Some parts of this book are confusing, some are boring, but overall I think it was very informative and, yes, entertaining. This isn't some po-faced diet book; it's intelligent journalism and a memoir by someone who is reassuringly human, like the reader. Leith fails and he fails spectacularly and then he tries again ... It reads as a sort of strange stream of consciousness with plenty of slang and ums and ahs to add realism. Usually I'm not a fan, but Leith makes it accessible.
Some other reviewers, I note, have said that this book isn't ONLY about overeating, but rather addictions in general, such as: drink, drugs, cosmetic surgery and shopping. But I think that's wrong. This book IS primarily about overeating, but it digresses into other addictions and compulsions to illustrate a wider point related to comfort eating. And apart from the therapy sessions, which take up many pages in the last quarter of the book, where the author regresses into his childhood and blames his parents for his unhealthy eating habits, I really enjoyed the book. The therapy felt a bit too self-indulgent. I notice someone else called this book nothing but self-pitying drivel (or words to that effect) and I thought: "Hang on a minute! What do you expect? This is a memoir." I prepared myself for such introspection and thought in so doing I had inoculated myself against it. Still, it turns out I wasn't immune to those thoughts.
But I like the style of his prose. It zips along, pings off the walls, fizzes through the pages. I rarely had to re-read passages, but I did occasionally.
One question I have after reading this book is: what happened to his Atkins diet? One minute he starts it, he's singing its praises and his only symptoms are an unease that he can't quite pin down and then he's off it and back on carbohydrates. Did I miss something? Is this mercurial sense of ... of something DIFFERENT really a reason to give up a diet that is working so well? Not even any bad breath or constipation! Or did he reach his ideal weight and so go for a maintenance Atkins? At the end he's eating like a horse again!
There's another thing that is bugging me at the end of this book. I like his analyses, his interviews, his meandering thoughts, his neuroses, but I think he's missed a trick, so to speak. I think people get overweight because they eat whilst they're doing something else. Like watching telly, reading a book, walking, surfing the net. They eat on auto-pilot! So they don't ENJOY the experience and they wolf it down without noticing. I think people should slow down. Put down your book, turn off your monitor, sit down, switch off the telly and LOOK at the food in your hands and watch it go to your mouth and FEEL it in your mouth.
Buy this book and you will gain a rewarding insight into your relationship with food.