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Fat Girl: A True Story

3.2 of 5 stars 3.20  ·  rating details  ·  2,721 ratings  ·  439 reviews
For any woman who has ever had a love/hate relationship with food and with how she looks; for anyone who has knowingly or unconsciously used food to try to fill the hole in his heart or soothe the craggy edges of his psyche, Fat Girl is a brilliantly rendered, angst-filled coming-of-age story of gain and loss. From the lush descriptions of food that call to mind the writin ...more
Paperback, 196 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Plume (first published March 3rd 2005)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 25, 2008 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people with a strong stomach
Shelves: biography-modern
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 23, 2008 Christina rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: guys and galls who aren't asthetically perfect
WOW. This books is funny in parts but mostly sad. I related with the author and sometimes it really bummed me out how alike our feelings towards weight and food were. She describes food in a way that makes me want to run to the store right now and buy tons of comfort food ingredients. Seriously, I have never wanted a pie or biscuits in my whole life and yet the way the author describes the joy she gets from these comfort foods...makes me want to bury my own sorrows in a pile of fatty dough. I do ...more
Jen Knox
This book should've been condensed into a tight, dynamite essay. There was a heartbreaking but ironic narration that was great at first. But, as a whole book, I began to feel the way I do when I'm watching a comedian onstage telling the same joke again and again, wondering why my drink isn't stronger and whether or not I'll ever get my nachos: restless. I will say that Moore had some beautiful descriptions of food and heartbreaking descriptions of her own body; and I agree with the blurb on the ...more
Jun 03, 2008 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any one who has dealt with being fat. Or has someone they care about that has.
I understood what this writer was attempting. I got it. I cringed, I sighed, I related to certain things. I just don't think she stuck with it.
She gave us many details about growing up. Occasionally throwing in vulger language to see if you were paying attention. But then suddenly, around the time of high school no less, she gives up! She didnt walk us through high school or collage or even her first marriage. She teases with phrases like "I never understood why he married me, or I why I married
Feb 19, 2008 Sondra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kendra because of the population she works with.
Recommended to Sondra by: At the end of reading Wally Lamb, She's Come Undone.
Did you ever read a book that opened up old wounds, but helped you deal with some of your own demons? That is Fat Girl for me. She said things that I felt growing up. I didn't have the same relationship with my mother, but I had a brother who did the same amount of damage. I always wonder why some of us turn to food to fill the empty space, while others have other addictions, or turn completely away from food. I wanted to write to Ms. Moore, but she passed away from colon cancer. I found an inte ...more
It often seems that the only minority that's fair game for discrimination is the overweight. That fact is made uncomfortably clear in "Fat Girl: A True Story" by Judith Moore. Moore shares her life as an overweight, fatherless child -- a life that didn't get much better as she got older, and fatter. I found myself at times repulsed, at times weepingly sorry for her, at times amazed at her bravery. No pity party, though I do think Moore downplayed some of the more interesting elements of her life ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Tillman
I actually picked up this book hoping to find some humor in it. Although there was none -- in fact it was black, heart-wrenching, sad, and at times even made me cringe -- I was not disappointed. All of the writing was simple, eloquent and beautiful -- even as the author described the horrendous acts that were happening around her and to her.

I wish, somehow, the author could have found a way to insert some humor into this book. Or at the very least some HOPE. Towards the end of the book she admi
Sep 29, 2009 Lisa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Parents of fat children.
This book was so much better than I expected. It isn't as much about being fat as it is about the permanent damage a psychotic, unhappy parent can inflict upon an unwanted child. And a child that has problems to begin with. As Moore herself admits "There was more wrong with me than just being fat". Sadly, Moore died from colon cancer in 2006. I found myself hoping she'd had a happy life as an adult. Having said all that, this book has the same problem all "used to be fat" memoirs have: following ...more
This memoir is honest, emotionally difficult, and painfully sharp. The author's metaphors/similes are occasionally off putting. She makes reference to confederate blue eyes and a high booty like an african. But other than those moments, when I had to put the book down because the poor choice kicked me out of the narrative, I was with her. You don't feel good reading it but it's certainly an important consideration of loathing and corporeal excess. The author's bafflement and gratefulness towards ...more
This book was painful and lame. It's hard to do both. Judith Moore made it sound like if you're obese, that's all you think about all of the time, and it completely controls your life. I know a lot of obese people who are not like that at all, and so it didn't ring true.

