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The Three Fat Men

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  1,879 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Doctor Gaspar Arney
What a clever man is he!
He can trap the sliest fox,
He can crack the hardest rocks,
He can fly from here to Mars,
He can reach the farthest stars!

This jolly song takes us in to the world of make-believe created by Yuri Olesha. The scene is set in a fantastic land ruled by three greedy fat men who are engrossed in eating and making merry in their palace. Me
Paperback, 152 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by University Press of the Pacific (first published 1924)
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27th out of 165 books — 198 voters
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138th out of 156 books — 8 voters

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Community Reviews

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I read this at least 100 times as a child in Romania, just found it (in my early 30s) again in English and am so excited!

While doing some research, however, I was shocked to see that Olesha has been criticized for sentimentalizing communism. Actually, as a very young girl, I could never understand why this book was not censored in Romania: everything about the "three fat men" reminded me of the Ceausescus, everything about the plight of the people and the sentiments towards revolution signaled
Darya Conmigo
Aug 27, 2010 Darya Conmigo rated it really liked it
It's funny, if somewhat scary, how when you're a kid you don't really see even explicit political propaganda in your favorite books. When I was five, or seven, or whatever I was when I read The Three Fat Men for the first time, it was, to me, a book about brave little dancer Suok and romantic Heir Tutti and smart Doctor Gaspar. Now it is unmistakably a book about Revolution and Class Struggle, its real main characters.

What remains unchanged though is that this tale is written extremely well. Ole
Magical. Vividly described. Imaginative. Childish in the best and most wonderful sense. Colorful. Fantastical. Unpredictable. Adventurous. The best. :)
Emperador Spock
Jun 27, 2013 Emperador Spock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
— Скажите, чем больна эта девочка? Неужели дифтеритом?
— Нет, у неё дыра в груди.
— Вы хотите сказать, что у неё не в порядке лёгкие?
— У неё дыра в груди, — повторил чиновник.
Доктор из вежливости не спорил.
— Бедная девочка! — вздохнул он.
— Это не девочка, а кукла, — сказал чиновник.

От Олеши я меньшего и не ожидал. Сочная, нажористая колбаска заместо языка, и так и требующие облизать себя засаленные яркими персонажами пальцы. Искрясь, медком льется буйное фантазерство.

Вместе с этим, книга немного р
brilliant and enchanting and adorable!
if i had a child, i'd make them read this and thus introduce them to the wonderful world of russian lit.
Apr 16, 2009 Vijji rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books as a child - I used to get it from the library again and again and again...
Ана Хелс
Oct 17, 2015 Ана Хелс rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Като говорим за пропаганда в най-чист вид, предназначен за подрастващите и гъбкопопивателни умове на децата ни, няма как да не сетя първо за Носов, и след това веднага за Олеша, с неговата кратка и привидно почти забавна повест, за свалянето от власт на тримата шишковци – едри фабриканти, производители на въглища, желязо и жито, от смелия народ развял червени знамена, искащ равенство и братство, и еднакви възможности и обществени блага за всички. Но да се спъна в плосък камък дано, ако съм ...more
Dueep J.
Oct 27, 2014 Dueep J. rated it it was amazing
I was at University when I found this book, translated not into English, but in Hindi. The translator had done an amazing job, and the illustrations- there were two versions, cartoon-ish and pictorial- were wonderful. I naturally got hooked on the beautiful artwork. The story at that tome was amusing enough because a teenager wasn't too impressed with Revolution. But later I knew that Olesha had to write something which could be given the go ahead by the Stalinist regime so now on reading it ...more
Mar 14, 2016 Lauri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nõukogude muinasjutt "vaeste" ja "kehvikute" revolutsioonist "paksude" vastu, sisaldab kõiki nõukogude mütoloogia märksõnu ja käibefraase, nagu rikkad ja rasvunud "rõhujad", puupaljad, kuid oksendamiseni õilsad "kehvikud", kes on kõik head, targad, inimlikud, aga sellest hoolimata täiesti vaesed, vastandina kõikide halbade iseloomujoontega esindatud "rikkad", kes on kõik ilged sead. Lugu (ja sellest tehtud film) pälvis Nõukogudemaal päris suure populaarsuse, terved põlvkonnad venelasi on üles ...more
Cinabru Hoffmann
Jan 25, 2015 Cinabru Hoffmann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
Nu există nici o carte proletcultistă pentru copii mai eficientă decât această fantezie revoluţionară a lui Iuri Oleşa, neapărat în ediţia mare, cartonată, scoasă în 1987 de editura Ion Creangă în colaborare cu moscovita Raduga. Au mai existat şi altele, dar aceasta era cea ”bună”.

Pe un fundal hoffmannesc în amestec bine dozat cu principii leniniste, Trei grăsani este basmul perfect al Revoluţiei din Octombrie, repovestită ca o revoltă a muncitorilor şi săracilor împotriva triumviratului despot
Soobie's heartbroken
L'ho letto alle medie. Chissà, magari ero troppo piccola perché non ci ho capito niente... E non ne ho un buon ricordo. Eppure tante altre recensioni dicono di averlo adorato da bambini...


A dodici anni, Soobie scriveva:
Libro abbastanza bello. Racconta le avventure di un paese che è tiranneggiato da tre grassoni che opprimono il popolo con tasse e lavori pesanti. Poi i ribelli prendono in mano la situazione.
Jun Nguyễn
The book length can make it as a long fairy tale or a short novel (not a real novel thought), it's still just a book for children. Sure it has some twists and the plots are quite compelling, but the storyline is predictable, you can also find some mishaps, some text are wordy, and the illustrations could have been done better. However, should't live up too much for a children book away, since not everything is The Petite Prince, though.
Подариха ми тази книга, май за 8-ия ми рожден ден. Започнах я, но 20-ина страници преди края нещо ми доскуча и така и не я довърших.
Alexandra Avanesova
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Feb 26, 2016
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Dec 22, 2014
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Dec 02, 2014
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Jan 31, 2009
Baina Bogaeva
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Anna Rodionova rated it really liked it
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May 22, 2012
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Yury Karlovich Olesha (Russian: Юрий Карлович Олеша), Soviet author of fiction, plays and satires best known for his 1927 novel Envy (Russian: Зависть). He is considered one of the greatest Russian novelists of the 20th century, one of the few to have succeeded in writing works of lasting artistic value despite the stifling censorship of the era. His works are delicate balancing-acts that superfic ...more
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