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Dietland

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3.55  ·  Rating details ·  18,709 ratings  ·  3,051 reviews
The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.

Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.

Then, when a mysterious wo
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Popular Answered Questions
zendegy While I have zero problem with the violence in the book, I will say that, if you want something that promotes nonviolence, then this is not the book f…moreWhile I have zero problem with the violence in the book, I will say that, if you want something that promotes nonviolence, then this is not the book for you.
But, here's my question: as a man, might it not serve you to read the book and see what some of us are feeling? I, for one, LOVED the violence. I'm sorry. I loved my dad and I love my male students. And I loved a boyfriend once. But I have a LOT of hate in me for men as a group, as do MANY, MANY women I know - professional, educated women. Hate comes from a powerful place and I think that, just as white folk need to understand the hate that many brown folk feel toward them, men need to understand, in a real and visceral sense, the hate (born of legitimate fear and, often, humiliation) that so many women feel toward them.
Just my seven thousand dollars worth (cause I don't waste my time with trifling sums like two cents).(less)
Sarai Walker I assume you're in Australia? Some Australian copies are missing text. These copies were supposed to be recalled, but some of them apparently made it …moreI assume you're in Australia? Some Australian copies are missing text. These copies were supposed to be recalled, but some of them apparently made it into circulation. Sorry about that! The Australian publisher will replace your book with a new one. Please visit my website saraiwalker.com and contact me via the contact page. (less)

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*


Before I go all ranty and piss everyone off, I will say the first part of this book is really good.
Plum is overweight. That pretty much defines this girls life. She keeps telling herself that her "real life" will begin as soon as she has weight loss surgery and becomes thin. Of course, that's bullshit. But it's what society has taught Plum to feel about herself.
She works from her computer for a teen fashion magazine, giving advice to young girls who write the editor of the magazine. Dear Kit
...more
Liz
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is jarring to me how many reviews of this book state that people liked the storyline about Plum when she was starving herself, hiding and ashamed of her weight, waiting for the day that she would one day be thin, but that once the book delved into some deep feminist terrorism territory, with the main character finally being able to lash out against the society that made her ashamed of who she was in the first place, Plum is then considered "unlikable". I think the point of this book may flown ...more
Rachel Watkins
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This is not the book you think it is. This is not a book about a fat girl. This is not a book about dieting. This is a book about societal change. This is a manifesto that should be read by every feminist, no matter their gender. This is a book that must be discussed. DIETLAND is disturbing. It's supposed to be and it's brilliant.
Paul Bryant
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Earlier this year a company called Protein World launched this advert in the London Underground




and over 50,000 women signed a petition calling for it to be banned for body shaming (and it was banned). The posters were defaced with many rude words. Other protestors offered alternative versions of beauty



Well, seeing as to how this is the Planet Earth and not the Planet Disney, you won’t be surprised to learn that sales of Protein World’s “Weight Loss Collection” products took off like a rocket aft
...more
Dee
Apr 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
An overweight, ridiculed and insecure woman types away on her laptop at a cafe, writing advice to readers of a girl's magazine, before she notices that a punky type in bright tights and combat boots is watching and following her. Will this obese woman, whose short life has been defined by calories and diets, be pulled into some kind of underground, feminist commune, and what will she do and learn? The first few chapters pulled me in, especially after I read that this was considered a feminist no ...more
Thomas
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book captured the glorious feminist spirit I wanted The Power to have but did not. In Dietland we follow 300-pound Plum Kettle, a fat woman who does her best to go unnoticed. All her life, people have judged, excluded, and harassed her because of her weight. So while she works her day job answering fan mail for a teen girls' magazine, she waits for the day of her weight-loss surgery, so she can finally begin her new and improved life as a thin person. Plum's plans get sidetracked, thoug ...more
Ilyssa Wesche
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Yeah that's right - five mother-effing stars. This book spoke to me for the obvious reason but I loved it beyond that. The two story lines worked so nicely together, and all of it made me think about what was happening/between the lines of the book even when I wasn't reading.

Time to buy some colorful tights!!
Theresa
"Dietland" by Sarai Walker was one of my favorite novels I read last year. This book is tasty, wicked, bizarre, disturbing, and highly entertaining. The protagonist of "Dietland" is a 300+ pound woman named Alicia (Plum) Kettle. Plum has lived a life of extreme self-hatred and loneliness. She doesn't have many friends, she's never been in a serious, romantic relationship, and her job is anything but glamorous. She also has clinical depression. Plum has always struggled with her weight since she ...more
Reed
Jun 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I completely disagree with all the reviews in which readers hated the second half of the book. OMG, the Jennifer activities/terrorist group IS the point! Also disagree that the characters are unlikable -- I was rooting for the women in Calliope House all the way. (How can you not love Sana?) If the book had simply addressed Plum and the fat issues, it would have been a much more comfortable book. The subversion lies in the "domestic terrorism" being aimed at men, instead of at women (which is ro ...more
Hannah
Once in a decade, a novel comes along with the potential to alter our perception of reality, to change how we see ourselves and to reveal new possibilities in how we can live lives of joy and freedom. For many readers, Sarai Walker’s debut novel Dietland may be just that.
I am someone who rates reading right up there with breathing, eating, and loving, and who begins and ends her day with a book in her hand. But for me, the experience of reading Dietland has been something altogether new and dif
...more
Idarah
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2016, favorites
"I hated it when others alluded to my size, despite the obviousness of it. It was as if they were confirming that there was something wrong with me when I’d hoped they hadn’t noticed it." – Plum