Also, there were pages and pages where she just describes what she eats, and she describes it tritely. It made me feel bored out of my mind, and sick. I loathed the experience of reading this book.
Melissa Lee-tammeus
This book broke my heart. This is an honest memoir of great proportions - this book gives you an inside look at what it means to be a large girl in a world that does not accept you. This is about bad parenting, school bullying, and an insatiable need for comfort, with no apologies, need or want of pity, or whimpering involved. This book especially hurt my heart when the last page explained to me that the author had died. I couldn't help but think how much I wanted to give Ms. Moore a hug, but to ...more
I don't know how to rate this one. On one hand, some parts were so true it was painful to listen to them (I listened to the audiobook), and on the other hand, sometimes the listing of foods, the whining, was a bit too much. But then she would say something true and raw and painful and it would make me want to cry for her and for me and for all the other little fat girls. So on one hand, I'd like to give it many stars for being brutally, disgustingly honest - and I'd also like to not give it any ...more
Oy gevalt, this one hurts. It is a book I am not likely to forget; it is incredibly sad, and not in a way that makes you cry, it is sad in way that congeals as pain inside you. I wish I could pluck her up as a 4 year old and save her (not from being fat necessarily, but from being so hurt, unhappy and reviled). And it is not just her mother's mother, but also her mother and father. One tries not to blame parents, but please! I've never heard being fat described so thoroughly. Although I haven't ...more
Apr 20, 2007 Zoe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who love food and depressing stories.
Shelves: 2007books
Judith Moore is an effective writer, but this book is so fucking dreary. It's a quick read (under 200 pages, big font) but depressing. Moore describes her lonely, food-filled childhood. Neither of her parents loved her and she was frequently abused. She ate a lot and got fat. Now she's a lonely grown woman who is still fat.

She admits at the beginning of the book that she is not a fat activist. At the end, she says that she does not want anyone's pity. Then what does she want? All I felt at the
Eva Leger
This was a horrible book- I can't remember if I actually finished it or not but I don't think I did. Even the writing itself was terrible, I tried so hard to keep reading and just couldn't do it.
Andrew Vachss
Fat Girl is a black diamond, revealing its hard brilliance only when you accept its invitation to descend into the soul of the loneliest little girl in the world....
Fat Girl is the incredibly depressing account of an insecure woman's loveless childhood. Quotes on the back cover assure that the depressing subject--growing up fat--will be tempered by dark humor. But the quotes lie. Augusten Burroughs, you are a liar.

This book is 100% depressing, 0% funny. There is no dark humor. There is no intentional humor. There is no unintentional humor. It's just Judith Moore talking dead-pan about her shitty childhood. Chapter One: I Am Abandoned At Age Four, Chapter T
This memoir is so much more than growing up fat- it's about a lack of love, of terrible abuse and a need to find acceptance. Throughout the whole story, I was hoping that Judith Moore found what she was looking for as an adult, but given some of the few passages she wrote about her adult life, it doesn't seem to be the case. Some people have mentioned that certain aspects don't add up- swimming classes and her mother's alleged abuse- which does give me something to think about.

