Today’s team review is from Jenni.
Find out more about Jenni here https://jenniferdebie.com/
Jenni has been reading FAT: The Other F Word by Dan Radlauer
Dan Radlauer’s debut novel, FAT: The Other F Word opens in media res on a casting call for a noodle commercial. Teenager Quincy Collins, our protagonist and narrator, is waiting for his chance to slurp and smile for the camera, just one of many child actors chasing a dream in Hollywood.
Quincy is fat.
Not ‘Hollywood fat’, fat-fat, and has built his entire, fledgling career as a comedic actor around his weight and making the fat joke first. Being the ‘fat, funny kid’ has brought Quincy regular work in commercials, and just landed him a starring role in a brand new sitcom alongside Jessica Freeland, one of L.A.’s hottest rising starlets.
Sure Quincy has trouble getting off of overly-plush couches, doesn’t have many friends at school, and hides his midnight snacking from his family, but this is his big break! Nothing can get in his way!
But when a surprise, pre-diabetic diagnosis has Quincy’s doctor perscribing a healthier diet and regular exercise, what’s a young man to do? And more importantly, who does the ‘fat, funny kid’ become, if he’s no longer quite so fat?
Stay tuned to find out!
I joke partially because this is a very funny book, Radlauer has a deft and clever touch when is comes to Quincy’s inner monologue, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that FAT: The Other F Word is all sugar and no substance. Radlauer has worked in show-business for decades, composing for cult classics like 1991’s The Addams Family (a personal favorite) and big-budget action flicks like 2008’s The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. So, when Radlauer writes about the pressures and politics of Hollywood, the undue burdens placed on young actors to act a certain way both on and off-camera, and the sunburn that can accompany the spotlight, it rings true.
Nor is Quincy’s struggle to get healthy an overnight transformation. Quincy has spent his entire, young life making a joke out of himself and his weight and he’s not totally sure he wants to lose that. The physical struggle to keep to his perscribed routine, and the mental struggle to define who Quincy is to himself and the rest of the world pair and juxtapose nicely as the scenes change and the story progesses.
Rounded out by a fantastic supporting cast, including the previously mentioned Jessica Freeland, and Radlauer has a truly wonderful, heartfelt coming of age story on his hands.
In “FAT: The Other ‘F’ Word,” Quincy Collins lives in two vastly different worlds. One where he’s a very heavy and awkward freshman at Beverly Hills High School, the other where he’s a Hollywood character actor in commercials and Indie films playing the comic relief or the despicable bully. Guess which world he likes better?
At the start of this Y.A. novel, Quincy gets his big break with a major role as “The Fat Brother” in a hot new Network Sitcom, only to find that wanting and having are two very different things.
First, “size discrimination activists” challenge the integrity of the character he’s portraying. Then his health struggles begin to undermine both his character on the show, and his self-assigned brand as “The Fat Kid Actor.” His dream gig becomes a nightmare, and he starts to question the role he’s playing on TV, as well as in real life.“FAT: The Other ‘F’ Word” shows a unique person in a unique setting.It explores Hollywood, adolescence,and our culture’s attitudes towards different sized people.Quincy narrates the story with discovery, irony, pain and compassion as he learns that he can’t base his identity on the size of his body.