Friday, January 26, 2018

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse - The Family Fang

Welcome to another edition of the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you've finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same.  In this way, we'll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers.  Please join us:

http://armchairsquid.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-cephalopod-coffeehouse-january-2018.html


This month I'm here to tell you about The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson.

Per Amazon: The Family Fang tells the story of the Fang family (parents Caleb and Camille, children Annie and Buster, aka Child A and Child B)  who make 'art.' For example, in one piece, "The Portrait of a Lady, 1988," fragile nine-year-old Buster Fang dons a wig and sequined gown to undermine the Little Miss Crimson Clover beauty pageant, though he secretly desires the crown himself. In "A Modest Proposal, July 1988," Buster and his older sister, Annie, watch their father, Caleb, propose to mother, Camille, over an airliner's intercom and get turned down (" plane crash would have been welcomed to avoid the embarrassment of what had happened"). Over the years, more projects consume Child A and Child B—what art lovers (and their parents) call the children—but it is not until the parents disappear from an interstate rest stop that the lines separating art and life dissolve.

My thoughts: I liked this story, but didn't love it. I was invested in the characters, who were all superbly drawn, and the mystery of Caleb and Camille's disappearance, but I wanted a slightly different ending. I won't say what ending I wanted because that would spoil things and another reader might well feel quite differently. I do recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed the movie The Royal Tenenbaums.

In other news, I am going to have to work hard to finish another book before the end of the month - per my new years resolution. In my defense, I was sick for most of the month (hence my absence), and lost almost a week to vertigo, which made reading impossible. But, I think I can do it, so hopefully I'll have one more book to tell you about this month.

I haven't played much Skyrim lately but I have attained the rank of Archmage of Winterhold,


and acquired Inigo, a companion. He's pretty funny and good in fight. I also have a horse to carry my loot,


and, oh yes, finally got the Gauldur amulet, which boosts your health, magic, and stamina by thirty points.






So. What's new in your life? Are you staying healthy? Read any good books? Played any fun games? 

27 comments:

  1. Vertigo sucks! I get it every once in a while, but luckily I only feel dizzy if I bend over too far or when I first lie down in bed.

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    1. I had it for 5 days. Such a drag.

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  2. Sorry you're ill, but clearly your gaming is coming along. Best of luck on the book, and thanks for sharing. This one sounds interestingly creepy!
    Best,
    V :)

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    1. Oh, I'm better now, thank God, but boy January was not kind to me!

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  3. What kind of Archmage has a vertigo? :PPP
    Oooh, a horse! I'd much prefer a little grey donkey myself!

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  4. That horse is seriously buff!

    Sorry the book was disappointing.

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    1. I wouldn't say that. I liked the book. But I think I could've liked it more if the ending had gone a sliughtly different way. That said, I'll wager lots of people thought the ending was perfect.

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  5. Good luck finishing another book within the next few days. (You could always select a SHORT one!)

    Sorry to hear you were battling vertigo. I had a horrible bout with it a few years ago, but the only time it happens now is if I stand up too fast. Right in the middle of when I had that miserable case before, Smarticus and I went to the GA Aquarium. In some areas, they have
    moving sidewalks. If you don't think THAT was funny! I couldn't do it... kept losing my balance and almost falling over. I had to walk alongside it. :)

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    1. Vertigo is awful. I'm actually reading Ready Player One in anticipation of the movie and I might have it read in time to meet my goal...we'll see!

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  6. Hard to say no to Skyrim, isn't it? You can finish that story though.
    Book sounds just a little too weird. I bet if they made it into a movie, Wes Anderson would direct.
    Sorry about being so sick.

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    1. In fact, it is a movie with Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman who also directed. It wasn't so much the book was weird as the parents were weird. I felt sorry for their kids, Child A and Child B.

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  7. Think I might cheat and watch the movie! Love the beauty pageant idea. Vertigo does not sound like fun, hope you stay recovered. Skyrim is a mystery to me though the title of Archmage has appeal :-)

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    1. The beauty pageant was funny. Vertigo was not. And being the Archmage of Winterhold definitely has its perks :)

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  8. Sorry to hear you have been so sick and glad you're on the mend. After secluding myself over every little excuse, such as extreme cold, I found my social anxiety ramping up. So, while it's probably not the best time with this sometimes lethal influenza spreading, I'm making a concerted effort to go to the gym or whatever five to six days out of the week. Today, it's for a swim. ~grin~ Otherwise, I've been very happy writing every day and found openings to at least two more short stories out of my National Novel Writing Month scenes from last November. That has been a true delight. I hope you keep feeling better.

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    1. As long as my vertigo stays away I'll be fine! I'm hoping the extreme cold stays away as well but it isn't even February yet so...

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  9. If you had asked me on Friday if I was staying healthy I would have said yes. Alas...

    The book sounds a little quirky to me. Not a good thing in this case, but I could be wrong. I hope you're feeling better now.

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    1. Definitely feeling better :)

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  10. I adore The Royal Tenenbaums. Maybe this book is right for me.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. If you do read it I would love to know what you thought of it.

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  11. I don’t play games :) (At least not computer ones), but I found this book interesting even if I doubt it will make my tbr pile. Am I right in understanding he named various chapters about literary masterpieces? I Hope you are better

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    1. Wow. I totally missed that! But yes, the chapters describing the 'performances' are all named after famous works. I can't believe I didn't notice. Duh! And I am better, thanks :)

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  12. Sounds like an intriguing book!
    Hope you're feeling better - vertigo is nasty!!!

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    1. Vertigo sucks! Thankfully feeling much better :)

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  13. The Family Fang sounds so cool! Just my type of thing. Great post!

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    1. If you read it, I hope you review it. I'd love to know what you thought.

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