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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  868 ratings  ·  75 reviews
'It's unclear precisely when it became illegal to be fat.

Of course, technically, it's not, even in this day and age. Even with the blatant persecution of tubbies, there's no official legislation on any statute book that comes right out and says fatness is against the law.

But it is.'

Rob Grant's new novel is both an hilarious satire on our readiness to devour 'facts' and dod
Paperback, 329 pages
Published 2007 by Gollancz (first published December 2006)
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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  868 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I’m sorry to have to say it, but I ate this novel up. It follows the story of one girl with anorexia, one overweight, anger-driven chef and one publicity spinner in charge of making a Well Farm (fat-nazi camp), skipping to each one each chapter, and mixing up the narratives by the end. It is really excellent, a study of how being “fat” is now illegal. The book starts by talking about the fat tax that planes are charging people based on their BMI, to account for the extra fuel needed to carry ext ...more
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Not what I expected.
I expected a tale of the dystopian future where being fat was illegal, which is what was described on the front.

It was not that. It is the tale of three different people, in a changing world where being fat is becoming more frowned upon. While well written and at times very funny, it was not what I wanted and took me a long time to read because of this fact.

Oh well!
Mar 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk
Was a good read. Enjoyed the 3 stories. Was easy to relate to the characters and their problems. Wish the stories entwined more.
Feb 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
This book fundamentally lacked direction. I think what it should have been was a tongue-in-cheek (but also a little bit thoughtful) look at the place of overweight people in society today and some of the crazy things we do, as individuals and as a society, to tackle our nation's ever growing girth.

What it actually was was not-very-funny, but not serious enough to come across as having 'a message'.

There are 3 main characters (one chapter on each character and repeat) who don't meet or cross paths
Jul 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
A hilarious but also a moving and thought provoking novel about the issue of fat.

The characters are interesting, Hayleigh, the sad anorexic teenager, Jeremy, the self obsessed conceptuologist (PR man), Jemma the down to earth researcher and my favourite, Grenville, the overweight celebrity chef.

It's a book that could offend with the use of some bad language and sexual content. Some parts of the book covering Hayleigh's anorexia bring tears to your eyes. However some sections are hysterically fun
Jonathan-David Jackson
The blurb on the back of the book implies that it's set in a near-future dystopian society where fat is soon to be illegal. The book teases you early on with the mention of Well Farms, which are (voluntary) camps for fat people to be thinned down, and I'm sure you can imagine the slippery dystopian slope that could slide down. Instead, what the book gives you is three characters who exist in a world which is exactly like the world we actually live in, and nothing different happens.

The writing is
Apr 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
This was not what I expected!
I was prepared for a tale of a dystopian future where being fat is illegal, whereas this is more of a lead up story.

It was enjoyable, well written and bitingly funny at times. While not what I had expected when I picked it up, it was still very enjoyable.

Aug 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Fat begins with the sentence “It’s unclear precisely when it became illegal to be fat”, which leads us to imagine a dystopian future where this is the case. Although this would be an excellent premise for a novel, Grant doesn’t follow up with this, and instead drops us into the lives of three people for whom being fat may as well be illegal.

We meet Grenville, an overweight TV chef with anger issues, Hayleigh, a teenager with a severe eating disorder, and Jeremy, the newly appointed PR man in cha
Guy Haley
Nov 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In a world where the number of obese people has, for the first time, overtopped the malnourished, Fat is a timely novel. In looking at fatness from several different angles (he’d have to, it’s a big subject), Rob Grant has written a book that is thought-provoking, moving and hilarious.

The book is split into three parallel stories. Angry TV chef Grenville Roberts takes centre stage in the first strand. A man whose girth is outweighed only by his prodigious temper, Roberts is trying his best to lo
John Kirk
Apr 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Unlike Rob Grant's previous SF stories, this one is set "5 minutes into the future". When I first read it in 2007, it seemed like something that could plausibly happen within the next couple of years. Reading it again in 2012, it still seems like something that could happen soon, although a few of the references are now a bit dated (particularly the ones relating to celebrities).

There are three main characters, who are all quite distinct. They tend to have similar "speech patterns" for their int
Dane Cobain
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Rob Grant is the co-creator of Red Dwarf, one of my favourite television shows ever, and so theoretically his novel should score highly. The concept is pretty cool, too – imagine a society in which it’s a crime to be fat, in which the fat are persecuted in a way that’s vaguely reminiscent of the Nazi purges in the 1940s. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the novel, to be honest.

The sad fact is that I just didn’t find it interesting – the characters failed to hook me, and there was a
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The blurb for this book is a little misleading. In Incompetence, Rob Grant built an entire world around one hilarious premis and used it to frustrate his character at every turn, while his inadequacy (a well-explored Grant character trait) was secondary. What Grant has created in Fat is a very serious, though humorous, look at image and the way his 3 main characters deal with it. One character actually creates image, another would be happy if not for the way the world sees him, and the last does ...more
M.G. Bradley
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rob-grant
'Well, here's a tip. When somebody does something you don't like, and then tells you they did it in your own best interest: run. Run, my friend, till you drop. And don't look back'

Okay, so this isn't always going to be true, but when corporations and governments tell you what is best (in spite of the scientific evidence), then it is probably sound advice.

Rob Grant's Fat is a satirical take on our obsession with beauty and health fads, and the way that PR companies and governments use that to m
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was an absolute hooter to read! I cracked up at every Grenville chapter, his exploits were by far the funniest.
Rob Grant does a fantastic job of getting the reader inside the heads of his characters and after the introductory chapters, you really start to feel what they feel.
Hayleigh's motivation for not eating and Grenville's rampaging were totally relatable for me, but Jeremy's story seemed more exposition than anything, though by the end I did start to warm up to him.
As for the story it
Sep 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: humour, nonfiction
A whole lot of infodumpin' goin' on in this one. That said, the narrative was well-constructed and I did find myself caring about the characters, especially Grenville and Hayleigh - it was much harder to get involved with Jeremy and Jemma, as they were mostly there simply as story framing devices and to get across all those infodumps about salt, cholesterol, fat, etc.

