Brendan's Reviews > A Fraction of the Whole

A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
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's review
Dec 15, 2008

it was ok
Read in January, 2009

LOOK, i dont mind quirky, even wacky, but zany i cant take and this book is zany as hell and seemingly grounded in nothing. toltz is funny, punchy and wicked so why on earth would he write such a long book? (732pgs) surely a long book has something to say that demands its long-bookedness. tolstoy, go for it, write a long book - you deserve it, you go to the depths of us but not this fellow (despite the booker shortlist). modern film seems to be doing this too. 'i dont know how to make a great movie so ill make a really long movie and hopefully youll buy it as art'. this book made me laugh out loud, and at times it stung me, with demented sentimentality like 'i love you with all my brain', but for too long it dawdled and dribbled along, only interested in its own hsyterically dumb voice. this guy kinda writes like sedaris, but sedaris knows how much to write and how to ride the story. this thing doesnt have a story just a series of thinly taped together adventures. now im overwriting! i wish i liked this book more as he is an aussie and can swing a metaphor, but he didnt care about me enough, just about his own oz-mocking babble and anti-philosophy. 2 stars for what took up all of january.
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Reading Progress

12/30/2008 page 186
35.09% 2 comments
01/12/2009 page 300
56.6% "reading this book reminds me of when i went to church once on drugs and i couldnt wait for it to end but it did have moments of real beauty" 3 comments
01/23/2009 page 438
82.64% "so close but yet"
09/13/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Anna Interesting review, I can see what you mean but where you came up with dawdling and dribbling I found it racing and rollicking. Maybe the time it takes to read affects the impression it leaves - I burned through it in 4 days, if I'd left it longer can see my momentum might've been hijacked by the characters' crazy philosophical wanderings...

Benito your review was gonna make me not bother, but Tug (with reservations of his own about it) lent me his copy, so I'm gonna give it a go.

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