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Summary

Martin Dean spent his entire life analyzing absolutely everything - from the benefits of suicide to the virtues of strip clubs - and passing on his self-taught knowledge to his son, Jasper. But now that his father's dead, Jasper can fully reflect on the man who raised him in intellectual captivity, and the irony is this: theirs was a great adventure.

From his prison cell, Jasper Dean tells the unlikely story of his scheming father Martin, his crazy Uncle Terry and how the three of them upset - mostly unintentionally - an entire continent. Incorporating death, parenting (good and bad kinds), one labyrinth, first love, a handbook for criminals, a scheme to make everyone rich and an explosive suggestion box, Steve Toltz's A Fraction of the Whole is a hilarious, heartbreaking story of families and how to survive them.

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©2008 Steve Holtz (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Fathers and Sons

This story is so well narrated by the leads; you really believe in their characters and find it hard to listen at times, to the traumas they go through. Both appear to be emotionally fragile souls, the father coping with forever being in his brother's shadow, and the son coping with his father's mental eccentricities. You never quite know what is going to happen, but there is a certain air of trepidation, every time the father comes up with a new rant.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Astrid
  • Cheltenham, United Kingdom
  • 20-03-11

Unforgettable!

I absolutely loved everything about this book. Superb narration ? I found the two narrators didn?t just read the story; they really became the characters, and were utterly convincing. The book had me gripped, had me laughing out loud, and I stayed up until 3am last night to finish it! I?m missing it already!

My favourite listen so far this year!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Simon
  • Barbrook, Devon, United Kingdom
  • 26-01-11

Best book I've listened to by far

If you're a man, this book will teach you about yourself. If you're a woman, this book will teach you about men.

It's about the relationship between a father and a son. It's about the relationship between a brother and a brother. It's about love, it's about disappointment and it's about a dysfunctional family that will make anyone else's seem normal by comparison. And it's about life.

This is a must listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Louisa
  • United Kingdom
  • 18-04-18

The great Australian novel, a treasure-trove

I’ve read/heard this three times now. It’s gonna become my bible at this rate.

Profound, funny as f, poignant, wry.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Droning on down under

There's a good book lurking in here, unfortunately it's swamped by Martin and Jasper's inane philosophy and the lack of an editor to get down to a more snappy 16 hrs or so. I really enjoyed the plot as it was in the Peter Carey vein but found my finger twitching over the 30 second advance button in the last 1/4

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Henry
  • Leeds, United Kingdom
  • 15-02-17

Wow - what an adventure

An incredible story full of mad ideas, crazy characters and outrageous adventures. Bursting with laughs too.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

what a story

excellent story telling. characters are intriguing. enjoyed the string of pieces also the narrative changes

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best book I've had the pleasure of exploring

it is impossible to sum up this book in a review but if you take on this incredible journey, you will not be disappointed. I have read 100s of books and I can comfortably say this has made me think the most.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • L
  • Swansea, United Kingdom
  • 23-05-14

without doubt one of the best books I've ever read

This was recommended to me by an American friend. It is amazing - I have been telling everyone about it. Tolzte has only written this one so far. It is funny and makes you laugh out loud. It is an epic tale - something that would usually put me off - but it rambles from the youth of the writer,through to his adult hood and all the characters he meets along the way. The australian delivery of the reader is fantastic, he sounds surprised and amazed, justas the reader will be. I will be listening to this again . I never do that !

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

I am trying to like this...

This book has had some good reviews, but I just couldn't get on with the angry, bitter atmosphere of the first 30 minutes. I'll try it again when I'm feeling emotionally stronger.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rochelle
  • 30-04-13

Australian accents!

Definitely a "ripping yarn". It doesn't disappoint...if you can get past the broad Australian accents of the two narrators.

The accent of the first narrator was off putting but I became used to it - and then the second narrator was introduced & it was like nails down a blackboard. I understand it's important, after all the story is Australian, but I have to admit that made me struggle.

Beyond the accents however the story is unexpected, unpredictable & deeply strange (but only in a good way). I admit I've never read a story quite like it, yet it is as compellingly Australian as Ned Kelly.

Listen to the sample & if you can live with the narrator's accent then give it a try, the story is "fanastical".

1 of 1 people found this review helpful