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Red Dwarf creator grinds to a halt after rollercoaster ride

PUBLISHED: 12:32 25 January 2007 | UPDATED: 14:25 07 September 2010

David Crozier reviews FAT by Rob Grant Orion, £9.99 Better known as co-creator of the hit sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, Muswell Hill author Rob Grant clearly has the issue of weight very much on his mind. Part farce, part diatribe and part self-help book, Fat tells of three charac

FAT

by Rob Grant

Orion, £9.99

Better known as co-creator of the hit sci-fi comedy Red Dwarf, Muswell Hill author Rob Grant clearly has the issue of weight very much on his mind.

Part farce, part diatribe and part self-help book, Fat tells of three characters and the problems they have which, although different, are all directly concerned with weight.

Firstly, there's the very fat Grenville, a hilariously overweight TV chef who finds it hard to tie his shoelaces and whose attempts to lose weight end up losing him far more that that (his temper, liberty and job to name but three).

Then there's anorexic teenager Hayleigh who can't bear to look at herself in the mirror and whose obsession nearly costs her her life.

And, finally, PR man Jeremy, who is promoting the government's new Well Farms, which "help" people lose weight by locking them away from society with only exercise and bad food for company.

The trouble with the book is that in trying to combine some interesting conspiracy theory

ideas, a lot of laughs and a serious teenage illness, it fails satisfactorily to cover any of them.

The book is in three parts and the first part is a rollercoaster ride with plenty of laughs and much to recommend it. The trouble is that in part two we get bombarded with some iffy conspiracy theory ideas (cigarettes don't really cause lung cancer, cholesterol is good for you and so on) which, although intriguing in themselves, don't really sit well in what has come before. It also contains Hayleigh's failed suicide attempt which, in the light of what's gone before, would surely have succeeded. And part three's attempts to draw the strands of the three characters' lives together are at best unlikely and

at worst farcical - and not in a

good way.

So after an excellent beginning, it all falls apart a bit, which is a shame. Any book that can make you laugh out loud has to have something to recommend it. But

by the time you get to the end, satisfaction is, ironically, very thin on the ground.

David Crozier

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