Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson 

I found this book to be very sad...it was described as similar to "Little Miss Sunshine" (which I loved) or "The Royal Tenenbaums," which is why I read it. Now I realize it's several days I will never get back.

It's the story of performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang, who spent their adult lives creating performance pieces that they called art. When they had children (Annie and Buster), they engaged the kids in their offbeat, wild performances.

As Annie (Child A) and Buster (Child B) grow up, they are completely screwed up, incapable of forming meaningful, trusting relationships or appreciating anything they have in their lives. When their careers go south and Buster gets shot in the face with a potato gun, they return home to Tennessee to their crazy mom and dad.

Soon Caleb and Camille go missing, and Annie and Buster have the sneaking suspicion that this is all an act and part of their parents' "art." The saddest part about this story is that these dysfunctional parents believe that art trumps everything else, even family and even love. 

It was a clever debut novel (Wilson was mentored by Ann Patchett), but just not my cup of tea.  

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