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Fat Chance  By  cover art

Fat Chance

By: Nick Spalding
Narrated by: Heather Wilds,Napoleon Ryan
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Publisher's summary

Meet Zoe and Greg Milton, a married couple who have let themselves go a bit.

Zoe was a stunner in her college days, but the intervening decades have added five stone, and removed most of her self-esteem. Greg's rugby-playing days are well and truly behind him, thanks to countless pints of beer and chicken curry.

When Elise, a radio DJ and Zoe's best friend, tells them about a new competition, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn their lives around. Fat Chance will pit six hefty couples against one another to see who can collectively lose the most weight and walk away with a £50,000 prize.

So begins six months of abject misery, tears, and frustration—that just might turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to them - in another laugh-out-loud look at the way we live now from bestselling author Nick Spalding.

©2014 Nick Spalding (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Fat Chance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely hilarious

If you have ever wanted to lose weight, ever been on a diet or tried exercise to lose weight- and you have a sense of humor - listen to this book!

Fat Chance follows a married couple, Zoe and Greg, through a Biggest Loser type radio show. Written in journal style with both parties describing their experiences. Painfully honest at times, but so flipping hilarious that you can't help but laugh out loud.

Narration was excellent from both Heather Wilds and Napoleon Ryan, I would be hard pressed to chose a favorite.

This book also inspired me to get back out there and start exercising again, so it was definitely a win win picking this jem up while it was on sale.

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58 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I freakin loved this book!

SO funny!!!! This book was absolutely hilarious. It's one of my favorite books so far this year. I love the writing style, and the voices for both Zoe and Greg were perfect. At first I loved Zoe's part, but then after a few rounds of Greg, I decided his was funnier. There were times where I was doubled over in laughter, tears streaming down my face. The story was witty, sarcastic, poignant and had an overall terrific message. I totally recommend, especially if you like books that make you laugh out loud.

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47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Inspiration for those who try diets

A story that got me to really think about how nice it would be to make the effort and not give up. Going to use this as the impetus to sticking with proper diet and exercise. A very good story too.

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33 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Droll Dieting

Nick Spalding's "Fat Chance" (2014) shouldn't be confused with Robert H. Lustig, MD's "Fat Chance: Sugar the Bitter Truth - Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease" (2012). The latter seems to be a very long, complicated book/argument about artificial sweeteners causing metabolic syndrome.

The former, this "Fat Chance" is laugh-out-loud so raucously that complete strangers (who happen to be around while you're walking by with headphones on) edge away from you in alarm. It's a send up of the ultra serious, snarky, and cruel US television show "The Biggest Loser" (2004-present).

Zoe Milton and her husband, Greg, are happily married and in love - and not-so-contentedly large. They're both more than 5 stone (a stone is 14 pounds) overweight. Spalding doesn't use the doctor-polite term 'well nourished' or even 'obese'. The Miltons and six other couples they compete with to see who can drop the most weight and win £50,000 are fat.

Zoe starts out with fad plans, like 'The Cabbage Soup' diet, which wreaks amusing havoc on her body. Greg finds himself at the mercy of a personal trainer from military hell, and then spends all sorts of money buying useless exercise equipment that he's too embarrassed to return. The book is common weight loss tropes turned sideways and made funny.

This "Fat Chance" turns out to have some pretty good weight loss advice hidden in the humor. There's also a parody of Lustig's "Fat Chance" book (and every other diet book) in Spalding's book that was pretty entertaining.

The chapters and narration alternate between Heather Wilds as Zoe Milton and Napoleon Ryan as Greg Milton. It works with this book.

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23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Lotsa Laughs--a Really Fun Listen!

The two events that led to Zoe and Greg agreeing to sign up for a radio station weight loss contest are absolutely hilarious. These events, one for Zoe, one for Greg, are so memorable I could see myself re-listening to the book just to hear them again. Along with a bunch of other funny parts, this book is also serious and even a bit educational about losing weight.

But you won't be listening to Fat Chance to be educated. You will be listening because you need some laughs right now, you've wondered about the people who participate in these strange shows, you are wishing you could do something about your weight, or your curiosity got the better of you, like mine did. It is an easy and quick listen with good narrators. I particularly liked Napoleon Ryan. He seemed much more at ease doing comedy and was perfect for the part of Greg Milton.

You're got nothing to lose ( or maybe you do?), so give it a try. It's FUN!

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16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Take a Chance

You will be forgiven if you feel like you want to give up on Fat Chance somewhere during the first two chapters. Nick Spalding walks a fine line, trying to capture the pain of being obese while still trying to be funny. Rather, he doesn't walk such a fine line. There are numerous times during those two chapters where he strays uncomfortably off the line. Far enough that I was thinking of shutting it down.

But stick with it. I'm glad I did. The problem is in the trying to be funny part, not in disrespect for his characters. Spalding's sympathies lie squarely with his larger in life protagonists, a married couple who reluctantly enter a weight loss contest. They learn a lot about themselves in the process as they attempt exercise plans, try out various fad diets and weight loss gadgets, and are forced to parade the whole shebang in front of a rapt radio audience.

As their life improves over the course of the contest, their health (mental as well as physical) inevitable improving as they get back in shape, the comic vignettes become more palatable (cf. Greg's caffeine jag) even if they are still sometimes too sadistic (cf. the consequences of buying cheap sneakers). The messages are positive and the events are humorous enough. The ending is telegraphed, but I give Spalding credit for only suggesting rather than explicitly stating it.

The narrators go a long way toward keeping you listening when you start to think about bailing. They are both fabulous as the married couple, alternating chapters written in the first person of each character. I'm sure you will instantly envision the English actors who would play them as you listen to their voices.

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13 people found this helpful

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Reviews said it was hilarious.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Being hilarious doesn't make this book good. It is filled with foul language. I wish someone would have put that in the reviews.

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13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Laugh Out Loud Fun

"Fat Chance" restored my belief in reading (listening) fun. This novel had me laughing out loud repeatedly as the author explores weight loss gimmicks and bizarre exercise programs combined with an inside look at a marriage, a work-world, family relationships and more. Nick Spalding delivers a story about a married couple who have decided that their weight gain has gotten out-of-hand. When the wife, Zoe, is offered a spot on a radio show that promises a large reward for the greatest weight loss, she gets her husband on-board and signs up. The story then proceeds to outline the most hilarious journey through the weight loss world that I could imagine. Most of the strange diets and exercise programs the couple tries are fads and programs that I have come across in one way or another. OMG. Hilarious. The narrators are flawless - perfect. I won't say that this couple are 100% credible but close enough to make the story a real treat. I highly recommend this fun and uplifting joyride. If you need a laugh, take a ride right here.

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8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Running Naked and other diet disasters....

I really enjoyed this read: light, quick, funny as all get out in places (I got tears in my eyes laughing when Zoe is trying on the green dress...) but based in a shared reality that anyone who has ever dieted will instantly recognize.

I'll check out more from Nick Spalding! I believe I'm a fan now.

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8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Delightful and Funny

This and other books by Nick Spalding demonstrate the success with Kindle self publishing. Spalding writes about relationships in a perceptive and funny way. Mark Dawson, another Kindle self publishing success from the UK, writes outstanding thrillers. Thanks to Amazon for the success of the self publishing model and for also making the books available in audiobook format on Audible.

Fat Chance is a very funny book about competitive couple weight loss. It uses two excellent narrators, female and male, for the two main characters. My favorite genre is thrillers, but Spalding's books are a delightful diversion.

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7 people found this helpful