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The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's ...
The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior's attempt to answer a friend's dramatic cry for help.
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes EPB
My dad left when I still had a month to go in the darkroom, and historically when people have tried to figure me out (as in, "What went wrong?"), they usually conclude that Mom spoiled me; gave me everything I wanted because I had no pappy. Truth is, Mom thinks I'm a whole lot better off without that particular pappy and has told me a thousand times she's glad I had the good sense to stay packed away until he split. They were young. My mother was my age now when I was born, and so was my dad.
I don't know very much about Dad, really. In eighteen years he's made no effort to contact me, and all I have is a picture. He's a college professor somewhere in the Midwest, Mom thinks in Geology. She doesn't think Geology is in the Midwest, she thinks that's what he teaches. The fact that he's excited about rocks hasn't had much genetic influence on me as far as I can tell, but what I see in the picture of him has. My dad is a tub of lard. At least he was at eighteen. I'm not talking about a guy who should have gone light on the desserts and between-meal snacks. I'm talking about a guy who should have spread Super Glue on his lips before showing his face outside his bedroom each morning. My dad could have sold his extra chins for marble sacks.
And my mom is a fox. Really. Bonafide, hundred-thousand-dollar silver-pelt fox. She has dark brown hair and green eyes and this slinky, long, muscular body that she keeps in perfect working order, and I know for a fact half the kids who come to my house hope to catch her in shorts and a tank top. Christ, she's only thirty-six years old.
"Mom," I said one morning a couple of yearsago, Dad's picture clutched tight in my beefy paw, "tell me something. Tell me why somebody who looks like you would fall for somebody who looks like this." I plopped the picture on the coffee table in front of her.
"Looks aren't everything, Eric," she said.
"His looks aren't anything," I said back. "And he left them for me."
She looked up and smiled. "You look a lot better than your dad," she said. "He was compulsive, ate all the time. You're big and solid. That's different."
"Big and solid as twelve pounds of mashed potatoes in an eight-pound bag," I said. "If you dressed me up in an orange and-red sweater, you could ride me around the world in eighty days."
"And you have a much better sense of humor than your father," she said, probably remembering Dad's high regard for rocks. Mom was never one to let me dwell on the parts of me I didn't like.
My name is Eric Calhoune, and though I have spent hours in the weight room since that conversation, most folks call me Moby. My English teacher, Ms. Lemry, who is also my coach, sometimes calls me Eric the Well Read, because I'm pretty smart. She also calls me Double-E, for Eric Enigma. "I can't figure exactly how you're put together inside," she says.
"You're a jock who doesn't compete in his best sport, a student who doesn't excel where his aptitude is highest, and you surround yourself with a supporting cast straight out of 'The Far Side."'
"Tweech his own," I said, and pirouetted to tippy-toe out of the room, in keeping with my image as Double-E.
If my belly button were a knothole it would certainly be more congruous with my keg-like body. I have chiseled away at my father's genetic code since I realized I was better equipped to roll to school than walk, but the bare-bones me is still more Raymond Burr than Arnold Schwarzenegger. All of which wouldn't matter, but for the amount of time that belly button is exposed, which approaches four hours a day. I'm a swimmer. I probably don't have to tell you the Speedo people don't employ William Conrad as a fashion designer, and I therefore do not step onto the starting blocks looking like a Sports Illustrated fashion plate.
Looks alone would be enough to keep most guys with my particular body design as far away from water as the Wicked Witch of the West, but swimming is a thinking man's sport and Ms. Lemry is a thinking man's coach. Besides, it keeps me far from the clutches of Coach Stone, who has been trying to get me to come out for wrestling since I was a frosh because he fancies me unbeatable as a heavyweight, which I very well might be. But the idea of a permanent gash across the bridge of my nose and mat bums on every pointed appendage does not appeal to me no matter how many trophies I might walk away with. I'm not a great swimmer, but I'm good—a lot better than you'd think looking at me-and I like the challenge of the clock, as well as the people involved. I also like the wake I create for the guy in the next lane.
We're eight thousand yards into the workout. Lemry's whistle blasts. "Let's wrap it up. Twenty-five yards. All out. Five breaths." Five breaths. No sweat.
"Twenty-five yards," she yells two laps later as we pull ourselves onto the deck at the far end. "All out. Three breaths." The oxygen bill is in the mail.
"Twenty-five yards. All out. Two breaths." Serious oxygen debt begins.
"Twenty-five yards. Did I say all out? One breath." The whistle...Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes EPB
Posted December 4, 2011
Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes is about an odd friendship between two kids in high school with different but equal problems. Sarah Byrnes is horribly burnt and the main character Eric Calhoune is just overweight, but is constantly picked on. Sarah begins to shut out the world and Eric is left to pick up the pieces to figure out why, and to find out the secret she's been keeping all the years of their friendship. Eric begins to slowly understand Sarah's secret and tries to do something about it. Taking an unexpected twist in events the novel turns into something more than friendship. It takes a glimpse into the debate of abortion, religion and family issues. Creating an environment any teenager can relate to. The book is very serious at times but also contains a lot of comic relief. Both flow into each other well and will either leave you laughing or dying to keep reading. This book is very realistic when it comes to high school. The author includes a swimming team, which Eric is part of, and the bully everyone is afraid of. The author also gives a strong message. Will friendship be everlasting through thick and thin or will it crumble beneath the weight of the pressures of society. Overall i absolutely loved this book and would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a different kind of novel. A great break from the routine. So will the friendship of Sarah and Eric prevail or will it be lost? Well you'll just have to read the book and find out.
