Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson


Jill's take on Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson

Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson was another book we purchased at Diesel in Brentwood, CA. I just love that bookstore. Perfect Little World was just sitting on the table of staff recommendations and I noticed it for its cover. Then I noticed that it was written by the author of The Family Fang and I decided I was going to purchase it without even doing my pre-read in the store! I know, just taking risks all over the place.

The Family Fang was one of my favorite reads in 2011 and I was super excited to see Kevin Wilson had a new book. Much like The Family Fang, Perfect Little World is a story all about family; an unconventional family. A lonely researcher decides to perform an experiment called "the infinite family" wherein several families with only one child are brought together under one roof to live for ten years and raise their children communally.

It's an interesting idea, right? Perfect Little World takes the notion of "it takes a village" to its definitive end. Wilson continues to use his wit and casual language to investigate familial situations that stand outside the rest. He seems to really enjoy concocting stories depicting social experiments involving children, but that say so much more about the adults in their lives. 

This is an entertaining read that had me pondering the idea of communal living, human nature and nature versus nurture. I couldn't put the novel down and found I was sad to get to the end. I love the way Kevin Wilson writes his characters and the awkward situations they find themselves in. A truly enjoyable read.

Zac's take on Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson

If the cover of Perfect Little World hadn't mentioned that it was by the author of The Family Fang, I likely wouldn't have remembered this fact.

Kevin Wilson is very adept at telling a story. It's almost as if the entire plot and characters are crystallized in his head before setting down to formally express the twists on paper. I'm sure this isn't the case. Anything that looks so easy is always the most difficult. 

There are moments in this novel that appear to be hyper creepy, especially the main character and mastermind behind the entire family project, Dr. Grind. He was raised by two famous psychiatrists who trained him from an early age to show no emotion or surprise - to basically prepare him for any future trauma by inoculating him with that trauma. For example, when he was a child, his parents gave him a dog. He loved the dog and made forts with him and slept on the floor with him. Until one morning (a week or two later) the dog was gone. His parents didn't really explain where he went or if the dog would come back, but comforted and soothed him just the same. 

Then they wrote a famous book about the whole process and it was a huge success. Needless to say, the result was a little strange. 

The first few chapters were a little slow, and one of the characters was flat and not interesting at all, but it all served the purpose to set the stage for what was to come.

And what was to come? Well, a cult like commune of experimental living and raising of children collectively, all funded by an ancient billionaire. 

Just like The Family Fang, I could totally see this being made into a movie.