A nightmarish, tragicomic near-future where body image is the new religion, from the author of @Expectations (2000), etc.
When anorexic Annie Abercrombie vanishes from her home, twins Betz and Danny suspect the dreaded Dedicated Sisters (“Your body is a temple. If you can't keep it sacred, we will”). In Dave Berman's beat-up old Saturn, they set off to find her (Dave is Annie's girlfriend, but Betz wishes he were hers). Their journey’s a strange one, not least because Danny aspires to be a world-record-breaking eating champion: in one memorably ghastly scene, he chomps his way through three 50-ounce steaks. Back home, Marg comes to several realizations: husband Ralph’s interest in his family extends only to their usefulness as perfect accessories, she doesn’t want the facelift Ralph has insistently scheduled for her, and her decision to call the Deds for Annie was utterly wrong; so she joins the search for Annie and the missing twins. Annie, meanwhile, teams up with the obese but resourceful Kelly to try and escape the Deds’ relentless regime. In an era that has spawned Jumbo Jiggler clubs, where the obscenely obese perform lap-dances to audiences whose illicit thrills derive not from sex but from fat, the Reverend Earl (slogan: “Thinner than thou”) promises a slim, beautiful heaven, the Afterfat. But Jeremy Devlin finds the Reverend’s much-touted luxury spa, Sylvania, a prison camp wherein monstrous secrets are concealed. What, for instance, is the Reverend’s mysterious new program for the elderly, Solutions? What lies concealed beneath the Arizona desert? And what’s the connection between the Reverend and the Dedicated Sisters?
Unsettling, sometimes appalling: satire edging remorselessly toward reality.