The infodumps were, at least, highly valuable in terms of combatting the common perceptions of health and wellness as presented by
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
The themes (obesity and bmi myths/eating disorders and the experience of being obese) were of interest to me and ultimately made me stick with it but it fell pretty flat. The characters were very obnoxious caricatures with barely interwoven stories. The plot was meandering and aimless with a terrible ending.

The writing was decent and the chapters short so I ended up continuing to read out of mild curiosity and half-hating myself for it.

Accurately reported some of the experiences of eating disor
Katherine Roberts
Sep 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is part fiction, part fact, and funny too! Loosely weaving together the stories of overweight TV chef Grenville, fitness fanatic PR guy Jeremy and anorexic teenager Hayleigh, it tells a tale that is all too believable.

Jeremy is employed by the Government to put a positive spin on their new obesity camps, which sound like a cross between an open prison and a fitness training camp. When Grenville goes on a rampage in the gym carpark, he ends up being offered a place in the camp as a guin
Caroline Donaldson
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very amusing, simple structure of some people involved in issues around fatness.
The book follows the lives of three somewhat unusual individuals over a period spanning a few days, in which their stories eventually interact to varying extents. They are A divorced TV chef who tends to slip into a rage should anybody mention his weight, a teenage girl who becomes anorexic and has to go to hospital and have psychiatry treatments, and a "Conceptuologist" (politically correct term for PR man) who the
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I knew this book would be funny as it's written by one of the guys who wrote/created Red Dwarf. I thought the satire was incredibly clever, it was both hilarious but scarily accurate in summing up how obesity is portrayed in the media. It follows three different people and skips back and forth between their stories. I usually hate this tactic in books because although it does create cliffhangers and makes you want to keep reading there's also invariably one story you enjoy more than the others a ...more
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
A quick, funny little read.
I especially enjoyed the Grenville bits (YEEEY, Go Gren!!!!!). The big guy really does kick ass, both literally AND figuratively^^.
The science rants were waay over the top, which made the all the more fun to read. There was also some quite interesting stuff,so in the end I felt compelled to maybe do some more research.
And while the whole anorexic teenage drama normally isn't my thing, I feel Haleigh's story balanced the whole
thing out nicely.
So all in all an enjoyab
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to say why I like this book so much. It's a simple premise and very true to modern life... something that normally doesn't appeal to me. It might be the angry fat chef and his 'rampages' or the girl who has to work so hard to keep up her avoidance of all things calorific. It certainly isn't the third character, a bachelor with no winning qualities. However, by the end, even he had grown on me.

It's an almost-dystopian book set in this age. You don't see many of those.

The writing is go
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the roller coaster of emotions that this brought as well as the twisted humour. The depth of character was amazing and I loved the character flaws of the indivduals, I was rooting for the suet pie too! That being said there were a number of chapters that had me flinching in my seat and this were mainly connected with Hayleigh's portions of the book that made me uncomfortable but yet again in the thought provoking and right way. FAT a book for everyone... just how many calories a ...more
Ellie Barnes
I found this a really amusing read that I finished in a couple of sittings. The researcher is an obvious plot device for telling Jeremy the PR man about the other side to the fat situation. It might have been better if Jeremy could have found some of these things out for himself rather than just listening to someone tell him. That aside, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book that kept me amused for the duration. I would say it's significantly different from Rob Grant's previous book, Incompetance ...more
Zhao Yi
Aug 15, 2008 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ria Moir
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. I felt I really connected with Hayley and I found Grenville hilarious. In a society that is fixated on size I found this really relevant to how I'm sure we've all felt at some point in our lives. But life is so short and it's for living, and I'm so glad all the characters realise this in the end. Some very funny descriptions, as I've come to expect from Rob Grant, being a big fan of Red Dwarf. Couldn't put it down. ...more
Edward Davies
Mar 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads
This is a great little page turner from one of the co-creators of Red Dwarf, filled with colourful characters that the reader will soon grow to love. In spite of all their faults, the characters are appealing and make us as readers want to find out what will happen to them as we become ebgaged by their life stories. Hopefully Rob Grant will have another novel out soon, they are a little few and far between.
Sanity Assasin
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who like english humour or enjoyed the red dwarf series
a very humourous and informative look by rob grant (writer of red dwarf) on the subject of fat and what we know about it. it follows 3 characters on their own personal journeys through the world of fat! at times it had me laughing out loud. anything by rob grant is usually worth the read and this is no different! read it fuckers!
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2008, amusing
After the first 3 chapters, I disliked every one of the main characters, and wondered if I could be bothered reading the rest of the book. But I found as I made my way through the pages, I warmed to every single one of the stupid gits. Rob Grant has a wonderfully biting sense of humour, and gave each of his characters a distinct and believable voice. I very much enjoyed this one!
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I like the sciencey stuff in the book the most. Especially about statistics. I also like the extra little things like the menu's and recipe. I think it is a smart book with a happy ending. Made me think about how I thought about food. TOTALLY INTERESTING. ...more
Tom Vanassche
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
While maybe not as hilarious as Grant's other work, Fat is quite a good read that had me laughing out loud on several occassions. Packed full of Grant's trademark humour and wit, Fat explores the obesity myth in an intruiging manner. Recommended if you like a good laugh. ...more
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Writes under the name Grant Naylor when collaborating with Doug Naylor

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