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A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
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A Fraction of the Whole (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Steve Toltz

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1,511634,898 (3.91)117
Member:psutto
Title:A Fraction of the Whole
Authors:Steve Toltz
Info:Spiegel & Grau (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:12 in 12

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A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz (2008)

Recently added bygeirsan, private library, Jaguilar64, dorie.craig, lesleyum, cherobula, SCCS.BGSU, nate48281, pjpfodl
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English (58)  Dutch (4)  German (1)  All (63)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
This is a story that covers multiple generations of the Dean Family, focusing mostly on brothers Martin and Terry Dean, and Martin’s son Jasper. Jasper is the narrator of the tale, writing his story down from prison, and promising the reader right off that they will never find his father’s body. Although it took a long time to get through the story, oddly enough I rarely felt impatient. The characters are thoroughly developed and I enjoyed spending time with them. The tale has tragedy, humor, romance and violence. The only drawbacks were the long philosophical monologues by Martin, and the story itself was a bit overlong. After Jasper became a teenager I felt the author kept writing just to extend the story, and not necessarily because he had anything further to say. But the ending was lovely and unexpectedly poignant, and I find myself thinking about Jasper and wondering how his story continues. Four and a half stars. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
So far (page 170) so good! Unlike anything else I've read. Serious and very funny, at least if you find a sentence like this funny: "There's nothing perplexing to me about a leafy shrub evolving out of the big bang, but that a post office exists because carbon exploded out of a supernova is a phenomenon so outrageous it makes my head twitch." I'm not surprised it's by an Aussie writer. Here ( )
  Eye_Gee | May 8, 2017 |
Not a typical book for me and I almost gave up halfway through but ended up enjoying it thoroughly. Quite sneery at times but the exaggerated misanthropy ultimately has an enlightening purpose. ( )
  ltfitch1 | Jun 5, 2016 |
Funny in parts, but not worth the time investment. ( )
  Brainannex | Mar 31, 2016 |
Everything that has been said about this novel, already has been said. I was not moved by the story at the beginning. The first thing that I did notice is the way the story is written. It is unique. The dialog and the descriptions the Steve Toltz uses is outstanding. More than humorous I would say it is very witty. I never busted out laughing, but would read the witty lines over and over again.
A little past half way through the book, I almost gave up, thinking that I had already read the best part and I could not see where this was going. I hung in there and am happy that I did.
I was pleased with how the author tied up everything at the end. No stone was left un-turned.
Although it is a long book, it is worth reading. I fell in love with this book and I now call it one of my favourites. ( )
  callmejacx | Feb 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I'm sorry if I'm beginning to make it sound a bit rollicking. The stories, in fact, follow a pattern: they are almost all tales of good intentions with catastrophic results, such as the suggestion box which Martin installs on the town-hall steps and which at first instils a new sense of purpose and confidence in the community, but quickly brings out the worst in everyone and leads to his brother being sectioned. Taken individually, they're funny; taken together, the unbreakability of the pattern and the inevitability of disaster is heartbreaking.
added by Milesc | editThe Guardian (Jun 21, 2008)
 
added by lucyknows | editSCIS
 
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You never hear about a sportsman losing his sense of smell in a tragic accident, and for good reason; in order for the universe to teach excruciating lessons that we are unable to apply in later life, the sportsman must lose his legs, the philosopher his mind, the painter his eyes, the musician his ears, the chef his tongue
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385521731, Paperback)

Meet the Deans

“The fact is, the whole of Australia despises my father more than any other man, just as they adore my uncle more than any other man. I might as well set the story straight about both of them . . .”

Heroes or Criminals?
Crackpots or Visionaries?
Families or Enemies?

“. . . Anyway, you know how it is. Every family has a story like this one.”



Most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn’t decide whether to pity, hate, love, or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who overanalyzed anything and everything and imparted his self-garnered wisdom to his only son. But now that Martin is dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the crackpot who raised him in intellectual captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was a grand adventure.
As he recollects the events that led to his father’s demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries—about his infamous outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin’s constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It’s a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of bohemian Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths, and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition. The result is a rollicking rollercoaster ride from obscurity to infamy, and the moving, memorable story of a father and son whose spiritual symmetry transcends all their many shortcomings.
A Fraction of the Whole is an uproarious indictment of the modern world and its mores and the epic debut of the blisteringly funny and talented Steve Toltz.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

"For most of his life, Jasper Dean couldn't decide whether to pity, hate, love, or murder his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a man who overanalyzed anything and everything and imparted his self-garnered wisdom to his only son. But now that Martin is dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the crackpot who raised him in intellectual captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was a grand adventure." "As he recollects the events that led to his father's demise, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and shocking discoveries - about his infamous outlaw uncle, Terry, his mysteriously absent European mother, and Martin's constant losing battle to make a lasting mark on the world he so disdains. It's a story that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of bohemian Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip clubs, asylums, labyrinths, and criminal lairs, and from the highs of first love to the lows of failed ambition. The result is a wild roller-coaster ride from obscurity to infamy, and the moving, memorable story of a father and son whose spiritual symmetry transcends all their many shortcomings." "A Fraction of the Whole is an uproarious indictment of the modern world and its mores, and the epic debut of the blisteringly funny and talented Steve Toltz."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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