“The Family Fang” by Kevin Wilson

It’s NOT ABOUT VAMPIRES! If that’s what you were looking for, well, move along. If that’s what you feared, then bide a while, and see how The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson sounds to you. It was recommended to me at a Biblioracle session at The Morning News.

Parents Caleb and Camille Fang, along with their children Annie and Buster (aka Child A and Child B), aren’t quite normal:

Mr. and Mrs. Fang called it art. Their children called it mischief. “You make a mess and then you walk away from it,” their daughter, Annie told them. “It’s a lot more complicated than that, honey,” Mrs. Fang said as she handed detailed breakdowns of the event to each member of the family.

You see, they’re performance artists. Tales of their performances alternate with tales of Annie and Buster as adults, struggling to find their own way as individuals and as artists. They flail in the long shadow of their parents’ art and their own history with it.

More than one review has likened this book to a Wes Anderson film, and it has that weird, kooky-cool vibe to it as well as the ability to veer between hilarity and the truly bizarre. Reading the history of the Fang’s performances was like watching a series of car crashes; I was never able to turn away. Instead, I just kept reading into the next chapter, having sworn I’d stop when I got to the end of the previous one. It’s weird, sweet, a little creepy, and I enjoyed it a lot.

3 Responses to ““The Family Fang” by Kevin Wilson”

  1. susan@Reading World Says:

    I’ve seen this book around and it sounds intriguing. It isn’t my usual fare, but I’m curious about it and your review has made me even more so. I guess I’ll have to give it a try.

  2. Steph Says:

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this one! I am always looking for books that nail that “Wes Anderson” feel, so I really can’t wait to read this… Only issue is that I’m 24 on the waiting list (which has 53 people on it!) at the library, so I don’t think I’ll be getting to it anytime soon. But I’ll definitely have to see what the Biblioracle picks for me the next time he’s making book fortunes; he’s really hit it out of the park for you!

  3. girldetective Says:

    Steph, give me your address, I’ll send it to you. Happy Christmas!