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My Life On a Plate [Paperback]

India Knight
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 July 2000
Clara Hutt (known to herself as Jabba the) is a ripe size 16 with a secret liking for kitten heels and see-through organza tops. She is 33 with a husband and two small boys, but some days she wakes up with the sneaky feeling that her life isn't all it should be. Her 6-year-old thinks he has nits; all the other mothers at the school gate are perfectly groomed but Clara is in pyjama bottoms. Clara, like millions of other women, is going through the motions of responsible adulthood, and only clinging on by the skin of her teeth. And just why is her husband so perpetually mysterious?

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My Life On a Plate + Don't You Want Me? + Comfort and Joy
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; 1st Paperback Edition edition (6 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140281878
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140281873
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 687,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

India Knight is the author of three previous novels: My Life on a Plate, Don't You Want Me and Comfort and Joy. Her non-fiction books include The Shops, the bestselling diet book Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet, the accompanying bestselling cookbook Neris and India's Idiot-Proof Diet Cookbook and The Thrift Book. India is a columnist for the Sunday Times and lives in London with her three children.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Some would say Clara (Jabba the) Hutt has achieved "the goal": husband, house and 2.4 children. She is a "smug married." However, there's always a downside and Clara's not-so-perfect life consists of carting her boys to and from school, giving her a chance to see how the truly flawless mothers exist; trying to decipher, after eight years of marriage, whether her mysterious husband actually exercises his bodily functions or not; and, of course, her eccentric family, which consists of a thin, beautiful, insane mother and a string of ex-step-daddies, plus ex-step-siblings. Added to the Clara cocktail are her swinging single friends, the perfect mothers who turn out to be Jezebels in M & S clothing, and the strange Irish dancer who she must interview, renamed by her five year old as "bloody Dunphy."

Hailed as the Bridget Jones of the 21st century, India Knight's first novel My Life on a Plate is a good giggle. If anything, it is the inverse of Bridget Jones since Clara Hutt starts with everything and heads in completely the opposite direction. Funny, warm and full of "does my bum look big in this?" sentiment, Clara ponders the question: "everyone wants to be married--don't they?" --Neena Dutta

Review

A wickedly funny and painfully honest comic novel. It's a triumph (Sue Townsend)

Made me laugh out loud. Does for divorcees what Bridget Jones's Diary did for singletons (Lynn Barber Daily Telegraph)

The funniest novel of the year. A brilliant take on modern matrimony (Evening Standard)

A sharp, witty novel...groundbreaking in women's fiction in that it attempts to investigate modern marriage: what it does to women, to their sex drive and their sense of self (Marie Claire)

Brilliantly funny (Vogue)

A comic tour de force (Daily Telegraph)

That rare thing: the lightweight comic novel that is well written, neatly constructed and actually funny (Guardian)

