Jeff's Reviews > A Fraction of the Whole

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
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's review
Oct 09, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: people who liked "Confederacy of Dunces"
Read in October, 2008

A spectacularly dark comic novel about a father and son who are both perpetually caught between thought, action, and fate. Jasper and Martin Dean, the two primary characters, are heirs apparent to Hamlet and Ignatius J. Reilly (Confederacy of Dunces). They have an onion about EVERYTHING from strip clubs to the media, from cancer to why people insist upon viewing the heart as the seat of love. The Deans' philosophical rants are hysterical, absurd, and, quite often, dead-on! "A Fraction of the Whole" is a complex and thought-provoking book, but it manages to do so without taking itself too seriously. Well-written, beautifully constructed, and laugh-out-loud hysterical, this is a fantastic read. Ironically, though, I don't know if I would recommend it to everyone; I think you need to have a taste for Toltz's brand of humor to really enjoy the book and see it through to the end. I did and loved the experience.

Two of my favorite quotations from the book:
"I'm just against the phrase 'family values.' In fact, when someone says the phrase 'family values,' I feel like I've been slapped in the face with a condom from 1953."

"... humanity is the guy who sh*ts in his own pants and then walks around saying, 'So, do you like my new shirt?'"

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