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Now in paperback, David Whitehouse’s “ingenious” (The New York Times), “deeply affecting” (People) and award-winning debut novel about two brothers, obesity, celebrity, and the redemptive power of love.
Mal Ede, a child of untamed manners and unbounded curiosity, is the eccentric eldest son of an otherwise typical middle-class family. But as the wonders of childhood fade into the responsibilities of adulthood, Mal’s spirits fade too. On his twenty-fifth birthday, disillusioned, Mal goes to bed—back to his childhood bed—and never emerges again.
Over the course of two decades, immobility and a gargantuan appetite combine to make Mal the fattest man in the world. Despite his seclusion, Mal’s condition earns him worldwide notoriety and a cult of followers convinced he is making an important statement about modern life. But his actions will also change the lives of his haunted parents, his brother and the woman they both love, Lou.
Upon Bed’s publication, Kirkus Reviews declared, “Once in a great while a book will emerge from nowhere to acclaim.” In Bed, David Whitehouse has put a magnifying glass on contemporary society. The result—a parable about mortality, obesity, celebrity, depression and the broken promises of adulthood— is “as soulful as it is funny” (The Guardian).