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Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 27, 2008
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With her signature acerbic wit and captivating insight, the author of the wildly popular Straight Up and Dirty offers a powerful and beautifully stark portrait of adolescence
While she is pregnant with twins, one sentence uttered by her doctor sends Stephanie Klein reeling: "You need to gain fifty pounds." Instantly, an adolescence filled with insecurity and embarrassment comes flooding back. Though she is determined to gain the weight for the health of her babies--even if it means she'll "weigh more than a Honda"--she can only express her deep fear by telling her doctor simply, "I used to be fat."
Klein was an eighth grader with a weight problem. It was a problem at school, where the boys called her "Moose," and it was a problem at home, where her father reminded her, "No one likes fat girls." After many frustrating sessions with a nutritionist known as the fat doctor of Roslyn Heights, Long Island, Klein's parents enrolled her for a summer at fat camp. Determined to return to school thin and popular, without her "lard arms" and "puckered ham," Stephanie embarked on a memorable journey that would shape more than just her body. It would shape her life.
In the ever-shifting terrain between fat and thin, adulthood and childhood, cellulite and starvation, Klein shares the cutting details of what it truly feels like to be an overweight child, from the stinging taunts of classmates, to the off-color remarks of her own father, to her thin mother's compulsive dissatisfaction with her own body. Calling upon her childhood diary entries, Klein reveals her deepest thoughts and feelings from that turbulent, hopeful time, baring her soul and making her heartache palpable.
Whether Klein is describing her life as a chubby adolescent camper--getting weighed on a meat scale, petting past curfew, and "chunky dunking" in the lake--or what it's like now as a fit mother, having one-sided conversations with her newborn twins about the therapy they'll one day need, this hilarious yet grippingly vulnerable book will remind you what it was like to feel like an outsider, to desperately seek the right outfit, the right slang, the best comeback, or whatever that unattainable something was that would finally make you fit in.Marie Claire, for Straight Up and Dirty
"Stephanie Kleins raw account of divorce at age 29 is refreshingly honest and funny, without delving into cheesy chick-lit territory. Youll easily relate to Klein--even if you dont have a 'wasband.'"
"Klein is a talented writer who tells the story of her love life with boldness and irreverence."
"Kleins sense of humor is downright wicked . . . a great, fun read."
New York Times
"Nothing, it seems, is too private not to share with . . . Ms. Kleins legions of followers. And that is exactly how they like it."
"You could call her a real-life Carrie Bradshaw, but it wouldnt do Klein justice. With a fearless voice, the blogger weaves a memoir filled with heartbreak and humor . . . a compelling writer."
"Candid . . . inspiring . . . With vivid characterizations, spot-on locale descriptions and sly jokes at her own expense, Klein offers an original and touching take on the all-too-common problem of childhood obesity."
Elle, for Straight Up and Dirty
"Kleins appeal comes not just from her nocturnal wonderings, but from her relentless plumbing of what went wrong in her twenties and how those mistakes inform her present."
Daily News, for Straight Up and Dirty
"[Stephanie Kleins] confessional, intimate writing style has a magnetic and often voyeuristic appeal that transcends the gloss of her Sex and the City-style escapades."
Susan Shapiro, author of Lighting Up, for Straight Up and Dirty
"A kooky, heartfelt, and ultimately triumphant chronicle of young divorce and the importance of family, friends, and a good shrink."
Marie Claire (UK), for Straight Up and Dirty
"Beneath the wisecracking tales of solo supermarket shopping, phone therapy and Hamptons houseshares, the raw emotion about her divorce and nightmare mother-in-law rings true."
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Part 1: Baby Fat
Part 2: Weigh of Life; Sabotaje; Sloppy Seconds; Bay of Pigs; Your Worth In Weight; Blame It On the Rain; Shrinkwrapped; Mamma Mia; When Even "Misfit" Misfits; American Pie; Hurts So Good; Are You There, God? It's Me, Pound Cake; Caught; Inside Out; Tall Takes and Heroes
Part 3: Moose; To Fat and Back; The Hate Diet; Father Figurative; The Mother Load
This is an actual "memoir" of the author and the five years she spent at various fat camps. She was overweight as a child, and struggled (like we all do) with acceptance and self-worth issues. Her parents sent her to the camps to learn better eating habits and to get more exercise. The style is somewhat unique, in that she blends all the camps, friends, counselors, and enemies into a single fictional camp over one summer. As she states up front, names and some details have been combined and modified to protect the innocent, but everything in the book actually did happen. Things like falling in and out of love numerous times, sneaking out of camp with friends to have a food binge, and learning how to make oneself vomit in order to get rid of the food gorging that just took place. Throughout the book, you get a peek into the mind of an overweight child who desperately wants to be accepted for who she is, but is constantly judged by how much weight she carries. Her obsession with weight continues on to this day, manifesting in issues such as not wanting to gain any weight while pregnant for fear she'll once again be fat.Read more ›
The only fault I felt with the book was the jumping around from the past to the present and not making it entirely clear what time we were reading about. But with a little extra concentration I would easily work out what the author was talking about.
I feel this is an important book for anyone with weight issues. Her discussion of various eating disorders was extremely interesting. I think teenagers especially should read this book to find they are not alone in their feelings.
It's definitely one of the most important.
Moose is a memoir about Klein's experience growing up "fat" and being shipped off to fat camp by her somewhat unsympathetic parents.
I put the word "fat" in quotation marks because, as I mentioned in my "Fat is off the list" blog post, I don't think that word is productive, but also because Klein was never really fat.
Chubby, yes. But not fat.
If you don't believe me, see the pictures on my blog that prove it. . . [...]
Though the book doesn't exactly chronicle how Klein finally kicks the fat habit, it does beautifully narrate her horrific experiences trying to lose weight any way she could while growing up in a world that does not accept people who struggle with weight. Ironically, when Klein goes to fat camp, she is one of the thinnest people there, and as a result, becomes popular and sought-after. As it turns out, even at fat camp, skinny wins.
But what's so moving about this book is that Klein goes through what we all--fat or not--went through when we were young: feeling unattractive, struggling to fit in, and just wanting to be normal.
Sadly, Klein's parents offer little understanding of her situation. At one point, the whole family goes to a "pay what you weigh" dinner, and when Klein refuses to get on the scale, rather than empathize, they tell her that the whole world is prejudiced against fat people and that she'll be much happier if she loses weight.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While I liked this book all right, I didn't feel compelled to read it quickly. It was my filler book when I was between other books, & I just plugged away at it until I reached the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Kate B.
Loved it. This is a ridiculous story about fat camp by a funny, funny lady.Published 7 months ago by Rachel B.
This could have been a great memoir but the author comes across as just plain unlikeable. Very self absorbed and trying too hard to show how cool she was as a kid and now how cool... Read morePublished 8 months ago by E. Truman
As a kid who certainly was a candidate for "fat camp," I understood and felt much of what Ms. Klein depicted in her book. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Write Girl
This book helped me understand from a childs mind the suffering obesity can cause. Also provides an interesting look at the family dynamics that can exacerbate the problem. Read morePublished 17 months ago by S. Hagley
This book is more than just a fat camp story or another memoir. It's raw honesty, full of childlike emotion and great perspective. Read morePublished on August 25, 2014 by Jen Marceaux