Book Review: The Family Fang

Recently, I’ve been dabbling a little more in audiobooks. With my 45-minute drive to and from work, and about 30 minutes of cardio three times a week, I’ve found myself more entertained with books rather than Top 40 (which actually feels a little more like top 4 right now). It helped me finish The Casual Vacancy when reading it just wasn’t working. So, armed with an Audible account, I added a couple of books I’ve been meaning to read. One of them was The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.

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Caleb and Camille Fang are artists. Their medium is the living world, people in malls, airports, or public spaces with tons of strangers. They like to create chaos and record the chaos. And they are actually well-known within the art world for their work. To help them facilitate their pieces, they have their children, Annie and Buster, AKA “Child A” and “Child B,” contribute to the chaos. As a result, the word “family” and “parents” apply a little too loosely to this traveling troupe.

As adults, Annie and Buster try to move on from their eccentric childhood when their parents used them for their art. Buster is a struggling writer, and Annie is a successful actress. When they both end up back at home, nursing some quarter-life crisis type issues, they’re thrust back into the crazy way their parents live. Their ultimate goal is to get back out in the world and lead their own version of a normal life.

This book was interesting. I love to read about different family dynamics. It wasn’t necessarily an easy read, though. I really felt for Annie and Buster, especially Buster, who seemed lost from the very beginning of the story. He seemed to be lost without the direction of his parents, but also lost in the wake of Annie’s success. And as Annie also started to unravel, getting to the bottom of Caleb and Camille was pretty important to me. Caleb and Camille are one unit, and while they mostly agree on their art and lifestyle, I thought they diverged a little bit in terms of parenting and nurturing. I was happy with how the story ended. Families are weird, but isn’t it always a little more comforting when you read about one that’s weirder than yours?

I rate this book 3/5.

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