, adventure, & family loyalty into the criminal mind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - glad it was so long and wished it was longer!   When is your next one coming out Steve??
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tamesthetic More than 1 year ago
The writing is beautiful first person perspective. Intelligent but not overbearing or boastful. It feels so deeply personal, and sad in a funny way. The story is something we can all relate to: heartbreak, feelings of worthlessness, but he is so honest and innocent of the hilarity of it all, not at all lamenting; which is ironically why it's so funny. What do you call this-- a tragicomedy? The stories within the story are so genius and so simple. His prose is beautiful without being flashy. Simple profundity. The character's voice is almost monotonous, lacking excitability, jaded and almost cynical...aaallllmost. Which also makes it funnier. The story is awesome, yet it's not incredible. It's awesome in its lack of effort at trying to be awesome. I love that. While I felt sad for the character, I was laughing out loud constantly because the way he describes tragic moments is hilarious. Love this book. This is definitely my new favorite author.
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jennerallyspeaking More than 1 year ago
About a month after reading this book, I realized it was one of my favorites of all time. It didn't hit me at first, but took time to resonate. There are few books that can really characterize a nation. Midnight's Children did it for India. 100 Years of Solitude did it for Colombia. A Fraction of the Whole does it for Australia. The book follows the life of Jasper and his father Martin Dean. This book is funny, philosophical, historical, and everything in between. My only complaint is that it could have used some editing. Some sections do not add to the story, and at 570 pages, it could have used some trimming.