Thursday, May 21, 2009

Katrina's Views: A Fraction of a Whole - Steve Tolz (Short list 2008)

This is one of last years Booker Nominees which I'm still trying to read through! The novel is a sons account of living with a father who is livig in the shadow of his dead brother. Sounds confusing, huh! Terry Dean became a national hero despite being a serial killer, he took it to himself to rid the sporting world of cheats and was killed whilst in prison.
His brother, Martin, had a pretty strange life, even without the murderous brother, he spent 7 years of his childhood in a coma, travelled the world, fathered and 'looked after' our narrator, rarely worked, ended up being sectioned then tried to make Australia a country of millionaires. And then became Australia's most hated man.
As you can see from above, Martin's son Jasper had a pretty strange background he writes the novel telling his own story within that of his father's.

According to Amazon this is the book they felt should win, I still haven't read White Tiger (It's waiting on a shelf). I loved the first 500 pages, the text was fast paced and amusing but then it started to drag. Last night I decided just to skim read the last 150 pages. I still loved the characters and wated to know what happened, but I didn't need the detail - and things were getting far fetched even for this book.
I'm glad I read it, but I feel the 720 pages could be edited down by a good 200 pages. Anyone else read this? What did you think?

1 comment:

  1. I read it, Katrina, and I quite liked it. I didn't mind the overwriting, for some reason, though I also thought some editing would have been a good idea. Still, now that almost a year has past, I don't feel I took anything away from the experience. It was fun and interesting, but not as substantial as a 700 page book should be.

    I cheated and here on the Complete Booker site just pushed people to read my review on my review site (you can click on my name to get there).