Dear Fatty
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Dear Fatty

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,338 ratings  ·  436 reviews
One of the greatest comedy actresses of our time,Dawn French hasa career that has spanned nearly three decades, encompassing a vast and brilliant array of characters. Loved for her irreverant humor, she has achieved massive success whilepushing boundaries and challenging stereotypes. In this memoir in the form of letters to people in her life, she describesher journey.Begi...more
Paperback, 366 pages
Published October 9th 2008 by Random House UK (first published 2008)
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Alex
3 days before Christmas found me standing in Smiths, with zero inspiration, looking at the bestsellers shelves - and wondering why the hell I would I want to read any of them. Katy Price, Jonathan Ross, Chris Evans...celebrity "auto" biographies... blah, blah blah. Then in post Christmas desperation I picked up Dear Fatty from the shelves at home...and half way through I was still wondering why I was bothering. Now, I like Dawn French, I love F&S, and the Vicar of Dibley, she is very, very t...more
Kirsty
I love watching Dawn French on TV and so I naturally had to have her book when it was released.

The book takes the less-used form of a collection of letters written to various people in her life. Through the letters she communicates her most prominent memories of experiences in her life.

Dawn definitely has a way with words. The writing flows well and it's made all the better by the fact that she's written it herself instead of having a ghost writer do it for her. The letters she writes manage to...more
Susan
Poor Dawn, her denial and utter lack of self-awareness really jumps off the page. Boring, unfunny, and sad.
Jules
Aug 19, 2009 Jules rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of UK comedy and general autobiography.
Recommended to Jules by: the bookshelves in Tesco!
I enjoyed reading this book and, as autobiographies go, found that in the end I had gained in my knowledge about the witty and rather gregarious lady that is Dawn French. I liked the style of writing in the book, however edited, and French does go into some detail about various aspects and stages of her life. Moments of the book are laugh out loud funny but moreover the book is sensitive and nostalgic about subjects such as childhood, school, friends, (and especially) family, etc. You do get the...more
Courtney
I could definitely read more celeb memoirs like this. Dawn French is so down-to-earth/funny/unpretentious that this was a total joy to read. The book is made up of letters to the people she loves, detailing her exploits with (or without) them and there's such tenderness and warmth in these pages. It's also such a nod to everyone who has supported her and guided her and helped her to find her way. Actually, I think that's the thing I like about this book best--she gives credit where credit is due...more
Beejay
Dawn French is such a delightful character, and most of her book is a delight. The pity is that there is just too much of it.

While for the most part the book is witty and entertaining - which of course a life cannot always be - there are times when the letters begin to ramble, to just simply bang on too much, or even to become a tad maudlin. When you are 50 or so pages from finishing a book and you just wish that it would hurry up and end, or get to the punchline, then you know the editor hasn'...more
Danni Borde
I'm sorry to see so many reviewers putting down this book. I agree its not storyline that will solve world hunger or cure cancer but that wasn't its intention in the first place. It was just a work of creative insight into the comedy and tragedy of one of the leading artists of our time. Its an easy pick up and put down book written as if one was chatting with a good mate. I thought it was a great summer read. Cheers to the laughter and the love of Ms. French.
David Edmonds
Dawn French (one half of the British comedy duo, French and Saunders) may be one of the funniest women alive today. The other funniest woman alive today is Jennifer Saunders, the other half of French and Saunders. For those not familiar with either, they have had a successful run at BBC with their variety show, French and Saunders; Dawn French may be best known for her role in The Vicar of Dibley; Jennifer Saunders is probably best know for her role as Edina in Absolutely Fabulous; both have als...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I've recently started to listen to audiobooks in the car on my short commute to work. And I'm really enjoying them. This was my second one. I was initially disappointed that Dawn wasn't reading it herself, but she does a short section at the beginning saying she felt some of it too personal and difficult to have attempted to read herself. Ok, fair enough. She enlisted a friend, Liza Tarbuck, to do the reading, and she does a great job. Liza sounds quite a bit like Dawn actually. The book is writ...more
Martin
This autobiography is very slight. In the first half Dawn reminisces about her grandmothers, her brother, her school friends. I was bored to pieces. Later it picks up as Dawn almost marries, and then loses a loved one. Toward the end we get a bit of her early friendship with Jennifer Saunders and their time in The Comic Strip. A bit of Lenny Henry and issues surrounding race in Britain. She says a lot of nice things to her husband but they were probably seriously talking about divorce when she t...more
Adele McVay
Jan 03, 2010 Adele McVay rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Any Dawn French fans
I really enjoyed this book. Dawn writes her autobiography in the form of letters to friends and family, live and deceased. She shares memories, gives thanks, they are witty and heartbreaking in places. It isn't a side splittingly funny book, but it's not supposed to be. I was amazed at how much she's been through and how she's managed to channel her experiences in such a positive way - she's an inspiration. I've always been a huge fan of French and Saunders, especially their movie parodies, thei...more
Walter Van praag
I must say overall I enjoyed Dawn's book. It is a very private memoir of her life really, and shows her to be human just like us. Dawn obviously has a much better memory than I as she remembers loads of details and especially names from her past. Towards the end I started losing interest in the name dropping (of apparently famous people) and her writing style, but heck, she is an actor, a comic and not a literary genius. Reading Dawn's book was overall interesting and funny, and made me watch so...more
Tania
I liked this book. I just didn't love it as much as I wanted to or expected I would. French really is a very funny woman. As someone who always loved French and Saunders, it was interesting to read how her career developed. There are some wonderful passages in the book. Some of it, though, was a bit long and even a tad boring. I also can't say I really understand the author more now than I did prior to reading the book. With the exception of a few letters, it all felt a bit on the shallow side,...more
Laurie
A lot of this memoir is bittersweet, as a large chunk of it is written to her father whom she tragically lost when she was only 19. The bits in between are interesting though not necessarily funny. I only laughed out loud twice, which I thought was surprisingly seldom for such a funny gal. Oh well, like I said Dawn has had a pretty darn interesting life, full of people and I really admire her self-confidence and upbeat attitude.

