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The Three Fat Men

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  2,552 ratings  ·  37 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.
Paperback, 152 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by University Press of the Pacific (first published 1924)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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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
Sep 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: infantil
Best children book ever
Darya Conmigo
Aug 27, 2010 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.
Magical. Vividly described. Imaginative. Childish in the best and most wonderful sense. Colorful. Fantastical. Unpredictable. Adventurous. The best. :)
Ана Хелс
Oct 17, 2015 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
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 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...
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Нет, ну конечно "Три Толстяка" мне знакомы. Все смотрели это чудный фильм, или же не менее хороший мультфильм. А многие даже читали. Вот и у меня была в детстве антология с названием "Золотой ключик", в которой были эти "Три Толстяка", жаль подевалась неизвестно куда. Казалось бы, и я наверняка должен был читать этот роман в детстве, но нет - абсолютно ничерта не помню. Разве что, кроме четверостишия:

Как лететь с земли до звёзд,
Как поймать лису за хвост,
Как из камня сделать пар,
Знает доктор
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was fun reading this book as a kid. I read the Hindi translation at that time. What stayed with me as a memory of this book was the gymnast Tibul - his antics and his different name.

I used to reflect on this book and used to think that how a political opinion can be sugar coated and made in to an easily digestible fable for kids so that they are indoctrinated early on. I still keep that opinion.
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Детская книжка, которая не кажется детской ребенку и не кажется взрослой взрослому. Застряла между. Прочитал после просмотра первого эпизода у БДТ. Там это было сплошная фантастика. Понравился рваный стиль повествования, скачками и забегая одной историей на другую. Мне бы больше понравилось, увеличь ее в два раза и раскрой всех героев. Получилась скомканной.
Cătălin Feștilă
I read it in the past (right after 1989 of the Romanian Revolution). It is a colorful and savory mix expressing a sympathetic trilogy.
The children will be a little bit agitated about the evolution of the events, but they will remain overflowing realism. The people always rise against the tyrants, and each time it is defeated.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, russian-lit
Despite its purely literary merits (hence 4 stars), it reads like a revolutionary pamphlet and that makes me uncomfortable. Especially knowing when it was written and being aware of the ugly consequences of destroying the old Russian way of life by the bolsheviks 100 yeas ago (almost to the day).
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fairy tale about revolution. Great characters, wonderful plot and almost completely forgotten author. Which is a shame.
Kïrâñ Syåm
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
In മലയാളം
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Вспомнила детство.... старая добрая сказка. Хоть и осуждали Олешу за коммунистические идеи, все-таки по сути, это сказка о борьбе с жестокостью и несправедливостью.
Странное чувство от того, что видишь по-новому одну из своих детских книжек. Кто бы знал, что в ней столько политики:)
Dueep J.
Oct 27, 2014 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
Feb 24, 2016 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 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
Emperador Spock
Jun 26, 2013 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
Ancie Wilfred
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: re-read
Just finished reading it for my younger son. Had read it to my elder son a few years back. These, added to the umpteen times I had read it in my childhood, prove how fascinating the book is.
I just love the attention to the tiny details. Yuri Olesha is actually a 'God of small things in the bigger picture' cos the bigger picture is painted beautifully too. One can really visualise each event in the story, even without illustrations.
The story itself is a tale of standing up for our rights &
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Šitāda sociālisma propoganda noteikti nopelnīja autoram elites stāvokli. Būtībā - tauta cīnās pret trim resnvēderiem (nez, kuras valstis ar to bija domātas? :D). Tauta, protams uzvar. Starp varoņiem ir pašaizliedzīgā Suoka, ieroču meistars Prospero, vingrotājs Tibuls un, protams, zinātnieks doktors Arneri.
Pēdējā nodaļa bija īpaši laba: strādāsim kopā, būsim visi bagāti, bet, ja mirsim badā, tad arī mirsim badā visi. Pilnīgs sviests :D
Soobie's scared
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.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lo encontré entre libros de segunda mano y a un precio que básicamente gritaba que querían deshacerse de el. Aunque debo admitir que lo primero que me llamo la atención fueron sus hermosas ilustraciones, me quede enganchada rápidamente con la lectura, la forma en la que lo narran es hermosa y entretenida. No soy mucha de leer libros infantiles pero este resultó un maravilloso descubrimiento.
Lumos Ktbspa
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
It was a surprise for me for it was real good as a book for 10 y.o. kids.
Aug 21, 2010 marked it as to-read
Sivaraman S
Childhood memories :)
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.
Shalini M
I read the Hindi translation (titled Teen Mote). A total laugh riot, it was a beautiful translation too.
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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 ...more