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Fattypuffs and Thinifers

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  504 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Two brothers find a country under the earth whose citizens are segregated by weight.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published October 1st 2000 by Jane Nissen Books (first published 1930)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Can I describe this as a geopolitical children’s book with an eventual message of peace and reconciliation?

The idea is that two squabbling brothers, one fat and one thin, discover an underground world divided into two states, that of the plump Fattypuffs and that of the scrawny Thinifers. Written in 1930 the two nations are apparently based on France and Germany and are no less antagonistic, but are also shown to be complimentary, even symbiotic.

I came across it at school, perhaps it sticks in t
Gail Carriger
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fattypuffs and Thinfers by André Maurois was one my my father's favorite childhood books. He passed that love on to me. It's a middle-grade chapter book from the early 1940s and always reminded me a little of the Phantom Tollbooth, no idea why.
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Came across this and had that shock of recognition - a childhood read and the illustrations brought everything back. That happens to be one of my favourite sensations - the rush of memories that comes when you pick up a beloved book that you haven't seen since childhood. I have even been haunted by certain books, and searched for years to find a copy...

Anyway, I remember this one being quite funny.
Robert Hanley
Jan 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite books that I read as a child was Fattypuffs and Thinifers by Andre Maurois. Thinking about this book evokes some fantastic childhood memories of sitting up under the bed sheets and reading by torchlight with my brother, while scoffing midnight snacks. Maurois' lavish descriptions and satirical humour had us enthralled and helped stimulate my passion for reading. The story follows the fictional tale of two nations that are segregated based on weight. The fattypuffs inhabit a l ...more
Hugh Stuart
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly entertaining fantasy about two brothers plunged into a war between a nation of obese pleasure-seekers (the Fattypuffs) and a country of skinny grumps (the Thinifers). Informed by the author's experiences during The Great War it's a pretty anti-war tome but it's other key message is it doesn't matter whether you're fat or thin just be yourself. Just be yourself and don't blow one another up. Two messages just as meaningful in 2011 as they were in 1930. Some of the references and phrasi ...more
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, french
Translated by Norman Denny, illustrated by Fritz Wegner. A children’s fantasy first published in 1930, this book tells of two brothers, the thin Terry and the plump Edward, who descend into an underground world. There, two opposing nations – one fat, fun-loving and easy-going, the other thin, acerbic, and disciplinarian – make war on one another.

It’s an imaginative and well-told tale, with funny characters like President Rugifer, who insults everyone twice, and King Plumpapuff, who takes a nap e
Mar 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my all-time favorite books as a kid. I took it out of the library so many times, that my mom found me a first edition copy from 1968. F&T is farcical, irreverent, and simplistic in its manner of commenting on post-great war Europe, as well as family values, self-image issues, and international politics. Maurois' vision of things to come is startling. Perfect for kids with its silly happy-fat vs. miserable-thin war and perfect for adults who can examine the true-to-life subtext, all while ...more
J. Boo
Sep 28, 2016 marked it as to-read
Read this when young, from a copy owned by a neighbor whose parents were highly-educated Brits. Was trying (and failing) to come up with the title recently, but just now a Goodreads friend has happened to "like" a review of what must certainly be the correct book.

Apparently -- and obviously, in retrospect -- this is an anti-war allegory, which completely passed over my head. I was not a particularly noticing sort of child.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
I loved this book as a child, and for some reason I was thinking about it tonight so I looked it up on Goodreads. I suppose the story of the strife between two societies, one plump & fond of food and one thin & fond of exercise is as relevant now as it was in 1930. I really must look up a copy so I can re-read it! Its one of those books that has left a permanent impression on me. ...more
Ray Daley
Mar 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-to-re-read
This is one of those great books.

I read it when I was 8 or 9 then spent another 20 plus years trying to remember what it was called, who wrote it and getting hold of another copy.

If a book sticks in your mind so strongly that you spend more than 20 years trying to find it again thats a darn strong recommendation to it. This is such a book for its rather clever story that still has relevant messages today and its outstanding illustrations.

Basically its the story of 2 boys, 1 fat and 1 thin who f
Jon Saunders
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
When brothers Edward and Terry find a staircase leading down between two rocks little do they know the adventure they are about to embark on. The land below is split into two camps the rather rotund Fattypuffs and the seriously skinny Thinifers. The brothers are separated, for you see Edward is a bit on the plump side and Terry is as thin as a rake and through no choice of their own they are drawn into war between the two camps. One that the boys are determined to resolve as amicably as possible ...more
Nov 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Read this while at Primary school and it still sticks in my head. Will have to get hold of a copy to re-read.
Mar 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, for-the-kids
It's dated rather. I liked the illustrations in my copy.
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
I remember distinctly this being one of the first books I'd set myself to read back when I was a little kid. The cover looked so great that I kept it safe until I learned how to read.

That being said I've forgotten quite a bit about what it was even about, and on rereading it I know why. There is a surprising amount of war and politics that at times was actually kind of hard to understand. I don't know how as a little kid I was able to read through it.

