The Fatness by Mark A. Rayner – Book Review

The Fatness by Mark A. Rayner – Book Review

the fatness by mark a rayner

The Fatness

Author – Mark A. Rayner
Publisher – Monkeyjoy Press
Pages – 354
Released – 29th October 2017
ISBN-13 – 978-1927590058
Format – ebook, paperback
Reviewer – Nia
Rating – 5 Stars
I received a free copy of this book


Keelan Cavanaugh is fat. That’s why the government put him in prison.

They placed him in a Calorie Reduction Centre (CRC), where trained staff work to help him and many others slim down. Well, that was the intention, anyway. The powers that be had decided chubby citizens must either go there or lose their health care coverage.

When he meets Jacinda Williams, an activist lawyer researching this new system, Keelan is more determined than ever to slim down. But Keelan discovers losing weight is more difficult than it seems, especially when he also has to fight against a ridiculous bureaucracy and policy wonks with hidden agendas. Can he succeed, and will the CRC-crossed lovers ever sit at love’s banquet together?

Review 2017

This book was a thinker and I enjoyed it very much. It’s a story of two halves, the first half being a poorly run government scheme that gives obese people with a BMI of over 30 two options: pay your own private health care or voluntarily enter a weight-loss centre until your BMI is below 30. The system is flawed and people rarely lose the weight needed to leave, and if they do – they’re back before you know it.

The second half of this book is what would happen if the scheme was sold to a major corporation who would then seek to make money out of the overweight people? Bad things. Lots of bad things.

The book is funny and cleverly written so it never gets the opportunity to get too depressing, though it comes close a few times. It looks at the way people view and treat overweight people, how easy it is to dehumanise any group of people if you’re ‘helping them help themselves’ and generally how trying to control other people’s weight is a minefield of complications.

Keelan is the main character, he’s a very thoughtful and funny man who has found himself stuck in the system. As a connoisseur of cake, I find it very easy to empathise with him and his battle with his weight –knowing that you need to change your eating habits doesn’t make it any easier to do. He wants to be free to lead his normal life again but instead he’s being forced on weird diets by people who don’t know what they’re talking about and denied personal dignity.

The chapters alternate between the story and a funny representation of some of the facts and ‘alternative’ facts about dieting and weight loss. The science is constantly changing and is rarely as simple as you expect it to be.

This book means a lot to me and while entertaining, it did hit a lot of nerves about health and how it’s acceptable to shame people about their weight in order to make money from their desire to change.

Reviewed by Nia

Purchase online from: UKAmazon.comiTunes US

About the Author

Mark A Rayner

Human-shaped, simian-obsessed, robot-fighting, pirate-hearted, story-telling junkie, Mark A. Rayner is an award-winning writer of satirical & speculative fiction.

By day he is a university prof and by night, a writer of satirical novels, short stories, squibs and other drivel. (Some pure, and some quite tainted with meaning.) His 2012 novel, The Fridgularity, won an Indie Reader Discovery Award for best humor.

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10 Responses

  1. Nikki says:

    That cover is making me crave french fries!

  2. Randi says:

    Sounds like an interesting idea for a book.

  3. DJ Sakata says:

    This sounds delightfully clever – I wants it

  4. Jade says:

    Sounds very different and a great way of exploring an entire industry making money off people wanting to losing weight.

  5. Tasha says:

    I am hugely intrigued by this book.

  6. Stephanie says:

    Sounds interesting! I like how it emphasizes our look obsessed society and how a good looking appearance can often just appear to mean healthy when that isn’t always the case.

  7. This sounds like such a unique story. I like how it’s written from two sides of what could happen. Great review!

  8. Something I wouldn’t look twice at normally But wow! Sounds really good!

  9. Megan @ Ginger Mom says:

    Definitely intrigued – I think this one would be creepy because something like that could actually happen. Great review, as always 🙂

  10. Kathy says:

    Sounds really interesting