The Family Fang: A Novel
By Kevin Wilson
- Started reading:
- 21st August 2012
- Finished reading:
- 4th September 2012
Review & Quotes
Very bizarre book about Annie and Buster – Child A & B whose parents, chaos performance artists have one last performane in which they leave everyone Annie and Buster including wondering if they are dead or not…
It is grotesque how they go on loving us, we go on loving them The effrontery, barely imaginable, of having caused us. And of how. Their lives: surely we can do better than that. — WILLIAM MEREDITH, “PARENTS”
Annie sat on the sofa and closed her eyes. With each deep, measured breath, she imagined that various parts of her body were slowly going numb, from her fingers to her hand to her wrist to her elbow to her shoulder, until she was as close to dead as she could be. It was an old Fang family technique employed before doing something disastrous. You pretended to be dead and when you came out of it, nothing, no matter how dire, seemed important.
“Even awful people can be polite for a few minutes,” their father told them. “Any longer than that and they revert to the bastards they really are.”
What you’ll find, I think, is that the things you most want to avoid are the things that make you feel the greatest when you actually do them.”
I don’t know what I’m saying, really, but I guess it’s like having a kid, though I don’t have any kids. It’s yours, you made it, and no matter what happens, you have that pride of ownership. You love it, even if it didn’t amount to much.”
Art, if you loved it, was worth any amount of unhappiness and pain. If you had to hurt someone to achieve those ends, so be it. If the outcome was beautiful enough, strange enough, memorable enough, it did not matter. It was worth it.
She knocked on the door and, when no one appeared, she tried the knob, which unlocked. Should she enter? Did this feel like a movie? Annie was not sure, though she did think that life was best when it felt like a movie, when, even if you hadn’t read it, you knew there was a script that would tell you how things would end.
“Criticism is like dissecting a dead frog,” Caleb said when the book was published. “They’re examining all the guts and shit and organs, when the thing that really matters, whatever it was that animated the body, has long since left.
Isn’t that what art is, right? It’s about one thing, but it’s really about a lot of things.”
“If a movie is really amazing,” she said, “you can’t ruin it by giving the plot away. The plot is incidental to everything else.”