Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed because when you're fat, to be noticed is to be judged. She is biding her time at a job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls' magazine until she can afford weight-loss surgery. But lately she is being followed by a girl in outlandish clothes and combat boots.
When Plum finally confronts her, she finds herself falling into the mysterious world of Calliope House, where an odd collection of women orbit around Verena Baptist, daughter of a famous diet guru. Verena offers to give Plum the money for the surgery, but there is a catch: First Plum must go through a series of seemingly perverse challenges that will force her to confront her past, her doubts, and the real cost of becoming "beautiful".
Dietland is a scathing and revolutionary debut that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our obsession with weight loss - from the inside out and with fists flying.
©2015 Reproduced by special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
"A fresh and provocative debut novel about a reclusive young woman saving up for weight loss surgery, when she gets drawn into a shadowy feminist guerilla group called 'Jennifer' - equal parts Bridget Jones' Diary and Fight Club. Keenly intelligent, daring, and original, Dietland has something important to say to us all." (Alice Mattison, author of When We Argued All Night)
It sounded like an interesting concept and had potential to bring to light some excellent discussion points HOWEVER a porn room, rapes, killings...ruined it for me.
I would have said it was time well spent, that was until the final chapter ended with a fizzle. With a proper conclusion this could have been a wonderful treatise on the female condition in modern society, or a manifesto on learning to love yourself no matter who you are. Instead we're left with an unfinished story, and a sense of emptiness. Unlike some books that end and leave the rest to your imagination, there isn't enough here for the reader to do that with.
The narrator is a talented voice actor and her reading of the book was enjoyable and entertaining. It was easy to know who was talking in dialogue sections.
As a male I can only empathize with some of the hardships Plum goes through in the book. But, as a fat person I know all too well much of the pain she feels and the book hit home time and time again. This book helped give me some new tools on my journey towards self acceptance and body positivity.
I am not exaggerating at all when I say this is probably my favorite book I've ever read. I have never been able to pick a favorite book before, there are so many good ones, but that has all changed. This is the best.
In theory there are two great stories in this mess. The first is the story of an unhappy woman who I guess has a meltdown and emerges slightly less unhappy. Her arc was terrible. The second could have been a a story about a feminist revolution in modern media and the fallout from that. However, both these stories share the thinnest of connections and wasted my time. The author did manage to capture the fears and angst a woman with low self-esteem has, but those scenes are tempered by shit like 5 minutes of reading lipstick colors. We get it, women are sexualized in every aspect of life. Avoid avoid avoid.
Bookman Old Style
This author can really write well. She can be very funny and very wise about the diet industry and the devastation being wrought on women who don't conform to media propaganda on female looks and behavior. Her mastery of language is strong, and I loved the first half of the book, could barely put it down. But then she goes too far into the realm of hatred for men and violent revenge. It's not likely most women readers will want to follow her there. But this is only her first novel, and I think she will do better next time. The narrator does a good job, but the content obliterates her talent too. Get a grip, Sarai, you've got a really good mind going for you.
Started out fantastic and I liked a great part of the book, but around 60% mark the story took a weird turn. It should have ended there, but story kept going and I lost a lot of heart for it. The narrator was amazing and I loved her performance. I look forward to hearing more from her.
i laughed out loud....thoroughly enjoyed Plum's awakening and the female empowerment message. the narration enhanced the story.
Say something about yourself!
One of the worst book I've ever listened to.
Nothing would have helped.
None of the character interested me. Tara Sands was an excellent reader -- but she could not help me with this story.
All of the scenes.
The story, especially at the beginning, is quite engaging. This book has the potential to change our culture if enough people read it and think about it and talk about it. Perhaps if enough of us get angry something will change.
A better story to get her point made about the prejudice that fat people face in their lives. The story is stupid and improbable, from the "make up" room in the basement of the building.......(it's the size of Madison Sq Garden, filled with lipstick and blush).....now really?
The Caliope house with the underground room playing hard core porn? That had no relation to the story and seemed to be added just to get some porn into the story. The way they live and how it is financed, is also absurd. The main character supposedly weighs 300 lbs and Walker makes the way she is treated more like the way someone 600 lbs would be treated. Has she looked around lately.......more than 50% of America is obese!
I heard Ms Walker interviewed on PBS and thought it was about time someone wrote a book about the crazy world of diets, dieting scams, and the false promises that are made to people. She had such a good idea, and the opportunity to bring the subject to life in the form of Plum, the lead character. Instead, Ms Walker added porn, violence, and the most improbable situations that just made the story jump from one place to another. The whole premise of "Jennifer" being able to pull off the murders of people, the Afghanistan veteran and the other vet getting together for revenge, none of it made any sense, so the author would just go back to Plum's weight and her obsession that people were always looking at her.
Tara Sands is a really good narrator, her range of voices and accents is wonderful.
The whole book.
I can't remember being this disappointed in a book that Audible readers rated 4 stars.
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