The Family Fang: A Novel
“The Family Fang” by Kevin Wilson is one of those books that called out to me from the library shelf. I had never heard of it, or its author, before, and I can’t say exactly what attracted me about it. But I’m glad I picked it up.
One complaint I have about many books is that they are all so formulaic. It’s hard to find something truly original. Yet “The Family Fang” does it. It’s about this family, with the surname Fang. The elder Fangs are performance artists. When they find themselves in a family way, they manage to incorporate their children into their performance art. Naturally, this affects the children in odd ways, and when they become adults they find themselves dealing with the consequences of being from a family of semi-famous performance artists.
It’s hard to describe. It’s quirky and fun, would be frivolous if it weren’t so intelligently written, and it actually does have something to say about the nature of art and sacrifice and family. After I read it, I spend a little time in my head trying to cast the movie. Imagine my surprise when I looked it up in order to write this piece and found out that there is (or will be, not sure) a movie of it starring Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, and Christopher Walken. Christopher Walken was actually one of my casting choices. The other two, not so much. They aren’t, well, they aren’t odd enough for how I picture the characters.
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