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Steve Toltz Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

A Fraction of the Whole (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Quicksand (2015)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Here Goes Nothing (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Steve Toltz
Steve Toltz was born in the year 1972 in Sydney, Australia. He went to Killara High School and graduated from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales in the year 1994.

Before his literary career, he lived in Barcelona, Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, and Paris, working variously as a screenwriter, cameraman, security guard, telemarketer, private investigator, and English teacher.

While Steve hasn’t always wanted to be a writer, but he has always written. When he was a kid, he would write poems, short stories, and the beginnings of novels which typically only held his interest for about two and a half chapters.

After finishing university, he turned back to writing without having any sort of specific plan in mind other than just attempt to supplement whatever sort of meager income that he had by entering into short story competition, applying for screenplay grants, just whatever would come up. These years were the years of his gradual shift toward his writing career.

While moving from job to job, or from the bottom most rung of one career ladder to the bottom rung of another, it became increasingly obvious that there was just very little other than writing that he was capable of doing well.

Eventually, attempting a novel was just the next logical step. Steve believed it would take him about a year, but instead it took almost four.

The idea for the relationship that Jasper and Martin Dean have in “A Fraction of the Whole” came from a number of simultaneous preoccupations, with the main two being his curiosity about how it has to feel to be the kids of those folks that get skinned alive in the media and about how a kid of a rebel himself would rebel. He never had any intention initially to say anything about parent/child relationship, however while writing the novel, Martin’s central dilemma in raising his son became rather interesting to Steve.

How do you teach another human being to be their own person? Do you try and pass along the characteristics from yourself that you’re proudest of, even though you know that they’ve made you miserable? What if you think poorly of the educational system available yet don’t have the time or the energy to teach them by yourself? Maybe you don’t want your kid to follow the herd, knowing that to stand out is a recipe for misery? Martin’s plagued by questions that just don’t have any clear cut answer to them.

Steve has been influenced by authors like Woody Allen, Knut Hamsun, John Fante, Raymond Chandler, Thomas Bernhard, and Louis-Ferdinand Celine.

A lot of writing is problem solving, for Steve. He sets himself up with story strands that he’s looking to write about, and through the years he has tried everything. First person, second person, third person.

It can be pointless to describe how “Quicksand” came into being, because the book changed so very much and wound up talking about a book that does not exist. At one point, Aldo, the main character, was a high court judge, so he was. At another point, Morrell, the teacher, narrated the entire book. He often will be working sideways, backwards, up and down.

He married Marie Peter-Toltz, a French-Australian painter and artist in the year 2005, and have a son born in the year 2012.

“A Fraction of the Whole” won the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards’ People’s Choice Award for Fiction in the year 2009. It was also shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and the Guardian First Book Award that same year. “Quicksand” won the Russell Prize.

“A Fraction of the Whole” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2008. Martin Dean has spent his whole life analyzing absolutely everything, from the virtues of strip clubs to the benefits of suicide and then passing on all of his self-taught knowledge on to Jasper, his son. However now that his father has died, Jasper can fully reflect on the guy that raised him in intellectual captivity, and the irony is this: theirs was a fantastic adventure.

While he recalls the extraordinary events which led to his dad’s death, Jasper recounts his boyhood of shocking discoveries and outrageous schemes—about his mysteriously absent mom, his infamous criminal uncle, and Martin’s own constant battle to leave his mark upon the world.

From the Australian bush to the cafes in Paris. From the lows of failed ambition to the highs of first love, this is a rollicking and unforgettable and deeply moving family tale.

“Quicksand” is the second stand alone novel and was released in the year 2015. An outrageously inventive and fearlessly funny dark comedy about two lifelong friends.

Liam is a failing cop and a struggling writer. Aldo, who is his best friend and muse, is a haplessly criminal entrepreneur with an uncanny knack for disaster. Liam, while Aldo’s luck continues to worsen, gets inspired to base his next novel on his best buddy’s exponential misfortunes and his hopeless quest to win back his one great love: Stella, his ex-wife.

What starts as an attempt to make some sense of Aldo’s mishaps begins spiraling into a profound tale about friendship and faith. A hysterically, rousing funny yet unapologetically dark satire about friendship, faith, fate, and the artist’s obligation to his muse.

“Here Goes Nothing” is the third stand alone novel and was released in the year 2022. A savagely funny, wildly inventive, and topical novel about the afterlife, mortality, and love.

Angus is a reformed ne’er-do-well that is looking forward to his first child’s birth when he gets murdered by a man that is in love with Gracie, Angus’ pregnant wife. Angus, who has never believed in God, or heaven or hell, finds himself in the afterlife, which is a place that provides many more questions than it does answers. While a worldwide pandemic reaches the shores of Australia finally, the afterlife begins getting quite crowded and Angus finds a way to reconnect with his wife Gracie and maybe even try to seek revenge on his killer.

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