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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. 11, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-44197-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Pantheon

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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