The Family Fang – Kevin Wilson

I do like a bit of quirkiness in my reading every now and then so I looked forward to getting my teeth (sorry!) into  ”The Family Fang”, the story of Caleb and Camille Fang and their children Annie and Buster aka Child A and Child B.   The children are now adults, trying to find their way in the real world, Annie as an actress and Buster as an author, but when their lives reach crisis point they have nowhere else to turn but back to the heart of their dysfunctional family.

The novel focuses on Annie and Buster’s current problems and their much dreaded reunion with their parents but this is interspersed with accounts of the Fang family’s past performance art including staged events at shopping malls designed to shock and awe the unwitting shoppers.  I found these episodes simultaneously hilarious and horrific, laughing at the weirdness of it all but feeling quite uncomfortable at how the children were used as unwitting pawns, all for the sake of art. 

Whilst Annie and Buster come across as fully formed, credible characters (despite their inauspicious beginnings), I was slightly disappointed by the portrayal of their parents who rarely depart from caricature mode.  Yes they are weird and surreal and I get that they strive to maintain their enigmatic aura but I would have preferred more insight into their motivation.  Having said that, I did enjoy this darkly comedic tale of family relationships.  If you liked   The Royal Tenenbaums then you will feel right at home with the freaky Fang family.

  • Share/Bookmark

One Comment

  1. [...] For another view, see what Teresa made of it at Lovely Treez Reads [...]

Leave a Reply