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10 thoughts on “A Fraction of the Whole

  1. says:

    Holy just holy holy holy A Fraction of the Whole starts good stays good for five hundred pages and three continents is laugh out loud funny throughout at certain points made my jaw drop in astonishmenthorror contains so many beautiful passages you know the kind where you go yes that's so true like one about how it takes a couple hours to feel the sun on city streets in the morning and one about the sounds of swimming pools and gives us a couple of unforgettable characters who even though they're implausible they're believable this book is wonderful and rewarding and I already want to read it again Which to me is one of the signals of great art that before I'm even done digesting my first plate of something I want instead of just racing to the end to get to the whatever is next I haven't started anything new since finishing it last night which seems like a short time but there's a whole subway ride in there because I want to hold this taste with me for a little whileThis book is so very worth reading Don't be scared by the number of pages it's so well written and well paced that it's not an issue I have a hard copy now so if anyone wants to borrow the ARC it comes out in April let me know

  2. says:

    Well I'm sorry but I really didn't like this book I feel a bit guilty for this first because it came recommended by people whose tastes I totally trust sorry Amanda sorry Kira and second because due to my really shamefully busy life it took me a ludicrously long time to read this sorry Steve Toltz So yeah I mean it was my fault—not Steve's—that this book has been hanging menacingly over my head for freaking ages But let's face it Steve it's your fault that your book just wasn't very good I'm sorry I'm sure you're a lovely guy But do you remember the first goddamn rule of every creative writing class ever? It's show don't tell Yeah What that means see is that creating a character who's a philosopher doesn't give you the right to detail his meandering and only semi deep thoughts for pages and pages and pages nor does it make it okay for you to put twisty overwritten speeches into his mouth which also happen to last for pages and pages and pages I'm really not trying to be a dick here Steve My guilt is compounded by the fact that you really do have lots of clever ideas some of the writing was original and funny and a handful of the episodes were enjoyable But your two main characters were really just personality less Telling me that Martin is an enigma does not excuse you from making him so Discussing over and over whether Jasper is a mirror opposite or a polar opposite of his father does not mean that you don't need make him interesting The characters just endlessly whine and carry on and circumspect and angst ify and fret And while one could make the argument that that is fun to do it is really really boring to read about Unless you're talking about Hamlet but come on isn't he like the least interesting character in that whole play?

  3. says:

    What does it take to abandon a 711 page novel on page 458? After all there are only – er – 253 pages to goFinish it No The thing is I bought a bookcase this week – ah how beautiful it is Not one of those damned filthy flat packs no This one was carpentered by doughty craftsmen and delivered in one piece to my very doorThis is exactly what it looked like How pretty Now it is full of books Yes So now I have all my unread books collected together in one room My God – there are so many of them Frankly I had no idea I think I have been going mouseclick crazy And most of these are from which is not as I thought it was a benign organisation which provides work for marginal people in the Brazilian rainforest at all it's a giant enterprise which has the morals of a praying mantis The BBC tells me couk the British division of the firm is under scrutiny by UK tax authorities for its affairs over a six year period beginning in 2004couk’s latest accounts reveal that it did not pay a single penny of British corporation tax in either 2010 or 2011And that's the problem – it's so easy to start riffing on bookcases and and corporate responsibility and other random subjects every stand up comedian does this and Steve Toltz is a stand up comedian masuerading as a novelist As such he's okay Not bad But he uses all his best one liners in the first 200 pages For example The past is truly an inoperable tumour that spreads to the presentThese days when a war is on heroism seems to mean attendanceFlowers really are lovely but not lovely enough to excuse the suffocating volume of paintings and poems inspired by them while there are still next to no paintings and poems of children throwing themselves off cliffsI love that next to noYou can see it's all a bit on the sour mordant deflating side – all right this entire book is COMPLETELY on the sour mordant depressing side because this is largely a comedy of sorts about mental illness depression anxiety and the like The story is really fake a silly cartoony not meant to be believable series of plot like lunges all about a kid with problems growing up with his father who has even problems and a presumed dead uncle who had the most problems of the lot None of the characters have the least appearance of life they are manic stick figures inhabited by the author's incessant bellicose blaring riffing on all the standard young male stand up comic targets – school drugs lack of sex fathers police school – when the comedy gives out you get faux philosophising for a few pages A Fraction of the Whole is just so blokeish and as many readers point out all the main characters the son the father the uncle speak in exactly the same maximum volume voice Which is the voice of Steve Toltz I gave up when the character of Reynold Hobbs came along This is a Rupert Murdoch stand in – the richest man in Australia I couldn't take another 200 pages of sidesplitting savage satire of rich bastards I checked my side There was not the merest trace of a split I checked the other Nope I looked at my new bookcase which fills the room with the sweet aroma of varnish and wood It sang its siren song Three stars for the 458 pages I read You can't deny the manic energy of Steve Toltz' desire to write a lot

