A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It took me a while to get through this book (my version is 561 pages), but it was worth every minute. The story is told by Jasper Dean who is trying to set the record straight about his father, Martin, who is hated by all of Australia, and his criminal uncle, Terry, whom all of Australia loves.
I said goodnight, closed the door, and left him...thinking of normal families who have normal problems like alcoholism and gambling and wife-beating and drug addiction. I envied them.
That pretty much sums up Jasper's views.
This book is very well written and a great read. One of the blurbs on the cover called it "Riotously funny!" I wouldn't take it that far, but I did laugh quite a few times. The story is witty and written with a lot of sarcasm and dry humor, which I love:
Let's not mince words: the interior of the Sydney casino looks as if Vegas had an illegitimate child with Liberace's underpants, and that child fell down a staircase and hit its head on the edge of a spade.
It's also thought-provoking...when Martin goes off on his manic philosophical tangents, I often found myself thinking, yeah, that's kind of true.
And finally, it's completely unpredictable. The story was all over the place and I had no idea where it was going, but it was a fun read, and I couldn't wait to find out.
Four stars instead of five, because from time to time, Martin's philosophical ramblings went on and on and on, so it dragged in parts, but that's it.
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