 photo image_zpswj1hoejz.jpeg

I couldn't have read this book at a better time in my life, which is funny because I was meant to be reading Beautiful Bureaucrat, which was recommended by a friend, and confused the covers somewhere down the line. I am positive that what made this book so awesome was that I knew virtually nothing
...more
Dana
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: wtf, 2015, netgalley, borrow

Well...this was super weird. Dietland felt like it didn't know what kind of book it wanted to be. On one hand it was focused on an overweight woman struggling with her life and the decision of whether or not to get weight loss surgery. On the other other hand it was about a Neo-Feminist vigilant group that's on a killing spree. The second part came out of nowhere, and we never really know what is going on...and not in an “ooooh mystery!” kind of way, more like a “wtf?” way.

It didn't help that th
...more
Sh3lly
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


This book reads like a satire to me. A feminist body positive, fight the patriarchy kind of story. It actually does remind me a bit of Fight Club. Plum is fat. Not Lane Bryant fat, but so fat that she gets stared at and people yell offensive things at her when she's innocently walking down the street. When she was teenager and went to a self-defense class, some bitchy girl said loudly, "Why is she even here? Who would want to rape her?"

So Plum does what any anti-violent, sensitive fat person wo
...more
Hannah Notess
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Totally bonkers in the best possible way! Feminist terrorist collective! Ridiculously named shades of nail polish! Mortifying letters from teenage girls (one of the best genres out there)! Horrifying medical procedures! And somehow this book is hilarious, entertaining, fast-paced, and thought-provoking.

You will like this book if you are a mild-mannered feminist who nonetheless cherishes a very dark sense of humor.

I would LOVE to have a book club conversation on this book; it would be a fantasti
...more
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
DNF at about 65%. This was EXTREMELY well written, but I just don’t think satirical novels really work for me. I appreciated what it was doing, but it was giving me some weird feelings regarding my own self-love journey and I just decided to put it down. I definitely still recommend trying this one out for yourself! It just personally didn’t work well for me.
Melody Sams
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If orange is the new black, then Jennifer is the new orange. Get with it! Or get with her, I should say.

I’m not a big fan of vigilantism, but in this story, Jennifer wound up being exactly the wake up call society needed. And it needed it badly.

What a brilliant mix of storytelling and social commentary! Dietland should be read by women everywhere.

After seeing the show on AMC, I did a little research and realized it was based on a book. I ate it up, and so should you!
jv poore
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading Dietland is indubitably equivalent to walking a mile in the enormous shoes of our nearly thirty year old, three-hundred-four-pound narrator, Plum. I’ve never felt that I could genuinely understand a position I’ve not actually been in. Until now. This unprecedented presentation of current social issues is more than thought-provoking. It is painful and tragic, with portions that are harsh, raw, and deserving of deliberation.

Commanding characters create empathy and sympathy as they uncomfo
...more
Holly
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. The main character has potential, the message is a positively feministic one with the right underlying aura of needed societal change. However, the storyline was just too bizarre for me and the characters too outlandish. Everyone is the "nth" degree in personality or opinion concerning just about everything (and everything in this book comes down to the objectivization of women). The females were all too strident in their tone and all the men were lascivious animals. ...more
Frankie Brown
I already know this will be one of my top books of 2015. It was everything I needed, the book I've been craving for years. A delicious feminist revenge fantasy.
Cristina
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was ok
I started out enjoying this book very much, the story of Plum and her struggles with weight loss, her lifelong obsession with food and dieting but it took a strange turn with the story of Jennifer (and I love strange turns) but this one was negative and a bit random, it slowly made me dislike all the characters including and especially Plum who turned from a hopeful dreamer into an angry ,confrontational and quite unlikeable young woman.
Jill
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Sadly, I thought this was a slightly muddled mess of missed opportunities. The premise was fantastic; Plum, a morbidly obese woman who ghost-writes an advice column for the uber-cool and svelte publisher of a teen magazine, comes into the crosshairs of a slightly subversive group of women who want to change the world AND convince Plum to accept herself as she is.