  4. says:

    I am shocked to see anyone complain about this book being too long I spent the majority of my time laughing like a madwoman when I read A Fraction of the Whole Just this part alone made me think of all my cynical Hungarian elders because man do they think like this The younger passengers let out cries of joy The older passengers knew that the key to happiness lay in keeping your expectations low They booed There was not one sentence that I would be happy seeing taken away WHAT A WORK OF FICTION Politics philosophy religion sex love triangles this book is a mass of insanity I absolutely fell in love with Jasper the little runtI picked up this book on accident really and didn't think it sounded promising Ha I was captured from the very first sentence I not only recommend this book but I try to force it on my friends I can't wait until Toltz publishes

  5. says:

    I read this monstrous merciless Australian comedy in a shack in Orkney in June 2010 For those unfamiliar with Orkney it’s a small Scottish island known for its flatness In the Annual Flatness Contest Orkney narrowly beat the Whole of the Netherlands to win the coveted flatness trophy—a trophy crushed several times by a JCB hauler and shipped to a factory where extensive smelting work is done on its remaining points and prongs until the award achieves a “flatitude” of such 180˚ perfection as thisMy trip to Orkney coincided with my own Bergman like peregrinations at the Broch of Gurness where I contemplated my own mortality with the various voices in my head Voice A was keen to “dash” MJ Nicholls into the rocks below like a suicidal Sonic the Hedgehog Voice B was keen to have MJ Nicholls survive for another few years to deliver droll capsule reviews of the 4927 books he reads per week on Goodreads because he refuses to work since work is for suares and those who like to eat Voice C was entirely indifferent to MJ Nicholls and desperately wanted a spot in Michael York’s head so he could speak in an upper class English accent and still get work in Hollywood I replaced these voices with the snarky cranky kooky personnel in this all guns blazing attack on the futility of life and the slapstick of trying to understand Although I remember little about this novel’s content I remember it came along to torture me at the right time in my life—I fought and suabbled with its cruelty I railed against its brutal wisdom and maddening honesty This is how you write a first novel Thanks Steve

  6. says:

    35★Ok I finished it But then I finished Infinite Jest which was written three years earlier so I figured if I could give David Foster Wallace the benefit of the doubt I could do the same for Steve Toltz especially as this was a Man Booker Prize shortlist nominee in 1980 and won several awardshttpthemanbookerprizecombooksfrI’d rather have had a single shorter story keeping the uirky humour and the irreverent attitude That's why it's only 35 stars But there’s no doubt the guy can write That's why it's rounded up to 4 Big dealThis is supposedly the story of Jasper Dean son of Martin Dean and nephew of Martin’s infamous and celebrated criminal brother Terry Dean around whom urban legends abound In Jasper’s schoolyard kids play “Cops and Terry Dean” – that kind of celebrityThere are several different stories here – in Australia Europe Thailand and while some characters and situations were interesting I didn’t find any compelling enough to want details so I’d start skimming Then I’d get confused because I found all the voices the same It starts as Jasper’s story remembering when he was in a coma for four years during which little brother Terry was born to Jasper’s step mother and forced to sleep in the same bed with Jasper Any wonder Terry went off the rails? Jasper asks Martin to tell him about his own mother and how Martin met her and how she disappeared Martin’s story is interesting but he talks like Jasper and I would forget which generation we were learning about as Martin would go off on tangents and start philosophisingI kept feeling the real reason for the book was to give Toltz a philosophical platform I never remembered which character was voicing which opinion and I can’t tell from reading some uotes I saved But I enjoyed them anywayRELIGION “It happens when people see Death which is all the time They see Death but they perceive Light They feel their own death and they call it God”“And my mind says 'Don't think about death lalalala you will always be beautiful and special and you will never die nevernevernever haven't you heard of the immortal soul well you have a really nice one' And I say Maybe and my mind says Look at that fing sunset look at those fing mountains look at that goddamn magnificent tree where else could that have come from but the hand of God that will cradle you forever and ever'” “Because humans deny their own mortality to such an extent they become meaning machines I can never be sure when something supernatural or religious in nature occurs that I did not manufacture my connection to it out of desperation to believe in my own specialness and my desire for continuance”TRIBALISM “People always say It's good to be a part of a something bigger than yourself but you already are You're part of a huge thing The whole of humanity That's enormous But you couldn't see it so you pick what? An organization? A culture? A religion? That's not bigger than you It's much much smaller” POLITICS AND SELF INTEREST When democracy works the government does what the people want The problem with that is that people want shitty things People are scared and greedy and self centered and only concerned about their financial security Yes the truth of the matter is THERE HAS YET TO BE A GREAT DEMOCRATIC NATION BECAUSE THERE HAS YET TO BE A GREAT BUNCH OF PEOPLE and “Becoming a public figure is like befriending a rottweiler with meat in your pockets” and one of my favourites “No the most insidious betrayals are done merely by leaving the life jacket hanging in your closet while you lie to yourself that it's probably not the drowning man's size That's how we slide and while we slide we blame the world's problems on colonialism imperialism capitalism corporatism stupid white men and America but there's no need to make a brand name of blame Individual self interest that's the source of our descent and it doesn't start in the boardrooms or the war rooms either It starts in the home” I couldn't agree and I'm as self interested and apathetic as everbody else And look where that got us today Shame on meThat’s enough of that I’ll be looking for anything else he writes but hope it’s not so convoluted for the likes of meBut wait – there’s This is the “FRACTION” uote as far as I know Martin the dad keeps journals and said among other tirades when he’s feeling overlooked and misunderstood How can he keep listening to his own heart and mind amidst the turmoil of the world at large? “Emerson understood ‘The moment we meet with anybody each becomes a fraction’ he said That’s my problem I’m 14th of who I should be Maybe even 18th Then he said ‘The voices which we hear in solitude grow faint and inaudible when we enter into the world’ This is my problem exactly I can’t hear myself He also said ‘It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude’ I can’t do this”