All the same, thi
I picked this book expecting a story of growing up fat, and perhaps staying fat, but finding a way to be happy and sassy, like the woman I knew who wore a button proclaiming "how dare you presume I'd rather be thin?" Kathy was a fat activist, unlike the author of this book, who tells you in the beginning that this is not a tale of being fat and happy, or of losing weight and being happy. It is, simply, a story about what it was like growing up, and then being grown-up, and being obese. We all k ...more
Allison Patterson
Deeply personal account of a sad childhood. Judith Moore shows great insight into her hunger, for food, for love.
This is a lonely book, but I felt honoured to read it, to share in her struggles. It is not a "poor me" book, but rather it is a highly descriptive account of a childhood of divorce, toxic parenting, and the saving grace of a loving uncle.
I enjoyed this book. I too was a fat girl growing up, but fortunately under happier circumstances.
Sad to read that the author died of colon cance
This book feels like I have read it before. Maybe because I can associate with the author and how she feels about being fat. How that skinny girl that I once was is trapped inside this huge shell. Although the author was never really a thin person all her life, I do know what it was like to be thin. Hopefully I can get there again.

This book is painfully honest and at times brutal. Listening to the author tell her tale of how she turned to food for comfort, I understood why she felt she was all a
This book was so vast for me, I find it difficult to recommend, despite my five-star rating. It pierced me so thoroughly that I wept when I discovered the author, Judith Moore, had passed away not long before I'd read it. I had hoped to write to her and tell her the profound mark her words left on me.

While I may not be able to tell Ms. Moore, let me take a moment to share it with you - this book is an absolute haymaker to the brain and heart. Clear, concise, expertly worded - its poignancy makes
Ms. H
This memoir, in nearly every single paragraph of its 196 pages, discusses the reality of being "fat." It's billed as a memoir about being persistently overweight and what it was like to grow up as such. But this isn't really a book about being fat. It's a book about being unloved. Moore tackles the harsh truths of her abusive, humiliating, toxic upbringing with a startling objectivity, that seems almost impossible in an autobiographical scenario. Through her voice lingers the hardening and apath ...more
Shonna Froebel
This memoir is not a happy one. As this author says, it is her story and her family's story. It is about the food they ate. It is about their unhappiness. As she says, "This is a story about an unhappy fat girl who became a fat woman who was happy and unhappy." She found her story difficult to tell, and at times it made her ill to write about it, but it also gave her relief to get the experiences out. She doesn't want people to feel sorry for her, as she doesn't feel sorry for herself. But I hav ...more
What an odd little book. I was expecting something a bit more.. meaningful? based on the summary I had read prior to buying it. I thought the paragraphs upon paragraphs of precise descriptions of food and the act of eating food were spectacularly boring. I did wonder - is this what goes through the minds of those who have eating disorders? If so, then the author did a great job capturing that but, overall, it does not make for an interesting topic.
I wanted to like this book more than I did. I was ready to identify and perhaps be inspired but instead I was disappointed by the story of someone who seems to have refused to do the work of figuring our how to make positive change in her life. Not to lose weight per se but to find a way to be happy with herself. It's an ongoing process, of course, but I remember this book as one huge downer.
Melissa Grunow
This book came recommended from a number of reliable sources, so I finally decided to finally read it. It's a short memoir (less then 200 pages) which is its only redeeming quality, as it was a fast read. This book is AWFUL. The narrative voice is inconsistent. There are unnecessary and distracting details. It's never clear what the status is of the relationships with the men she writes about, and she seems to have an aversion to dialogue. It has a crass tone that attempts, unsuccessfully, to ma ...more
This is a sad little memoir about a little girl growing up with weight problems, as the title suggests. It is a quick read, under 200 pages and though it starts out promising, it soon turns sad with the longings of a child who needs more nourishment than food alone can provide.
Ashley Snyder Miller
Wow, what a powerful read! I related significantly to Moore in her discussions of what young, fat girls think and feel about food, their bodies, their self-worth, their everything.

This is a dark read and if you like a happy ending, you won't really find one here. You will get closure though and that perhaps is better than a happy ending because it is realistic.

There were times in the memoir that I wanted to reach inside the book and provide love to the young Moore. Few childhoods have been as
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