listen up: through thick and thin

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be in an extreme dieting competition? You don't have to wonder any more--Nick Spalding takes us there is in his novel Fat Chance. Set in London, it's the story of Zoe and Greg Milton, who have let themselves go over the years. They met in college, when they were both young and fit. Now, as their 40s are creeping up on them, they find themselves overweight and not very motivated to do anything about it. 

Until Fat Chance. 

A local radio station is having a competition for couples to see who can lose the most weight. The prize? Fifty thousand pounds (no pun intended; I said it was in London). 

Each chapter is a section of one of their diaries. As time goes by and weight comes off, the diary entries tell the stories of failed diets, bad exercise equipment ideas, embarrassing furniture breakdowns and clothing malfunctions, and--of course--the maniacal run from an Ikea. But they also tell the stories of two individuals who are rediscovering themselves after letting the stress and busyness of everyday life pile on pounds, shame, and self-loathing. 

Genuinely moving as well as laugh-out-loud funny, Fat Chance is an honest look at how life breaks us down and how we can fight back. 

The audiobook of Fat Chance is told by two narrators. Heather Wilds reads Zoe's diary entries, and Napoleon Ryan reads Greg's. My biggest issue with this book is with the narration. Both narrators are good, but they just don't seem to match. Heather's Zoe sounds posh, while Napoleon's Greg sounds very down to earth, and would even remind me of Austin Powers at moments. The accents just didn't quite seem to match up. But individually, they were both excellent. 

I highly recommend Nick Spalding and his comic novel Fat Chance. Read it or listen to it, but enjoy this feast of words and feelings.