Clara is a thoroughly engaging, modern heroine who never descends into head-clutching cuteness. If India Knight doesn't produce a sequel, sharpish, she needs her head examined (The Times) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read but it has its flaws... 12 July 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
OK, I agree with most of the comments in the previous reviews so won't repeat them. But to sum up:
Negatives: Another story based in London; another heroine bored of her (cushty) life; more label-obsessed, somewhat shallow characters; an impossibly implausible ending. Yawn.
Positives: It is written by India Knight who is possibly the best columnist around at the moment; it is side-splittingly funny yet heart-renderingly sad; it portrays an interesting snapshot of a dysfunctional marriage; the heroine is ballsy and 'quite bad' at times, and for once she is not a simpering/ chardonnay-swilling/ working-for-an-ad-agency girl waiting for her Price Charming.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny! 11 April 2005
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. Not a life altering read but not suppossed to be. A witty little novel with fantastic characters. I actually found myself being able to normalise some of my strange behaviours! I love the fact that the main character, Clara is so utterly flawed like most of us but so ready to admit it - I want her as a friend!! It has a kind of english eccentricity that charmed me completely. My boyfriend decided he had to read it when he heard me laughing so much and he doesn't do fiction!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The kind of book that makes you laugh out loud. 24 July 2000
By E. Uren
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A brilliant book, extremely funny and very well written, I couldn't put this book down until I'd finished it and my only complaint would be that I finished it too soon and I would have liked it to be twice as long. India Knight has such an "adulty", unique way of putting things, she's very observant about everyday life and isn't afraid to talk about things that most people are too scared to even think about. Very down to earth and it was great that she addressed problems like being on the podgy side and not bothering to dress to impress, problems that most women over 30 would identify with. I can't wait for the follow up......I hope there is going to be one ! .
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I almost wet myself laughing... 28 Dec 2006
Format:Paperback
I have long thought that India Knight's weekly column in the Sunday Times is one of the best things about my weekend papers, and I really enjoyed 'Don't you want me?' when i read it a couple of years ago. I bought My Life on a Plate with a sense of anticipation, and it definitely didn't disappoint. I finished reading it this morning, having been unable to put it down as it is the funniest book I have read in ages, and it had me in hysterics on just about every other page. India has a sharp wit and a great way with words, and her heroines are relatable and sympathetic. Any mother can identify with the emotions of the lead character Clara, and the dialogue of her two sons strikes a chord they both sound remarkably similiar to my son and his bottom humour. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sarcastic, quick and self deprecating humour, especially if you have kids and spend your whole time wondering how you can manage to do everything required of you on a daily basis. There are many writers out there writing chick lit by numbers but this book is head and shoulders above all of the predictable trash that swamps the supermarket shelves, as it is truly, pant-wettingly funny, as well as poignant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My life in this book 17 Oct 2001
Format:Paperback
What I loved about this book was sitting there nodding at nearly every single page going "yes, yup, been there" etc. India Knight conjurs up a world of juggling children, work and trying to get the man you love to look at you, let alone even trying to talk to you! She does it with humour and also with tinges of sadness. Her acute observations are really key. Loved it. Lent it to all my friends who all felt exactly the same way. Maybe we all need to find a sexy Irish male ballet dancer somewhere!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, How did that happen? 24 Nov 2000
Format:Paperback
What a deeply imperfect book! The characters are at best flimsy. The storyline itself is not believeable. There are inconsistencies throughout. It is shallow, and at times seems little more than a blatant attempt to cash in on the Bridget Jones phenomenon. If this is all that India Knight has in her head then the word worthless springs to mind. AND YET - an amusing and sometimes compelling read. How did that happen?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read For everyone! 11 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the best book I have ever read! Since buying it two years ago, I have read it countless times! It is a heart warming book, written with such honesty and is a good reflection of real life as any 'normal' person sees it. It is ridiculously funny and I still laugh out loud! With the mention of such characters as 'Mr.Weeny Peeny' how could anyone with a sense of humour fail to?!The main character, clara, is the ripe 16, strawberry jam stained pjarma bottoms on the school run, tipsy when performing an interview, wonky bikini wax getting, eating disorder friend having, marvel that totally makes the book! Calling anyone who fancies a laugh, you need this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The new Bridget Jones 17 July 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
After Bridget Jones, we were flooded with girls about single women. I think Adele Parks started off the next trend - books about women who are married, and lots of female columnists are getting deals done now with married woman who finds marriage dull, wants to have an affair, finds life tough etc etc. This is very lightweight stuff. Maybe I am just biased against India Knight for slagging off the new Harry Potter in her column but as the last reader pointed out, the new Harry Potter does have more depth...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Fine and entertaining. Not very memorable but funny.
Published 2 months ago by sophie
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Relaxing Laugh
loved the tone and humour of this very insightful little book.
A little different from any particular genre, a story, a self help book yes both of these.

Thnaks
Published 17 months ago by Smiley Parcel
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun reading
It has been one of my fav books for a long time. I have a hard copy which I have read probably 5 times. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Great
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed this funny light read
This book was funny and had me gripped throughout. Easy to read and a real page turner. I would recommend this book to others.
Published 21 months ago by Isla Flood
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Absolutely brilliant story,' I actully listened to it on an audio book, on a commute to the lake district each day. Unexpected laughs throughout.. Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2012 by Ms. Y. Bartlett
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Despite being a great fan of India Knight - this was very disappointing in every aspect. Unbelievable characters and all very shallow.
Published on 9 April 2012 by Angela Newland
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
After loving India Knight's "Don't you want me?" and reading several good reviews on this book, I finally decided to give this book a try. Read more
Published on 13 Dec 2011 by Sin
5.0 out of 5 stars my very very favourite
I adore this book. It got me through many tough times, always raising a laugh when things looked bleak. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2011 by Ms. SL Naylor
5.0 out of 5 stars A real laugh out loud book! Hysterical
I could not put this book down. I read it cover to cover on a train journey with tears dripping down my face... it is hysterical. Read more
Published on 2 May 2011 by Mr. R. A. Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm...
I picked this up after reading 'Comfort & Joy' at Christmas and really enjoying it.

This book follows the character of Clara (the same person as in comfort & joy) and... Read more
Published on 25 Jan 2011 by C. Rucroft
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