  7. says:

    I finally finished this 25 hour long audiobook I am so glad I stuck with it despite my recently acuired dislike of overly long novelsThis novel was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker prize which in itself should have brought it notoriety especially in Australia A Fraction of the Whole is a mammoth of a book on another level It's highly intelligent original funny and deep philosophical irreverent and still so relevant My husband happened to hear some passages and he asked if I was listening to a politician's memoir On another occasion he laughed out loud when hearing a character's musings It's that kind of novel that changes pace direction one moment is deep or mundane the next it comes up with a funny observation or some sort of witticism I'm impressed with Toltz's ability to maintain such a high level for over five hundred pages I won't lie at times in the first half I felt like I was being slapped over the head with the incessant philosophical meanderings of Martin Dean But that was exactly who he was a man prone to analysis over thinking over reading Some of his observations were mindblowing and highly uotableThe main characters of this novel are the two brothers Martin and Terry Dean Martin's son Jasper Dean We mainly hear Martin and Jasper's point of views They're fascinating and completely bonkers A Fraction of the Whole is mainly about families the ties the bound us make or break us Despite its imperfections I feel compelled to give this five stars because it's outstanding in so many ways

  8. says:

    Books like this don't come along every day It's almost impossible to categorize A Fraction of the Whole a sprawling tale of love heartache crazy schemes and unexpected twists It's absolutely bursting with life and I didn't want to it endThe plot is a hard one to summarise but it all centres around the Dean family In the opening pages Jasper tells us that the whole of Australia despises my father perhaps than any other man just as they adore his brother my uncle perhaps than any other man What an amazing hook I simply had to read on to find out why Over the rest of the novel we learn just how dysfunctional the Deans are Jungle treks prison bush fires exploding boats and even murderous rampages are just some of the scrapes they become involved in At the heart of the book is the relationship between Jasper and his father Martin a strange man to say the very least For the most part they can't stand each other but they realise grudgingly how alike they both areIt takes a lot for a book to make me laugh out loud but this one cracked me up so many times At one point Martin helps a convict write a book of advice for aspiring criminals Some of the chapter titles include Armed Robbery Laughing All The Way from the Bank The Police and You How to Spot a Crooked Cop by his Shoes and Manslaughter Oops As a child he hated the cruel games at birthday parties once stopping a round of Pass the Parcel so that he could read about a Somalian famine in the newspaper wrapping the gift My biggest guffaw involved Eddie Martin's long suffering best friend but I won't describe it here for fear of spoilersHowever it's not all hilarious the Deans meet with their fair share of sorrow Both Martin and Jasper are inclined towards melancholy despite all of their madcap adventures they're both unhappy about how their lives turned out Jasper even remembers when he first thought negatively about his future a night when he felt completely alone with nowhere to go I think that's the real loss of innocence the first time you glimpse the boundaries that will limit your potential Martin knows that there is no point in looking back with regret but he can't help himself There's nothing like a nostalgia trip to make you feel alien from both your past and your present You also see what's static in you what you hadn't the courage or strength to change and all your old fears the ones you still carry The disappointment of your failure is palpable It's terrible to go around bumping into yourself like that It's over 700 pages long and that might put some readers off but I can honestly say I was never bored by this amazing book It is wildly entertaining hilarious and heartbreaking in eual measure An absolute gem and a hell of a debut from Steve Toltz

