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A Fraction of the Whole Paperback – Sep 23 2008

4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; Export ed edition (Sept. 23 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014104179X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141041797
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,729,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the heart of this sprawling, dizzying debut from a quirky, assured Australian writer are two men: Jasper Dean, a judgmental but forgiving son, and Martin, his brilliant but dysfunctional father. Jasper, in an Australian prison in his early 20s, scribbles out the story of their picaresque adventures, noting cryptically early on that [m]y father's body will never be found. As he tells it, Jasper has been uneasily bonded to his father through thick and thin, which includes Martin's stint managing a squalid strip club during Jasper's adolescence; an Australian outback home literally hidden within impenetrable mazes; Martin's ill-fated scheme to make every Australian a millionaire; and a feverish odyssey through Thailand's menacing jungles. Toltz's exuberant, looping narrative—thick with his characters' outsized longings and with their crazy arguments—sometimes blows past plot entirely, but comic drive and Toltz's far-out imagination carry the epic story, which puts the two (and Martin's own nemesis, his outlaw brother, Terry) on an irreverent roller-coaster ride from obscurity to infamy. Comparisons to Special Topics in Calamity Physics are likely, but this nutty tour de force has a more tender, more worldly spin. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

FINALIST FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

"This misanthropic, laugh-out-loud funny novel tells the story of a brilliant, eccentric and star-crossed outsider and his son in contemporary Australia. With its chance encounters, mysterious criminals, malevolent townspeople, attacks of mental illness and mad schemes for civic and national improvement, A Fraction of the Whole is not so much a shaggy dog story as a woolly mammoth story." Winnipeg Free Press

"A rich father-and-son story packed with incident, humour, and characters reminiscent of John Irving.... A Fraction of the Whole soars like a rocket." Los Angeles Times

"A riotously funny first novel...harder to ignore than a crate of puppies, twice as playful, and just about as messy." The Wall Street Journal

"Rollicking.... Laugh-out-loud funny." Entertainment Weekly

"Witty and intellectual, a physical comedy and literary rant all at once.... Comically dark and inviting." Esquire --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I picked this book up on a recommendation of a friend and did not put it down for a week. It captivated me as a 20-something year old reader and I felt personally connected with the story. Not to mention it's written with it's tongue firmly in cheek, but that doesn't mean that it took any brevity from it's more emotional scenes. This book for me, was the first Australian work of modern fiction that didn't have me cringing through out it. The unfortunate truth about most Australian books is that they are terribly Australian, or perhaps they over compensate in their attempt to make it. Steve Toltz's work seems to recreate effortlessly the Australian characters and ethos that actually exists within the country. In terms of an modern fiction novel that deals with modern Australia, this book is on point.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was up for a Booker Prize and in my opinion well worth it. It is a rare read that can make you laugh out loud, and this one delivered. A Monty Python-esque humour runs through this story. The scenes are well described without being bogged down.
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Format: Paperback
This book's characters have some extremely clever, thoroughly original and funny philosophical opinions and it's very well written. I read one book after another and often forget the plots soon after but this book has stayed with me. It became a bit convoluted towards the end but I really enjoyed it, continue to recommend it to people and frequently check for new writing from Tolz.
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Format: Paperback
This book was an excellent read. The characters in this book were exciting and the story was always on the move. I cannot wait for his next novel.
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Format: Paperback
If you like literature then this book is not for you. It is badly written, unoriginal, predictable and the characters are one dimensional stereotypes( ex. the criminal with the heart of gold etc.) It has the feel of a Hollywood script. I had to stop reading about a third of the way through. If on the other hand you like pulp fiction by novelists such as Stephen King, Clancy, Dan Brown and the like you may hold a different opinion of this ( for me ) very forgettable book
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