Goodbye Jumbo, Hello Cruel World

Goodbye Jumbo, Hello Cruel World

by Louie Anderson
     
 

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The year is 1907, and the boom town of Battle Creek, Michigan, is attracting a formidable array of visitors - the rich, the preposterously rich, and the merely famous, from California, Chicago, New York, and even Europe. What draws them to this place? And what inspires them to trade in their steaks and oysters, their martinis and champagne, for a diet of bran and… See more details below

Overview

The year is 1907, and the boom town of Battle Creek, Michigan, is attracting a formidable array of visitors - the rich, the preposterously rich, and the merely famous, from California, Chicago, New York, and even Europe. What draws them to this place? And what inspires them to trade in their steaks and oysters, their martinis and champagne, for a diet of bran and yogurt and a regimen of five enemas per day? Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of course, inventor of the corn flake, peanut butter, and the coffee substitutes that have ruined so many a bright morning, the man whose dietary wisdom is at your disposal in this comic masterpiece by T. Coraghessan Boyle. The Road to Wellville overflows with a Dickensian cast of characters - all in search of the magic pill to prolong their lives, or the profit to be had from manufacturing it. The hapless hero of this pursuit is Will Lightbody, a man with an undiagnosed stomach ailment whose only sin is loving his wife too much. For Eleanor Lightbody, despite her upper-crust credentials, her capability and beauty, is a health nut of the first stripe, and when she travels to Dr. Kellogg's "Temple of Health" to live out the vegetarian ethos with a vengeance, so too does poor Will. Boyle's amazing novel offers much more than a cure for pernicious maladies - it will make you howl with delighted recognition as you discover the root and basis for the catechism of today's food police. It will also give you a look at the boom industry that made the little burg of Battle Creek known around the world, and introduce you to the hustlers and confidence men who came to town to profit from the public's credulity. And it will give you adventure along with a good dollop of comic instruction in the mysteries of the prescriptive diet and the evils of sex (Dr. Kellogg believed in abstaining - for life).

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Rotund comedian Anderson, who frequently appears on late-night television, knows that ``fat jokes'' aren't funny. In examining the source of his addiction to junk food, he here expands his search for self-understanding begun in his first book, Dear Dad. One of 11 children of an abusive, alcoholic father and a complacent mother who treated the family's hurts with massive amounts of food, Anderson chronicles the steps he has taken--forward and back--to find the causes of the low self-esteem he expresses in overeating. Comparing himself to the circus elephant Jumbo, he leavens his sad personal journey with wry humor and bits from his comic routines. He notes that his candid evaluations of family relationships facilitate an emotional healing that allows him--as he suggests it will others--to better care for his body. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780517135679
Publisher:
Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/28/1993

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