EAT FAT by Richard Klein


Email this review


 A ``postmodern diet book,'' according to its unabashedly fat author, a professor of French at Cornell who does not simply accept fat, but loves it and finds it beautiful. The nonconformist Klein (Cigarettes Are Sublime, 1993), who says he has been thinking about fat every day of his life, has a good time with this one. His aim, he says, is to weave a hypnotic, even erotic, spell to induce the reader to see fat differently. Intentionally repetitious, even monotonous in his incantation to ``Eat Fat,'' Klein takes a circuitous trip through the world of fat. Fat has, he notes, been valued highly in other times--most recently at the end of the last century--and in other cultures, and by changing our perspective on fat, we may be making the first step in a fashion shift that will once again make fat beautiful. Citing the Oxford English Dictionary and with examples from Shakespeare to supermarket package labeling, he shows us how the meaning of the word ``fat'' has changed. An illustrated capsule history of fat beauty follows, featuring the 20,000-year-old carving known as the Venus of Willendorf, the robust nudes of Rubens and Boucher, and illustrations from a magazine for fat lesbians. Klein also looks at the diet industry, the power of diet pills, and the search for a fat gene, and he concludes that when science makes it possible for everyone to be thin, thin will be out and fat will be in. A fearless prophet, Klein not only predicts that the revolution is very near, but he goes a step further: As the millennium approaches, in elections all over the world, the fattest candidate will almost always win. Dole and Clinton, take note. Anathema for the fitness crowd, but a comforting and delicious treat for fat folks.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1996
ISBN: 0-679-44197-2
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Pantheon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1996


FictionJEWELRY TALKS by Richard Klein
by Richard Klein
NonfictionCIGARETTES ARE SUBLIME by Richard Klein
by Richard Klein