Sunday, June 22, 2008

Book Report: Fat, by Rob Grant

The last time I read something by Rob Grant, he was one half of Grant Naylor, the author of Red Dwarf: Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers. That was some time ago, and I confess that I found the book sadly deficient compared to the television show. When my wife brought home "Fat," I was a little hesitant. What I got was not what I expected, but it was great.

The story is an excellent example of not one, but three independent and wholly unreliable narrators. We have a fat television chef with an anger problem, a shallow and rakish PR man, and a teenaged anorexic girl obsessed with the lead singer of a boy band. This last is particularly effective, so much so that I had difficulty reading the sections that covered her point of view. The tone for those sections is juvenile and flippant and the contrast with the horror her life has become makes her situation incredibly poignant.

It is funny without being a comedy. It deals with the fallout from science, but it is not science fiction. It is a work of fiction with all the weight and import of a Socratic Dialog.

Ulysses Rating: 4 - I loved it.

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