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A Fraction of the Whole
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June 2018: Magical Realism > Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz - 3 stars

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Linda C (libladynylindac) | 1182 comments Most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn’t decide whether to pity, hate, love, or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who over-analyzed 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.
GoodReads blurb because I have trouble summarizing this book.

My thoughts:
I can't rave about this as some have and I can't completely diss it either. I found the story of these characters lives ridiculous, horrific, funny and sad. There was a definite need to find out how it all would end that kept me going. But the philosophical diatribes expounded by every(!) character was unsupportable. Couldn't anyone have a normal conversation? I'll leave it at that.


Susie Sorry you didn’t like it more. I think I gave it four?


message 3: by Anita (new)

Anita Pomerantz | 7000 comments Well the blurb sure sounds intriguing as does your description of "ridiculous, horrific, funny, and sad"! But I'm not much for characters pontificating . . .show me, don't lecture me.


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