A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz

By Steve Toltz

Meet the Deans

"The truth is, the complete of Australia despises my father greater than the other guy, simply as they adore my uncle greater than the other guy. i'd in addition set the tale immediately approximately either one of them . . ."

Heroes or Criminals?
Crackpots or Visionaries?
Families or Enemies?

". . . besides, you understand how it really is. each family members has a narrative like this one."

Most of his lifestyles, Jasper Dean couldn't make a decision no matter if to pity, hate, love, or homicide his certifiably paranoid father, Martin, a guy who overanalyzed whatever and every thing and imparted his self-garnered knowledge to his merely son. yet now that Martin is useless, Jasper can absolutely examine the crackpot who raised him in highbrow captivity, and what he realizes is that, for all its lunacy, theirs was once a grand adventure.
As he remembers the occasions that resulted in his father's death, Jasper recounts a boyhood of outrageous schemes and surprising discoveries--about his notorious outlaw uncle Terry, his mysteriously absent eu mom, and Martin's consistent wasting conflict to make a long-lasting mark at the global he so disdains. It's a narrative that takes them from the Australian bush to the cafes of bohemian Paris, from the Thai jungle to strip golf equipment, asylums, labyrinths, and legal lairs, and from the highs of old flame to the lows of failed ambition. the result's a rollicking rollercoaster experience from obscurity to infamy, and the relocating, memorable tale of a father and son whose religious symmetry transcends all their many shortcomings.

A Fraction of the complete is an uproarious indictment of the fashionable international and its mores and the epic debut of the blisteringly humorous and proficient Steve Toltz.

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Albert was managing the fields without my help, and in spite of the dry weather, he remained convinced that the diminished harvest would cover our bills. Besides, no one in my family considered farming to be economically viable; we had witnessed too many small farms in our community go out of business to think otherwise. Perhaps Albert was the farmer our land had been waiting for. I bought a copy of the local newspaper and began circling want ads. Age 20, home from college for the summer. The weeks passed and, for any array of reasons, I was turned down as a sports reporter for my local newspaper, as a waiter for two different restaurants, as a full-time whitewater raft guide, and finally, as a custodian at the animal shelter, cleaning up dog poop.

At a loss for additional words, he turned on his heel and strode away from me. At nearly six-foot-six, he could cover ground quickly. But he didn’t get far. Turning back to me, he said, “Farming? Are you kidding me? ” Rueful with skepticism, he turned away again. I wanted to call after him, to somehow convince him I was making the right choice, but I couldn’t get the words out. I can learn to be a farmer, I wanted to say. I’m strong, and I’ll stick with it. But he was right about one thing: Even though I had grown up on the farm, my agricultural experience was very limited.

But it was this very glass of milk that let me know, even as a preschooler tied to my grandmother’s apron strings, that something was amiss. My grandmother drove me once a week to the neighboring dairy and parked her car in front of the milking parlor. Each time, before we entered, she cautioned me. “Don’t tell anyone we get our milk here, or the farmer will get in trouble. ” Don’t tell who? I wondered. I was only four years old. And besides, what kind of trouble could a grown man get into? I held my grandmother’s hand as we entered the parlor.

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