So, I'm an unabashed book snob and refuse to read crap. When I have read crap -- Danielle Steele, let's say, or Dan Brown, or those hideous best-selling pseudo-porn novels whose titles I refuse to type, the one where the young woman had only to bite her lip to drive the man into a frenzy and whose writer had her character bite her lip at least five thousand times in the first book alone -- I'm brought down. I'm brought down -- not to some lower intellectual level -- but down to the depths, the depths of depression and despair. Yes, this is hyperbole, this equating of bad writing to fear and trembling, but it's how I feel, damn it, so there you go. I know crap is subjective, and there was a period of time in my early teens when I belonged to the Harlequin Romance Club and relished every single bodice-ripper that came in the mail each month, but I'm well-read enough and snobby enough to know what's crap and what isn't. This might suggest that reading for me isn't just about entertainment, but that it's mood-altering, and if I can continue with the hyperbole, near life-sustaining.
Reading is the only constant in my life.
So, The Family Fang: A Novel by Kevin Wilson isn't The Brothers Karamazov or As I Lay Dying or To the Lighthouse or Middlemarch, some of my favorite novels. However, The Family Fang isn't crap either, is very clever, very weird and very entertaining. It is well-written and reminded me, a bit, of a Wes Anderson movie. I've noticed that people either love Wes Anderson movies or hate them. I love them, and I loved this book. It was what I read on my phone as I waited in the carpool line at my sons' schools, and it made me laugh out loud in the Los Angeles sunshine.
Atop a Ferris wheel, Orson Welles told Joseph Cotten how Italy's thirty years of war and terror and bloodshed had produced the Renaissance and Michelangelo, and how Switzerland's five hundred years of democracy and peace had produced, goddamn, only the cuckoo clock.
Kevin Wilson, The Family Fang: A Novel
I have five of Faulkner's books lined up to reread. Just waiting for a blizzard to force me into my reading chair!ReplyDelete
Sending you good wishes for the new year.
I so thought I'd love this book. I wanted to. But it just didn't hit the mark for me. I don't know why.ReplyDelete
what an intriguing review, now i know what i'll be reaching for next. happy new year!ReplyDelete
Sooooo glad that you are doing these posts about books!!!ReplyDelete
Thank you & Happy New Year!
I love these reviews! You're going to be helping me decide what to read next.ReplyDelete
I'm confused about the scene from "The Third Man" here. That's a movie with Orson Wells and Joseph Cotton and it has the very famous "Cuckoo Clock Speach." What does that have to do with The Family Fang?ReplyDelete
Anonymous, you don't sound confused --you sound like a film expert!Delete
This is one of my very favorite books of all time. And it has strange coincidences with the book I'm finishing--a character named Annie, an actress sister, family dysfunction and a father who did you know what. Kevin Wilson nailed it.ReplyDelete
I can't believe I typed "actress", I hate that word. ACTOR.ReplyDelete
This reputation of this book hasn't reached Belgium yet. I'm intrigued.ReplyDelete
I trust your judgment .... Knowing you have even less time to spend on crap than I do! To the library hold shelf I go .....ReplyDelete
Downloaded! Sounds great. I also loved Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal, so I trust your taste. Actually, I trust your taste anyway. Thanks for sharing your favorite books. I need something new.ReplyDelete
JJ, you need to read The Patrick Melrose Novels. I just have an inkling that you're going to love them.Delete