There are actually two groups in the book. One group is the kooky, don't know exactly what they are going to accomplish Calliope House
...more
Aditi
“I am a better person when I have less on my plate.”

----Elizabeth Gilbert


Sarai Walker, an American best-selling author, has penned her debut entertaining diet-obsessing book, Dietland that is a powerhouse of fun, food and diets that will make the readers roar with laughter over the protagonists the story to lose weight and live her life as a normal human being. So buckle up your seat belts for this hilarious ride that can at times throw you off the edges off your seats.


Synopsis:

The wickedly
...more
Jenna
I stand by my original assessment of: If Margaret Atwood and Jennifer Weiner had a love child, this book might be it! However - this book is ambitious - is perhaps even undone by its own ambition - so it deserves a more thorough review. It's also an impressive debut by a clearly skilled, vivid, creative writer with ideas, so I encourage a read even though I ended up feeling unsure about the book overall. And I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this author in the future.

So why am I so ambiv
...more
Sheila
Apr 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
3 stars--I liked the book.

I'd heard the words "Fat is a feminist issue" before, but until reading this book, never really thought about what they meant/if they were true. Consider me convinced!

What I especially liked was that this book twisted my expectations. I expected to read about a woman learning to love herself despite her body. And Plum does learn to love herself, but this isn't about sugary acceptance--why should she have to learn that when there's nothing wrong with her?

This book might
...more
Rhomanji
Jun 30, 2017 rated it did not like it
If I could give this book less than one star, I would. I would give it negative stars & burn every copy that I come across. It is truly awful.

I can't imagine what made anyone recommend this as a feminist novel. It pains me on a spiritual level that this was written by a woman. I was screaming silently through most of the book.

First, the main character's weight causing people to stare and make rude comments. I weigh about as much as the main character. No one stares at me. No one has ever laugh
...more
Kendal
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I would like to point out that everyone here who describes the main character, Plum, as "overweight" and "obese" and even "morbidly obese," is so totally missing the point. She is fat! A big part of the book is understanding fat as a descriptor without moral weight.

This novel is practically my dream book: rageful fat girls and revolutionary international feminist terror squads, it's almost everything I want in a book: strong fat female lead, lots of politics, unveiling the diet and weight loss i
...more
Lacie Driscol
Jul 10, 2015 rated it did not like it
I was really disappointed in this book. As someone who was close to 300 pounds and chose to have weight loss surgery, this book was a total flashback to all the people who tried to talk me out of the surgery and it pissed me off all over again, just like it did then. This book insinuates that women only want to lose weight to look pretty and not get made fun of - what about those of us who wanted to lose weight so we could run around with our kids? Who wanted to actively participate in our lives ...more
Eilonwy
3-1/2 stars, rounded up.

Alicia "Plum" Kettle lives a very small life in New York City, basically going in a circle from her apartment to a cafe, where she answers letters from troubled teenage girls sent to Kitty, the editor of a popular teen magazine, who is too busy to respond herself, and home again. Plum figures she'll make some friends and enjoy New York in another year or so, after her "real" life has finally started -- the one in which she's had gastric bypass surgery and lost 150 or so
...more
Krissy
Awful. If I didn't have to read this for a challenge I would have marked it a DNF about 30% of the way in
Manatee
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
I liked this book, but something about the ARC seems unfinished. I really did like following the exploits of the feminist political group Jennifer and following the ups and downs of our heroine Plum's life. I found Walker's take on the way that fat women are viewed to be thought provoking.
I liked what the author had to say about the objectification of women's bodies, but I saw two different stories here that would have worked better separately. The shift in tone was too jarring. Separately , Pl
...more
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The Socratic Salon : Dietland 1 28 Jul 25, 2015 05:52PM  

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Sarai Walker received her M.F.A. in creative writing from Bennington College. As a magazine writer, her articles appeared in national publications, including Seventeen and Mademoiselle. She subsequently served as an editor and writer for Our Bodies, Ourselves, before moving to London and Paris to complete a Ph.D. She currently lives in the New York City area. Dietland is her first novel.

Articles featuring this book

Both a subversive feminist journey and an immersive character study—and definitely not a book about dieting—the new novel Dietland packs a surprisi...
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“I think it's a response to terrorism. From the time we're little girls, we're taught to fear the bad man who might get us. We're terrified of being raped, abused, even killed by the bad man, but the problem is, you can't tell the good ones from the bad ones, so you have to wary of them all. We're told not to go out by ourselves late at night, not to dress a certain way, not to talk to male strangers, not to lead men on. We take self-defense classes, keep our doors locked, carry pepper spray and rape whistles. The fear of men is ingrained in us from girlhood. Isn't that a form of terrorism?” 36 likes
“We can’t hide it or fake it. We’ll never fit society’s idea for how women should look and behave, but why is that a tragedy? We’re free to live how we want. It’s liberating, if you choose to see it that way.” 29 likes
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