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A Fraction Of The Whole

by Steve Toltz

This is a huge novel in terms of both size and breadth of content - it includes fire, prison escapes, fraud, murder, gunrunning and brothel keeping. It's not a traditional family saga but this biographical story is related by father and son in both real time and in reminiscence. A book not to be taken too seriously. It's very funny. I absolutely loved it. However, be warned, the author never uses one word if he can use ten!

Extract

This was it. Time for Dad to open up and spill his version of the Dean family chronicles, his version that was contrary to the mythologising gossip of the nation. So he started to talk. He talked and talked nonstop until eight in the morning, and if he was breathing underneath all those words, I couldn't see it or hear it but I sure could smell it. When he'd finished, I felt as though I'd travelled through my father's head and come out somehow diminished, just slightly less sure of my identity than when I went in.

Parallels

Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
 

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