Top positive review
49 people found this helpful
on 1 August 2014
Fatty O'Leary has always been fat. It doesn't bother him or his devoted wife Betty. They live in Fayetville, Arkansas. Fatty is an antiques dealer. They are both proud to be Irish-Americans. For his fortieth birthday, Betty arranges a trip to his ancestral roots near Tipperary, a trip that becomes calamitous as soon as they arrive at the airport. The flight and arrival at their hotel are the beginnings of an enjoyable romp of a novel. Fatty is subjected to a series of misfortunes and humiliations, farcical events of acute embarrassment. Alexander McCall Smith deftly adds insult to injury with the snobbery of fellow guests, the O'Briens, who sarcastically belittle Fatty in the hotel at every opportunity. Betty and Fatty face these indignities, that are insulting and sad, with fortitude, until another guest, Lord Balnerry enters the scene as a saviour who rapidly assesses Fatty and Betty's frightful predicament. The dialogue between the hotel guests, Fatty and Betty is beautifully constructed and cheerfully fitting, especially the put-down on Rupert O'Brien: poetic justice.
This the funniest book I have read in a long time. Fatty and Betty are such loveable characters. It is packed with humour and downright laugh aloud fun. The author also cleverly explores what makes for individual happiness. A wonderful book, especially when Fatty has the last laugh.