Becky Weaver's Reviews > The Family Fang

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
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Nov 04, 11

Read in November, 2011

This was a hard review to write. I'm not sure what to think of this book. It was laugh-out-loud, read-parts-to-my-husband funny and kept me up late, so I gave it four stars. It is, as other reviewers have noted, exactly like watching a Wes Anderson movie. It has the same feeling of colorful, bemused detachment.

In fact, I would say that the book is like the Fangs' art - it's creative and interesting, but it's too sly, self-absorbed, and intellectualized to be genuinely moving. It isn't shallow, and it's skillfully done, but Wilson seems careful not to engage his readers emotionally. I'm convinced that he could if he wanted to.

Several times in the book, Wilson describes how the Fang children got ready for "a piece" by pretending to die; i.e. going numb. The emotional tone of the book feels numb too. Which might be the point. Annie gets drunk whenever she starts feeling anything intensely; Buster just detatches. Maybe Wilson is writing about the detatchment felt by people from dysfunctional families by evoking it in the reader. If so, it worked.

But I wanted to feel empathy for the characters. So the fact that I couldn't left me vaguely unsatisfied. Was that Wilson's intent? I don't know. I'd have to read more of his books to figure it out. Fortunately, The Family Fang was funny enough that I'm looking forward to whatever Wilson writes next.
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message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Yes. What you said.


Denise K. Great review. I totally agree.


Cathy Hildreth Agree.


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