Thinner Than Thou

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2004 - Fiction - 334 pages
2 Reviews
TV says it. Magazines say it. American society commands it. You must be thin. You must be young. Fad diets. Fat-purging pills. Fitness clubs. Liposuction. Breast implants. Steroids.

In the tomorrow of Thinner Than Thou, the cult of the body has become the one true religion. The Dedicated Sisters are a religious order sworn to help anorexic, bulimic, and morbidly obese youth. Throughout the land, houses of worship have been replaced by the health clubs of the Crossed Triceps. And through hypnotically powerful evangelical infomercials, the Reverend Earl preaches the heaven of the Afterfat, where you will look like a Greek god and eat anything you want. Just sign over your life savings and come to Sylphania, the most luxurious weight-loss spa in the world, where the Reverend himself will personally supervise your attainment of physical perfection.

But the glory of youth and thinness that America worships conceals a hidden world where teens train for the competitive eating circuit, where fat porn and obese strippers feed people's dark desires, and where an underground railroad of rebellious religions remember when people worshipped God instead of the Afterfat.

As Annie, an anorexic, and her friend Kelly, who is so massive she can barely walk, find out, the tender promises of the Dedicated Sisters are fulfilled by forced feedings and enforced starvation in hidden prisons.

As middle-aged Jeremy discovers, Sylphania is a concentration camp where failure to lose weight and tone up leads to brutal punishment.
The Rev. Earl's public sympathy for the overweight conceals a private contempt . . . and, beneath that, a terrible longing known only to a select few.

The inevitable decay of old age is the only thing keeping mankind from reaching perfection. Luckily, Reverend Earl has a plan that will take care of that . . . .

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Clueless - LibraryThing

I feel dirty after reading this book. It's a rather formulaic dystopian story about image trumping inner character. The humor at the beginning of the book is not sustained throughout. One dimensional ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - lesleydawn - LibraryThing

Body image to the extreme. Is this where the world is heading with all of the fast-food chains and diet scams? It could be, and that is what makes this book frightening. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Kit Reed has been a Guggenheim fellow and a Rockefeller Fellow at The Aspen Institute Her novel, Little Sisters of the Apocalypse, and a short story collection, Weird Women, Wired Women, were finalists for the James W. Tiptree Award. She has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award for short fiction. A novel, The Ballad of T. Rantula, was named to the American Library Association list of Best Books for Young Adults. Reed's short fiction has been published in The Yale Review, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Omni, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Literature.

One of the most critically-acclaimed feminist science fiction writers, Kit Reed has been profiled in American Women Writers, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, Review of Contemporary Fiction, and Who's Who In America. She works with fiction writers at Wesleyan University and lives in Connecticut.

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