Author: Kevin Wilson, 2011.
Genre: Comedy-Drama. Contemporary. Art.
Other Details: Paperback. 400 pages.
"The Fangs simply throw their own bodies into a space as if they were hand grenades and wait for the disruption to occur. They have no expectations other than to cause unrest." - Hobart Waxman, The Family Fang.
Caleb and Camille Fang are conceptual artists, celebrated for their outrageous performance pieces in public spaces. Everything in life is secondary to their art including their children, Anne and Buster, who were referred to as Child A and Child B in the documentation of their parent's 'happenings'. Pressured from an early age to participate in their parent's art projects, Annie and Buster made their escapes when they were old enough and had kept their distance even since. Anne had become an actress with an Oscar nominated performance as well as a lucrative role in a superhero franchise under her belt. Buster had written two novels though was not very successful and now was a journalist for a men's magazine called 'Potent'. However, when they both come up against major life difficulties they find it necessary to move back home and re-enter the chaos of their parent's world.
This was another book featured on C4's TV Book Club and so I came to it with some background and positive responses from the presenters. I agreed with them finding it an intelligent and well written novel with a cast of interesting characters. The theme of guerilla conceptual art was also of special interest given my background in art history. As stated by various reviewers on the cover is very reminiscent of Indie films in its quirkiness of plot and characters. In between the contemporary sections there are flashbacks to some of the Fang Family's events.