Review – The Fatness by Mark A. Rayner

I’ve been a fan of Mark A. Rayner’s writing since his bizarre and delightful novel, The Fridgularity, in 2012. What would happen if the Internet disappeared, but one web-enabled fridge had delusions of grandeur? That’s a glimpse into Rayner’s mind. This time, he imagines a society just a bunny-hop away from reality, where obesity is cause for incarceration. In The Fatness, those with a Body Mass Index in the obese range have to go to a government-run institution to lose the weight or lose their health care. If you’re rich and fat, though, no worries. Just pay up. There are pressures and complications that only Rayner could conjure. And the whole scenario takes a turn for the sinister.

cover of The Fatness features french fries used as marks on a wall to count the days in prison

The Fatness is funny and dark and creates a whole, believable world in a city a lot like this, in a country a lot like ours. As a person who has traveled up and down the bathroom scale, I can attest that the inner thoughts of our hero, Keelan, are real, when it comes to considering his chances with a special someone of the opposite sex. She’s what the fat people call a “normie”. I wanted to befriend Keelan and invite him over for dinner. A light dinner.

I’m merely skimming the surface of what The Fatness involves but I don’t want to give it away. Rayner’s satire is best read without a lot of preconceived notions. His work is never boring, often surprising and always memorable. I don’t know of anyone writing fiction today that’s quite like his. Visit his website HERE.

 

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