There were a lot of things I really liked about The Family Fang, which is mostly about Annie and Buster, the somewhat damaged children of Caleb and Camille Fang, a pair of notorious conceptual artists.
Somewhere in the middle I was struck by how Wilson’s characters reminded me of filmmaker Wes Anderson’s — I felt like there was a similar tension between emotional realism and a somewhat stage-y artifice.
I thought it fell apart a bit at the end — there’s both a conclusion which didn’t work for me because it pushed the emotional response of characters beyond my suspension of disbelief, and then there’s a sort of epilogue which seemed to undermine and weaken the novel as a whole.
But large chunks of this were funny and squirm-inducing and clever and sharp. There’s a great novella inside this book (or perhaps two great linked short stories), and I am curious to see Wilson’s next long-form effort and even more eager to explore his short fiction.
needs more demons? a smidge.