However, it's still a great book. The illustr
Eliabeth Hawthorne
Why I Chose the Book

With only two days left in Australia (and my days completely booked with activities) I only had two nights to finish an entire book. I scanned my friend's shelves and found Fattypuffs and Thinifers. I wanted something I could read quickly and the cover looked interesting.

Initial Thoughts

After the two boys descend the stairs into a world where people are divided based on weight, it becomes clear that this is a political satire. Two countries war over the name of a "neutral" is
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
used to be a childhood favorite, I'm glad years later I can still like it and its message
Katy Noyes
Oct 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful old-fashioned and yet highly relevant children's story about two brothers (one thin, one fat) finding a way underground to land divided in two - into a country of Fattypuffs and Thinifers.

This is cleverly written, with a child reading able to see the two sides of the story told by one or the other 'side' that differ slightly in their telling of battles, old grievances and differences.

I really liked this, and only discovered it recently. My version is a very old one, with superb orig
Robbie Cheadle
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fattypuffs and Thinifers is a wonderful book about two brothers, one fat and one thin, who discover a hidden world beneath the surface of the earth. This subterranean society is segregated based on the physical weight of its inhabitants. Larger people are Fattypuffs and live separately to the Thinifers, who are workaholics who "eat to live not live to eat". The two nations are hostile towards each other and are verging on a war. The two brothers from the surface are separated when they arrive in ...more
'Patapoufs et Filifers' (let's face it, the original French sounds much better), was written by Maurois in 1930 and translated by Norman Denny in 1941. It tells the tale of two siblings who get along famously, for all the fighting and bickering, and find themselves one day, drawn into a tunnel under the ground which leads them to a world in the centre of the Earth in which people are separated by their weight. The Fattypuffs are generally gentle, kind and lesiurely people whilst the Thinifers ar ...more
Two brothers stumble across a strange underground land which is at war. One nation being made up of fat and lazy people the other of thin, miserly people.
Although decently written the more i think about it the less good it looks. There are a number of problems with it.
First the level of death and destruction which seems odd for a children's book of this sort. Second the protagonists really have no influence on the course of events and finally in a story with too such extreme elements the logica
Apr 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ok so I was a less than mediocre french student. When I have been in France and attempted to speak, people look at me as if I were an insane Albanian. No matter, I did read this book about a land of fat people and a land of skinny people with characteristcs associated with their physical condition and who blundered into wars. A thinly veiled reference to the French and the Germans. This book is very funny, a french Gulliver Isles.
Annelise DeVore
Jun 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This was a terrible book that reinforced fat-shaming and a variety of body image issues... and yet I love it. When I was little, reading about the escalator in the park that would take you to a subterranean ocean was *real*. The illustrations were loose and playful, and the characters were expressive. I really regret giving it away.
J.A. Busick
Jun 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
What's your reason for hating someone else? What if that person were your own brother? Could you still hate him? Or would you want to find a road to peace? This book is as relevant in modern America as it was when it was written in France in 1930. I loved this book as a child, and I love it still, having just read it to my daughter as a bedtime read.
Aishika Mitra
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really great. I finished it in one sitting. Though it is a children's book I think every teenager and adult should read this. It may give them an insight that everyone is equal. :) And also that everyone should be compassionate. I see the book is quite underrated. The translation used in the Vintage Edition was quite good. Loved Edmund and Terry and their bonding.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I was hoping for more. This suffered from a case of the "cutes" - tried too hard and seemed rather too silly. It started out well but seemed to belabor it's points. It's short - that's a plus. It's readable and the story does move along at a brisk pace. Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, I'm sure that children of a certain age may enjoy this - but it's no "Phantom Tollbooth."
Geoffery Crescent
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
An adorable little satire with two message that are just as relevant now as they were almost a hundred years ago. Firstly not to judge by appearance and secondly that Europe is stronger together than divided. Sigh. There's always a recipe for choux buns in the back if the thought of Brexit makes you weep after reading this.
Feb 28, 2013 added it
Can't remember too much about it, but it left an impression on me because I've spent years periodically searching Google with nothing but an image of the cover and a sort of story outline in my head to work with, and today I finally found out what the book is called. Now, finally, I can rest.
Adrian Buck
Dec 08, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I thought the language was a bit demanding for my 8yo, but he seemed to enjoy it. He over-identified with the Fattypuffs, which sort of put the message of peace and understanding out of the running. Good fun, and excellent illustrations anyway.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
I do love finding a great book I've never heard of, especially a French classic as fun and clever as this one. Fattypuffs and Thinifers manages to combine a fun story with a political message.

Apr 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
this was my favorite books when i was younger i read it like 5 times!not an ordinary book!

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André Maurois, born Emile Salomon Wilhelm Herzog, was a French author. André Maurois was a pseudonym that became his legal name in 1947.

André Maurois is very famous writer in Russia. Many of his books are translated to Russian.

During World War I he joined the French army and served as an interpreter and later a liaison officer to the British army. His first novel, Les silences du colonel Bramble,

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