The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Where do I even begin with this? The book is bizarre, the premise is disturbing, the humor is off-kilter and dark, the morals are completely missing. Paragraph structure is chaotic and confusing with multiple characters quotes in the same paragraph. Language is offensive, dialogue is weird, family dynamics is disturbing, sexual envelope is pushed and yet...
With all the criticisms I might have, I really did enjoy the weirdness of it. I was a little disappointed with the anti-climactic ending but, besides that and the above paragraph, I liked it. I decided it was the character development of the Fangs. The chapters are written to leapfrog between years ago (not in order, just to establish character) and until recently (which is order). Recently, Buster had an unfortunate accident which was hilarious and bizarre. He is out of money, down on his luck and has no life. He goes home.
Also recently, Annie, now a B list actress, has made a couple of mildly poor decisions that prove to be catastrophic in light of paparazzi spin and finds her opportunities limited. Again, the development of her current state is hilarious, inappropriate, and the reader is sympathetic. She goes home.
Caleb and Camille, the parents, welcome both adult children home then mysteriously disappear.
The background is that Caleb and Camille are artists. Not visual artists or even performing artists as one defines it. They create chaos and document it. They use a number of different props, their best props being Child A (Annie) and Child B (Buster). They are completely and utterly bizarre. Annie and Buster grow up and want out. Are they really prepared to be adults in the normal world after having a childhood where they are used in the name of art? Are they prepared to embark on a journey to find their missing parents alive or dead or should they just leave them alone and have a life?
Although I haven't done them justice, Caleb and Camille has wonderful character development as well. Not as well as Annie and Buster but the four Fangs, especially Annie and Buster really do grow on the reader.
It's a mixed review. I will share it with certain friends but with a caveat that the content, language, and concept is disturbing...yet entertaining.