Today I decided to go on a mini adventure and go to my local library. Our library is in a historic building downtown. The outside of the building is absolutely gorgeous with stone work and a beautiful manicured lawn. The library also is richly appointed on the inside.
Today though the library had a special table with an urgent plea. The books on the table were newish but for some reason were not checked out enough so they could soon be discontinued for lack of circulation. I understand this all too well. Sometimes I feel like I am not circulated enough, what would happen if someone decided to discontinue me? I felt sorry for the books on the table so I grabbed one. The book appealed to me because it featured a character with morbid obesity. As someone who is now only by the grace of God just under the characterization of morbid obesity, I was naturally curious.
This is the debut work of David Whitehouse. Obviously a Brit from his use of Mum and Dad. I thought I would read the book and give my feelings on the book.
The novel is narrated by the protagonists younger brother and I’m already 76 pages in and I still don’t know the narrator’s name. The protagonist Malcolm over shadows his brother so much to the point that he is nameless. Malcolm as a child and up to age 13 has a history of mental outburst that frequently result in Malcolm completely disrobing in public. The irony is that Malcolm now 45 weighs “100 stone” roughly 1,000 pounds. he is no longer able to wear anything other than bed clothes and sheets. He has become so obese his skin has fused to the bed. Malcolm can’t leave the house unless the house were torn apart by the beams. His family (his parents and younger brother) know that the only way he is leaving is after death in pieces.
My feelings: In November of 1999 I had my stomach stapled. I was near 400lbs when I made the decision to have the surgery. I was told by my doctor the surgery would be risky so I lost 50lbs on my own. Still at 24 I was 350lbs. Malcolm’s life was a looming possibility for me. I had never had a boyfriend. And while I lived on my own my health was terrible so I was just one major illness from living at home. I too suffered from mental problems but I was unable to get help because my weight was masking my mental issues. So I can easily relate to Malcolm. u
I also can relate to the narrator. He reminds me of how my brother and sister must have felt being around me when I was at my craziest. I had mood swings and I was abusive. When I was younger I had Malcolm’s confidence, now I feel like the little brother.
Writer comments: The author is wearing me out with the metaphoric comparisons. I generally read James Patterson and other thriller writers so I don’t really enjoy all the flowery language. It almost emasculates the male narrator, which is ironic because the older brother Malcolm has become sexless due to his rapidly increasing girth. Like I said earlier, I am only 76 pages in so I’m going to give this book more time.