BookBrowse Reviews A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

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A Fraction of the Whole

By Steve Toltz

A Fraction of the Whole
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2008,
    544 pages.
    Paperback: Oct 2008,
    576 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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An uproarious indictment of the modern world and its mores. 1st novel

Martin Dean feels "like a few misplaced molecules cobbled together to form an implausible person." When asked to describe himself, he comes up with "a seer of limited epiphanies" and "a megalomaniac and an underachiever." He is Steve Toltz's growling philosopher king, ferociously pessimistic yet irredeemably idealistic, his head a gaseous stew of misanthropy and ridiculous ideas for societal transformation. The "long inglorious tumult in his head" lands him in a mental hospital. It also spurs him to run for the Senate and win on the promise to turn Australia into the "first truly death-based society." Toltz can barely rein him in.

The story is supposed to be narrated by Martin's son, Jasper, but Martin keeps breaking in. That pretty much sums up the tension that fuels the novel's mostly breakneck pace through 530 pages. A Fraction of the Whole is Jasper's ...

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