  9. says:

    Wow the New York Times reviewer couldn't have gotten this one mroe wrongOne comes up a bit short trying to describe A Fraction of the Whole True the book deals with the relationship of an eccentric father and son but it is about that only in the way the Confederacy of Dunces is about a large rather odd man living in New Orleans Indeed it is Toole's classic Dunces which most often comes to mind when reading Toltz's Whole both highly original works in which odd protagonists offer meditations on the absurd inanity of modern life Toltz actually offers two protagonists The first is Martin Dean an out of work philosopher whose strange outlook is informed by many factors including his relationship with his brother Terry a criminal and Australian cult hero and the large fraction of his youth spent in a coma The second is Martin's son Jasper who is just about as odd as his father The narrative moves back and forth between their perspectives a literary device currently in great fashion but one often poorly used Toltz however demonstrates his chops as a writer not only using it seamlessly but to good effect As with Dunces attempting to explain the arc of this novel's narrative will not only fail to communicate what makes the work delightful but will also risk ruining the readers fun for it is at least as much the journey itself as where it goes that makes it a fun read Some may likewise be put off by the works length you know who you are but such shaggy dog like meditations have their place and fans I would also be remiss if I failed to mention that in my humble opinion this book is also freuently laugh out loud funny a rarity in which I delight None of which is to say that Toltz's novel is perfect As an introductory page from the publisher explains when the book arrived on their desks they realized it might well be genius but was over 800 pages Now reduced to 500 there are still a few passages and scenes which might have been trimmed without damaging the whole Perfection however is overrated and while I don't think this book is for everyone some sizable fraction will not only enjoy it but will hunger to see what Mr Toltz produces next

  10. says:

    To be fair I didn't finish this so maybe the last half contained some redemption It was amusing enough but there was wasn't a single character I cared about

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A Fraction of the Whole

Characters A Fraction of the Whole

Trália e deixar a sua marca no mundo; e Terry é o tio um infame criminoso A obra atravessa as florestas australianas percorre a boémia Paris explora as selvas da Tailândia e penetra entre labirintos asilos e albergues de criminosos Uma Parte do Todo é uma aventura inesuec. 35★Ok I finished it But then I finished Infinite Jest which was writt An Heiress in Venice (Nights in Venice um infame criminoso A obra atravessa as florestas australianas percorre a boémia Paris explora as selvas da Tailândia e penetra entre labirintos asilos e albergues de criminosos Uma Parte do Todo é Secrets of Successful Pharmaceutical Salespeople uma aventura inesuec. 35★Ok I finished it But then I finished Infinite Jest which was writt

Read ↠ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB Ì Steve Toltz

«As famílias sãs todas iguais as loucas têm cada uma a sua loucura»Um romance delicioso ue acompanha a saga de uma família australiana muito pouco normal Jasper é o filho idealista ue vai crescendo ao longo do livro; Martin é o pai ue uer ser o homem mais odiado da Aus. Well I'm sorry but I really didn't like this book I feel a bit guilty f The greatest mentors in the Bible uma a sua loucura»Um romance delicioso Gay on a Dare ue acompanha a saga de Cooking for Beginners uma família australiana muito pouco normal Jasper é o filho idealista By His Own Might ue vai crescendo ao longo do livro; Martin é o pai Une vie motivée par l'essentiel : Pourquoi suis-je sur Terre ? ue Icon and Logos uer ser o homem mais odiado da Aus. Well I'm sorry but I really didn't like this book I feel a bit guilty f

Steve Toltz Ì 6 Read

ível ue vai desde a vertigem de um primeiro amor até às amarguras de uma ambição falhada por gerações sucessivas de anti heróis Aclamado pela crítica internacional foi a primeira vez ue uma obra de estreia de um autor não britânico se tornou finalista do Booker Priz. Wow the New York Times reviewer couldn't have gotten this one mroe wron