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The Fatness

Winner of two literary awards in 2018:

** IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Humor (silver) **
** IndieReader Discovery Award for Best Humor **

The Fatness
A satire about concentration camps for fat people and bureaucracy gone mad. (A love story.)


Keelan Cavanaugh is fat. That’s why the government put him in prison.

They placed him in a Calorie Reduction Centre (CRC), where trained staff work to help him and many others slim down. Well, that was the intention, anyway. The powers that be had decided chubby citizens must either go there or lose their health care coverage.

When he meets Jacinda Williams, an activist lawyer researching this new system, Keelan is more determined than ever to slim down. But Keelan discovers losing weight is more difficult than it seems, especially when he also has to fight against a ridiculous bureaucracy and policy wonks with hidden agendas. Can he succeed? Will the CRC-crossed lovers ever dine at love’s banquet together?

From award-winning author Mark A. Rayner, The Fatness is a contemporary satire of socialism, capitalism, and the so-called “obesity epidemic”. This is Catch-22 for a new generation, with a distinctly tender undertone, even as it mercilessly spoofs the establishment.

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Praise for The Fatness

“Easy to devour in one sitting, this tongue-and-cheek account of a BMI-obsessed society is both laughable and cringe-inducing. Unfolding in the confines of a Canadian Calorie Reduction Center (CRC) where people with a BMI greater than 30 are sent to lose weight, THE FATNESS is a story of socialism gone wrong is set amid a plausible backdrop with witty characters who will steal your heart and, snag your cheeseburger if you’re not careful.” ~IndieReader.com

“The Fatness is notable for its spot-on appraisal of a bureaucracy that manipulates its citizens by means of silent consent, maintaining the illusion of a moral high ground whilst benefiting economically. With such a heavy backdrop, though, Rayner’s sense of humour keeps the reading light.” ~Broken Pencil

“The Fatness is an ideal suggestion for fans of Christopher Moore’s absurdist delights, or for readers of dystopian fiction who could use a side of levity with their otherwise totalitarian buffet.” ~IndiePics Magazine

“Food for thought dished out in one of the funniest novels to come around.” ~San Francisco Review of Books

“Combining storytelling with cleverly written research-based blurbs that set the theme for the upcoming chapter, the novel follows several different characters to provide insight into the corrupt system behind the Calorie Reduction Centres…” ~Foreward Reviews

“The Fatness is hysterically funny, taking the side of the fatties (and if you think that’s offensive, you should see some of the other names they’re called) and pointing out the flaws in both social and weight-loss systems that keep them from losing weight. The satire is witty and surprisingly sharp, coming from a Canadian.” ~Online Book Club

Available editions

Release date: November, 2017

Trade Paperback
ISBN 978-1-927590-05-8
$19.99 US/$24.99 CAN

ISBN 978-1-927590-06-5
$6.99 US/$8.55 CAN