Pros: Her voice really shines through the writing and the inclusion...more
Lisa
Written as a series of letters, "Dear Fatty" is Dawn French's memoir. It was quite unlike anything I expected.

I was looking forward to hours of laughter and I certainly laughed out loud. But there were also some heart-breaking moments in the book that had me in tears.

"My life has been, and continues to be, about an abundance of people." I enjoyed looking at the photos and putting faces to the names in the book.

This memoir was an insight into her life, and it was a book that, when I finished the...more
Deborah Jelinek-Lloyd
Concentrating on memories that she finds important and vivid Dawn French uses the unusual technique of telling her life story in letters to assorted correspondents, living and dead. Endearingly, the first letter begins 'Dear You' and goes on to explain how she has decided to approach the writing of the book.

It is humorous where humour is called for but what makes the book so good, in my reading, is her ability to eloquently and appropriately convey the full range of emotion when dealing with the...more
Laura
I think this book has gotten some mixed reviews but for me personally I really enjoyed it!

I have always been a fan of Dawn French since I saw her on various TV shows through the years BUT I never knew much about her. Her style of letter writing to various people was quite amusing, different personas she'd take on while laying them out for you to read/view. It was like taking a personal peep into snail mail being sent between friends (or many different friends).

Worth a read if you do like Dawn F...more
Lauren Biddell
I read this book just after my father took his life so it was helpful in the respect that she had been through the same thing and was ok. I honestly really enjoyed it, as I love stories about anybodies life and easy reads work for me. I read to enjoy, not to be thinking too hard (its nice to have a break from having to use your head once in a while). So on those premises, I loved it.
Duncan Whitehead
utterly boring. I would like to say that the person who sent me this utter drivel for Christmas has now been told to just send money in future....or donate to charity.

Seriously, French is a boring writer...I actually have nothing bad to say about her personally but this book....oh lord.....dull!

I heard it was sponsored by Cadbury's.....is that true?
Teresa Taylor
I bought this book because I love Dawn French. But, unfortunately, I didn't love the book. Feel for her, she's had her share of crap in life but her style of writing was utterly forgettable.
Daisy H
Really funny and sweet! Reflects exactly who she is!
Wasn't planning to read this but found it on our shelf, turned out to be really good.
Pam
just finished reading Dawn French's memoir, "Dear Fatty" I loved the style of writing in the book...and a lot of the things she talked about reminded me of myself. She's a funny lady, and I found her writing very funny throughout...I did lol! I could've used a few more details (such as - who is her BF??). Plus I'd like an update on where she is now, she talked about a good marriage to a good husband...but they're divorced now after 25 years, so I'm curious. Anyway, four stars...Read it, if you l...more
Rosie Morgan
I must declare an interest here.
I was a couple of years above Dawn at school - which had a touch of the Harry Potters about it. Freezing in the cloisters in winter, eating in the high-ceilinged refectory with our esteemed, although terrifying, French teacher - and exploring the grounds in summer. It was the stuff of novels, which brings me back to Dawn's book.
I LOVED it.
You can tell that she is well used to writing and has done over many years, although maybe in a different format.
I laughed at s...more
Kelly
Written in the form of letters to various people in her life, Dawn French writes about particular moments that had a strong impact on her such as her father's suicide, meeting and marrying Lenny Henry, IVF and miscarrages, and the adoption of their daughter, but mixed in with this are her carefree days growing up with her brother, living in America for a year, going to university, meeting Jennifer Saunders and much more funniness!

