THE JOY OF PLUMP by Hal Katkov


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Katkov and Sobkowski’s refreshing satire exposes the preposterous of diet crazes.

Katkov and Sobkowski approach weight gain with the same zeal as weight-loss gurus. In the introduction they claim, “In fact, America’s obsession with thin is a threat to national happiness.” Following this assertion, they attempt to convince us that being thin isn’t so glamorous: “It’s not a pretty picture. It’s smelly locker rooms, moldy socks, sweaty armpits, yeast infections and jock itch.” Their assertions mock the hard sell of decades’ worth of diets. In the latter chapters, the authors share their contrary diet in the same framework that traditional diets are often described, along with the familiar promise of speedy results. In addition, they wittily twist common diet gimmicks, e.g., “Don’t waste another day being thin. The sooner you get started on ‘The Joy of Plump,’ the better. PlumpPower is waiting to work its wonder on you, so…let the plumping begin.” When giving caloric conservation tips, the authors warn about how domestic duties such as “dusting bookshelves” and vacuuming can do just as much damage as “dumbbell lunges” and “hang gliding off [a] sheer cliff,” which is just as wacky as some of the nit-picky suggestions in many recent diet books. The inclusion of fat-packing recipes like “Twinkie Pot Pie” is good for a laugh; however, at times the authors go overboard and overemphasize their ideas, which makes the entire concept lose some of its potency. Frequent repetition also hurts their cause. Maintaining their message, they end their treatise with testimonials that mimic the overly emphatic tone of successful weight losers.

A tongue-in-cheek effort to fatten up America that makes a valid point, repeatedly.

Page count: 60pp
Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher
Program: Kirkus Indie
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