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The Weight of Temptation Paperback – Oct 1 2012

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CDN$ 14.73 CDN$ 2.96 First Novel Award - 6 Canadian Novels Make the Shortlist

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"Are thinness, youth and beauty really the ultimate values of the human race? Science fiction, allegory or parody, this tasty little novel serves up a witty parody of today's calorie-obsessed culture to sweeten its merciless, well-aimed bite."—Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle
(Nick DiMartino University Book Store, Seattle)

“Shua ridicules the idea of thinness as . . . an aristocratic model, as well as the institutions that promote that ideal. [The Weight of Temptation] is a sharp, funny, acid, and entertaining novel.”—Patricio Lennard, Radar: Página/12

(Patricio Lennard Radar 2012-03-16)

“Who’s not afraid of those extra pounds? Who doesn’t need the mirror’s daily reassurance? Who doesn’t fear ugliness and isolation as even more unbearable than death? In her latest novel, Ana María Shua tracks the unhappy path of the obese to those murky institutions that claim omnipotence.”—Magdalena Ruiz Guiñazu, Perfil

(Magdalena Ruiz Guinazu Perfil 2012-03-16)

“Written in a rich, colloquial language stripped of euphemism, alternately raw and seductive.”—Marta Ortiz, La Capital
(Martz Ortiz La Capital 2012-03-16)

"[The Weight of Temptation] offers an incredible new look into the cyclic addiction to food and fans of dystopian literature, political parables, and food aficionados will find this to be a newly relevant twist on an old tale."—Three Percent
(Three Percent)

About the Author

Ana María Shua’s work Microfictions and her novel Death as a Side Effect are available from the University of Nebraska Press. Andrea G. Labinger is a professor of Spanish emerita from the University of La Verne in Southern California. Her many translations include Shua’s Death as a Side Effect, Alicia Steimberg’s The Rainforest (Nebraska, 2006), and Call Me Magdalena (Nebraska, 2001).

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A literary "Biggest Loser". Jan. 14 2013
By M. Grigsby - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book! The entire novel takes place at a "Fat Farm" where people are coerced, punished, ridiculed, semi-starved, and forced to exercise in order to reduce their weight. Marina arrives at the camp weighing approximately 200 lbs on her 5'1" frame. She quickly realizes that this experience to get "re-educated" on her relationship to food is brutal. Leaving the program is extremely difficult, due to the harsh monetary penalty. The "Personalized treatment" plan, or PT as it is called, is cruel and inhumane. The patients are belittled and ridiculed throughout the treatment. At the end, the successful dieters are put on an island and have to survive on their own for 5 days. As an added subplot, there is a teenage camp nearby the adult camp, and some of the teens have gotten very out-of-control in their rejection of the techniques used to force them to reduce their weight.

This book explores the myriad of reasons that people are overweight, all the excuses people use for their weight issues, and all the difficulties that people have in fundamentally changing their attitudes toward food. Some of the patients in the novel were successful, some were not, and many were just ridiculously resistant to the treatment that they had purchased. In many ways, that isn't much different from the way many overweight people use gyms, weight loss programs, and medically supervised diets. I couldn't decide, in the end, what the author really thought about the current efforts to reduce weight. The novel is fairly short, but is very thought provoking regarding the need and ability for so many people to reduce their bulk. This is a great book for anyone who enjoys watching the various weight loss reality shows!

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