This is a rollercoaster of a book, there are stories which have yo...more
Debbie
This is an autobiography of sorts from Dawn French, but told in a unique style of letters to important people in her life. The majority of the letters are addressed to her Dad, who died when she was just 19.

It's an interesting format that gives us vivid little vignettes of particular moments in Dawn's life but leaves whole chunks uncharted. Because she is writing the letters to the people she has addressed them to rather than the person reading the book there's almost a feeling of eavesdropping...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Having just recently read Dawn French's first foray into fiction, A Tiny Bit Marvellous I picked up this memoir by the comedienne when it caught my eye at the library despite usually avoiding celebrity biographies.
Dear Fatty is presented as a series of letters ostensibly directed at the significant people in Dawn French's life including her father who committed suicide when she was nineteen, her best friend and comedy partner "Fatty" also known as Jennifer Saunders, and her (now ex) husband Lenn...more
Ashleigh
I've been wanting to read Dawn's autobiography/memoirs for quite some time, having been a fan of hers for as long as I can remember - and I wish I'd read it sooner. The book takes a rather unusual form of a collection of letters written to various people in her life. Through the letters she communicates her most prominent memories of experiences in her life - from the day she found out she was getting to adopt her daughter, Billie, to first kisses (and all of the kisses from there. Her kiss list...more
Deane
After watching several episodes of The Vicar of Dibley over the past few years, when I found Dawn French's book "Dear Fatty" at the local Thrift Store, I felt I wanted to know more about her. In some cases, she told me things I didn't need or want to know...mainly her sexual experiences ranging from her teenage years to the present.
I did like the way she wrote her memoirs (rather than an autobiography, she says) in the form of letters to special people about special events in her life. I would...more
Jenni V.
Another random interest of mine: British television. Although Dawn French is a well known English actress, I only discovered her about 5 years ago through PBS airing her series The Vicar of Dibley - I enjoyed it (and her) very much. This memoir has been on my "to-read" list for quite some time (it was released in 2008), and I was happy to finally get my hands on a copy.
While there were some stories that didn't interest me because I didn't recognize any of the actors mentioned (my fault, I'm sure...more
Julie P
What a fabulous book. If you love Dawn French, if you are any kind of a fan, or even if you've never heard of her, don't miss out on this book. Does she share secrets? Certainly. Is the book filled with juicy, malicious gossip? Absolutely not. If you're looking for heart wrenching stories and anecdotes from the life of Dawn French, then you'll get it here. It's no spoiler to any reader that Dawn's father committed suicide, but he made such an impression on her in the 19 short years they spent to...more
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Dawn Roma French is a British actress, writer and comedian. In her career spanning three decades, she has been nominated for six BAFTA Awards and also won a Fellowship BAFTA along with her best friend Jennifer Saunders. She is best-known for starring in and writing her comedy sketch show, French and Saunders, alongside her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, and for playing the lead role of Geraldin...more
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“My theory was that if I behaved like a confident, cheerful person, eventually I would buy it myself, and become that. I always had traces of strength somewhere inside me, it wasn't fake, it was just a way of summoning my courage to the fore and not letting any creeping self-doubt hinder my adventures. This method worked then, and it works now. I tell myself that I am the sort of person who can open a one-woman play in the West End, so I do. I am the sort of person who has several companies, so I do. I am the sort of person WHO WRITES A BOOK! So I do. It's the process of having faith in the self you don't quite know you are yet, if you see what I mean. Believing that you will find the strength, the means somehow, and trusting in that, although your legs are like jelly. You can still walk on them and you will find the bones as you walk. Yes, that's it. The further I walk, the stronger I become. So unlike the real lived life, where the further you walk, the more your hips hurt.” 39 likes
“That’s the key, you know, confidence. I know for a fact that if you genuinely like your body, so can others. It doesn’t really matter if it’s short, tall, fat or thin, it just matters that you can find some things to like about it. Even if that means having a good laugh at the bits of it that wobble independently, occasionally, that’s all right. It might take you a while to believe me on this one, lots of people don’t because they seem to suffer from self-hatred that precludes them from imagining that a big woman could ever love herself because they don’t. But I do. I know what I’ve got is a bit strange and difficult to love but those are the very aspects that I love the most! It’s a bit like people. I’ve never been particularly attracted to the uniform of conventional beauty. I’m always a bit suspicious of people who feel compelled to conform. I personally like the adventure of difference. And what’s beauty, anyway?” 8 likes
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