Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Fat Man” as Want to Read:
The Fat Man
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Fat Man

3.1  ·  Rating details ·  188 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Herbert Muskie is The Fat Man. When he catches skinny, hungry Colin Potter stealing a chocolate bar, he forces Colin to become his partner in crime. This begins an ever-escalating cycle of dominance fueled by Muskie's hatred of the people of Loomis--a grudge Colin doesn't understand. The Fat Man's sphere of influence quickly ensnares the rest of Colin's family and threaten ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 192 pages
Published March 1st 1999 by Simon Pulse (first published November 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Fat Man, please sign up.

Recent Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Roya Eve
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
This book is daaaaaark. And I was expecting it to be lighthearted as, lol.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult-ita
When Colin first meets the fat man (Herbert), he is stealing a piece of his chocolate. Because of this, the fat man forces him to commit a robbery with him. Colin is terrified of him, so when he shows up again at Colin's grandfather's boarding house, he gets a sick feeling. Suddenly, Laurie and Maisie are taken in by Herbert. Only Colin seems to understand that the fat man isn't what he seems, but instead is staging a revenge plot because of what happened to him when he was "the fat boy" at Loom ...more
Adele Broadbent
May 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Set in tough times (1930-40’s) Colin Potter is on his way to his grandmother’s. He takes a shortcut down the river and comes across a fat man washing in the creek. He has built himself a hut on the riverbank and has his belongings inside. When Colin takes some chocolate from the hut he is caught! The fat man is frightening, forcing Colin to steal something in payment for the chocolate. But that is only the beginning. The stranger soon has others under his control, including Colin's parents. How ...more
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-jshs
This was described on the flap as a "psychological thriller" which may be overstating it a little but it still was very good and kept me reading because I knew the guy was going to do something bad to these people who had bullied him in their youth but I couldn't figure out what he was going to do and how he was going to tie their child into the plot. The ending was a surprise and I wasn't sure I had figured it out right, so I made Mike read it to explain it to me. He zipped through it, liking i ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
So this was a novel I had to read for school. It was a little strange.

There's a Fatman who was bullied as a child and basically he turns out being a kind of psycho who aims to get back revenge on those who bullied him as a child. Yeah there were some sad parts, especially the second to last chapter. There were some parts that confused me. It was an OK book.
Oct 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, suspense
The fat man held a grudge for 13 years. When he decides to come back to his hometown to even the score, he involves Colin, the son of his school-yard nemesis. No one knows what evil the fat man has planned but Colin, and he is too frightened to tell anyone. The Fat Man, by Maurice Gee is a short novel that will keep you engrossed in the fate of the townspeople of Loomis, New Zealand.
Nov 24, 2013 rated it it was ok
Good NZ author, a very dark novel (especially for children). I enjoyed it, but didn't quite sympathise with the fat man as much as Gee wanted me to. We all have our bullying issues throughout childhood, but as some point we should rise above it - unlike the fat man.
Quite a good little read. Made me want to jump in the pages and sort out 'The Fat Man'! Kiwi classic
Connor Foster-Nesbit
violent but believable plot, funny, cool characters, exiting storyline.
My favourite NZ author. This book is well written, but in my opinion not as satisfying as Under The Mountain.
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
I didn't like it at all.
Watermelon Daisy
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
I remember reading this and thinking it was the most confusing and weird story I've ever read in my life.
Harry Crawford
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought it was a pretty good book because it has a good setting in Auckland + Loomis and also has a really good effect on how Herbet Muskie got into conflict with the Potters.
Jessica Sample
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it
I really liked this book.It was really intense.
Charles Ll
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone who can stand depression
Recommended to Charles by: My teacher
Really really cool but quite dark and depressing at the same time. I didn't feel as sorry for the Fat Man as Maurice Gee wanted me to feel. Why is it so dark? I mean, he KILLED HIS MOTHER!!!!!
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent psychological thriller. Quite dark and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
Came across this looking for books from New Zealand. This was apparently controversial due to its violence, though he is well regarded as a NZ writer. I found it too creepy.
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-or-for-school
I read this for a history project freshman year. It is very suspenseful and original. The ending was unexpected, I figured the Fat Man would die, but not the way he did. I thought it was okay.
Aryaman Uchil
May 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Very interesting book, good ending
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bonnie Feng
Mar 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
what a depressing book..........
rated it liked it
Dec 09, 2011
Jayden Caine
rated it really liked it
Jul 23, 2008
rated it liked it
Jun 13, 2011
rated it it was amazing
May 22, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Oct 12, 2010
rated it it was ok
Feb 02, 2013
Nadine Wriesnik
rated it liked it
Sep 23, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2016
rated it it was ok
Apr 20, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Memory
  • The Silent One
  • Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack
  • The Quiet Place
  • Juno Of Taris
  • Always and Forever
  • Task Force (Recon Team Angel #2)
  • Our Granny
  • Guess What?
  • The God Boy
  • Flight of the Honey Bee
  • Tall
  • Bugs Galore
  • Welcome with Love
  • I'm Not Reading!
  • The Crossing (Blood of the Lamb, #1)
One of New Zealand’s most distinguished novelists, born in Whakatane, passed much of his childhood in the country town of Henderson (now contained by Auckland’s urban sprawl), and this background plays a major role in his fiction. Again and again his plots are set in Henderson, usually under another name, or other small towns. Even in the most recent, where Wellington and Auckland play a major par ...more
More about Maurice Gee...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »