Category Archives: Wilson Kevin

Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

DATE FINISHED: May 16th, 2012

RATED: **** 

SYNOPSIS:  Author St. John Fox stands accused of multiple murder – by his own muse and creation Mary Foxe. He also finds himself on the brink of divorce from his jealous wife, Daphne, who believes he is having an affair. Is St. John in love with Mary or Daphne? And does choosing one necessarily mean the end of the other? What’s a man to do?

THOUGHTS: Stories within stories, slipping times and locations, where do memories and fantasies collide and divide? If you prefer a linear narrative, this is not the book for you. Read more of this post

Oops – almost forgot the April Retrospective!

A summary of the books I read in April (which turned out to be an excellent month!), with links to reviews:

The Flying Man by Roopa Farooki – 4/5
A surprisingly touching and thought-provoking ‘retrospective’ of a career conman – not at all what I expected.

Small Island by Andrea Levy – 4/5
Re-read as this was the book I chose to give away for World Book Night. A very warm & rewarding story of immigrants settling in London after the war; far more satisfying than the author’s more recent The Long Song.

The Manual of Darkness by Enrique de Heriz – 3.5/5
The story of a magician who must come to terms with a sudden blindness. Lots of interesting aspects.

JOINT BOOK OF THE MONTH: 
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson – 4.5/5
Annie and Buster (Child A and Child B) have grown up playing integral roles in their parents’ performance artwork. As young adults they are trying to find their own places in the world; but when their parents suddenly disappear, everything is once more thrown into disarray. Really enjoyed this.

Was by Geoff Ryman – 4/5
The ‘true’ story of a little girl called Dorothy Gale, growing up in a bleak Kansas of the 1870s, and the repercussions over the next century and beyond. Several intertwining stories; a fascinating read.

JOINT BOOK OF THE MONTH: 
Oyster by Janette Turner Hospital – 4.5/5
A small town in the Australian outback (once the home to an enigmatic, charismatic stranger called Oyster, and his followers) holds more secrets than you might imagine. A claustrophobic, and beautifully written story – one of my longest-standing TBRs, it was definitely worth the wait!

The Angel of Brooklyn by Janette Jenkins – 3.5/5
The Angel of Brooklyn is the star of Coney Island until she is whisked away by Lancashire Lad Jonathan, to the small village of Anglezarke. When all the men from the village sign up to do their bit for ‘the Great War’, tensions rise among the women they leave behind. It’s a light-ish read that didn’t quite hit the mark for me, but enjoyable nonetheless.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon – unfinished
I got hold of a paperback copy of this (one of my longest-standing TBRs) in case it was the heft of the hardback copy that was putting me off.  I read & enjoyed a couple of chapters but it has once more been consigned to the future TBR pile.  Just not in the right frame of mind for this one, currently

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

DATE FINISHED: April 20th, 2012

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Annie and Buster – also known as Child A and Child B – have been a part of their parents’ conceptual/performance art projects throughout their childhoods.  As they try to carve out their own identities as adults, they begin to realise just how much their lives and personalities have been affected by their unusual upbringing.  Each for their own reasons, the younger Fangs return home, but just as they are beginning to try to make sense of things, their parents disappear.  Is it a horrific murder, as suspected by the police; or is it just another work of art?  As Child A and Child B attempt to flush their parents out of hiding, are they facilitating some greater scheme, or are there bigger issues to contend with?

THOUGHTS:   Where does art end and life begin when the medium of your artwork is not a pen or paintbrush, but human experience?   Read more of this post