Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp by Stephanie Klein - Book Review

This is one of those situations where my inquisitive nature caused too much information to spoil the experience. I really liked Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp. Sure, I had a few qualms, but overall, I was going to write a solid review supporting the time spent reading the book. But then… I just had to see if the author had a website.

Not only does Ms. Stephanie Klein have a website, it seems the damned thing is mighty popular and was a jumping point for her writing career. That’s fine. I wish I could write well enough to earn such attention. The problem occurred when I saw the beautiful pictures of Ms. Klein adorning her blog. She’s thin and pretty. How could that woman write such an understanding book, one that clearly denotes the pain and effort of carrying rolls of fat on one’s person?

Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp lays all of Klein’s pain and disparagement on the line. She holds nothing back. Her greatest proficiency is prostrating herself. Not only is this a tale of struggling with weight, but a tale of struggling to fit, period. Klein examines her own prejudices where she delineates how fat she’s willing to date and how even the ‘fat campers’ divide into a hierarchy of the more or less repellent. I found it amazing to watch this structural division of misfits who’d normally form the outsiders in the popular cliques. It’s a solid vignette in the coming-of-age genre with Klein emerging victorious, but not unscathed.

Of course there were a couple nit-picky qualms. My first was with the editing. Some passages are allowed to become tedious and the beginning and end are almost extraneous to the tale. Due to the over-development in these areas, a few effects are left underdeveloped. My second qualm concerns the uneven skidding between the years that form the fat camp experience. Ms. Klein began with an author’s note explaining that she’d condensed years of fat camp survival into a single year. Her apologetic tone protects her from being Freyed (my term referring to Oprah calling you a liar because you flower-up your memoir), but presumes we readers aren’t smart enough to understand that memoirs come with embellishments.

I’d recommend Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp to older teens, anyone who enjoys honest coming-of-age tales, memoirs and especially those who have struggled with weight issues.

Note: Read from an advanced copy. Buy Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp HERE

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Katherine said...


I'm glad I discovered your blog. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

Dewey said...

Maybe she was heavier when she was younger?

Tasses said...
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