Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Fraction of a Whole, Steve Toltz


This is one of last years Booker Nominees which I'm still trying to read through! The novel is a sons account of living with a father who is livig in the shadow of his dead brother. Sounds confusing, huh! Terry Dean became a national hero despite being a serial killer, he took it to himself to rid the sporting world of cheats and was killed whilst in prison.
His brother, Martin, had a pretty strange life, even without the murderous brother, he spent 7 years of his childhood in a coma, travelled the world, fathered and 'looked after' our narrator, rarely worked, ended up being sectioned then tried to make Australia a country of millionaires. And then became Australia's most hated man.
As you can see from above, Martin's son Jasper had a pretty strange background he writes the novel telling his own story within that of his father's.

According to Amazon this is the book they felt should win, I still haven't read White Tiger (It's waiting on a shelf). I loved the first 500 pages, the text was fast paced and amusing but then it started to drag. Last night I decided just to skim read the last 150 pages. I still loved the characters and wated to know what happened, but I didn't need the detail - and things were getting far fetched even for this book.
I'm glad I read it, but I feel the 720 pages could be edited down by a good 200 pages. Anyone else read this? What did you think?

Challenges:
Booker
A-Z (Title)
Chunkster Challenge
Orbis Terrarum
999 (New Book)

3 comments:

raidergirl3 said...

I read it and agree it was a touch too long, and a bit confusing as to who the father and son were and which story was which. I enjoyed it well enough, but I didn't run around trying to convince people to read it.
I did enjoy the humor.
Here's my review: http://raidergirl3-anadventureinreading.blogspot.com/2008/07/book-fraction-of-whole-by-steve-toltz.html

(this post is showing up twice on your blog?)

clueless said...

I really enjoyed this book. I did feel it dragged about in some parts, but it was a refreshing writing style.
I reviewed it at :
http://cluelessstuff.blogspot.com/2009/04/fraction-of-whole-by-steve-toltz.html

katrina said...

It published once then disappeared so i published it again - and typically it came back!