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 13, 2012
I thought this book would be quick and just okay. But i really enjoyed it. The writing was hilarious and the plot had me finish the book in one day.
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 24, 2007
This book, I thought was awesome! I mean even though there were a lot of controversial things like abortion, child abuse, religion/semi-religion it still tied into the characters and Sarah Byrnes. It seemed while other students were wrapped up in their problems it was still relating to Sarah Byrnes' problems except it was just being kept inside. Once her best-friend Eric told her about his love-interest and her abortion Sarah didn't feel so alone. She realized that she wasn't the only one hurting so bad but there were others hurting too but just in a different way. This was a heart-wrenching story of a kid that stands up for a friend when an adult can't. I loved every page of it and recommend it to anyone and everyone!
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2011
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes is a story about an incredibly strong friendship between Eric Calhoun and Sarah Byrnes. They have been best friend for the longest time. Sarah has a scar down her face that she has to live with every day, which she received from a pot of boiling water. Throughout the book he uncovers many stories about Sarah Byrnes and what really happened to her. Through the long remarkable journey they do many things for each other that show the real meaning of friendship.
Sarah is sent to the hospital because she has stopped communicating and they cannot find out what is wrong with her. While she is there Eric comes to visit her and everything just slowly pours out, but Sarah's secrets aren't the only person's secrets that come out of hiding. All the characters have some problem they are facing and some don't know how to face them with issues such as suicide, abortion, and finding a loved one. In the end it all turns out to be the best thing that has ever happened to some of them.
I believe that this book really shined through on showing the emotional side of some teenager's lives. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes showed me that I kind of take my family for granted and how I don't really understand what it is like to experience the life that some kids have. Details given by Crutcher on her father and what he did to her are similar to other people's parents and the harm they provide for their kids. I really enjoyed how this book was written and the lesson I was taught from it.
In conclusion this book was an amazing eye opener that has a great impact on many peoples lives. In the beginning it was very slow, but as we slowly found out about the characters and what was going on the excitement of what would happen next greatly approached on us. Everything in this book held us on a new attention level. The word choice, the descriptions, the setting, the characters, all made this book so well rounded.
This book is a must read for people 13 and up! It greatly deserves a five star rating, although some or the topics and diction are very vivid. With everything that happened it was one of the best books I've ever.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 15, 2012
I an 16 years old and had to read this book for school normally school books are horrible but i was surprized that this book was good. It is tragic what the kids have to go through. It made me a little emotional... i would not recomend this book to boys ... but it was a well written book and very creative!!
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2009
I Also Recommend:
This book was just plain annoying. Chris Crutcher's agenda was so obvious and obnoxious, it made me mad. Only half the book was spent on the plot, the other half was spent bashing someone for their beliefs and making this one stereotypical character look like a real jerk. The plot and catchy title looked intriguing, but it was hidden too deep underneath the annoying characters. This wasn't the first time this happened with a Chris Crutcher novel. In his other book I read called The Sledding Hill, in which Crutcher also ignores the plot in order to push his own agenda. Had potential, but I was left disappointed.
1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 8, 2009
This book was an ok read and i would recamend it for someone who likes to read things about peoples lives and so on.<BR/>But yeah it was ok
1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 27, 2007
Staying Fat for Sarah Brynes is the story of a girls quest for freedom from her abusive father and her horrible past. Luckily, she has Eric to help her along with her escape. This is a truely incredible book that tugs on the strings of your heart. I couldn't put it down. Crutcher does an amazing job at keeping you on th edge of your seat. I've never been a big fan of teen related stories, but I absolutely loved this one.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 14, 2013
Posted July 3, 2013
She got her scars when she was younger by dumping a pot of boiling water on her self but not on propose. Her dad wouldnt let the doctors fix her face. It says so in the begining of the book so if u r still confused it could help if u reread it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 12, 2013
This book broke my heart in the beginning, but it was so much more powerful and moving the more I read. Eric and Sarah's friendship is rare and makes you feel hopeful for their futures. It's believable and a story for all ages.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 16, 2013
I didnt think i would like this book...my teachers recommened it....i thought i should try it and im glad i did...everyone shoukd read it...its a sad but a great book!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 3, 2013
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Posted April 16, 2012
Its looks amazing but can someone explain the whole situation with the father. Did he abuse her and how di she get those scars? Someone lease write baxk and tell me because im really confused.........
0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2011
Try imagining having only 1 adult that is a pure psychopath with a dash of insaneness and a cup of crazies. This crazy-insane psychopath is named Virgil Byrnes. Virgil Byrnes has a daughter named Sarah. Sarah is not a normal kid compared to everyone else you would see. Her face is all disfigured from a tragic accident from when she was younger and that makes her an outcaste as well as Eric, one of Sarah¿s friends. Eric is not a skinny boy and has been offered to join sports because of his weight. Both of them have been ridiculed and harassed because of how they look and what they do. One day Eric sees Sarah powerless in a hospital. Eric tries with all his might to find the cause of her not speaking. While he is trying to find the cause, he instead finds out what happened in her childhood and he also learns more about himself. Throughout the book he meets new people with Sarah in the back of his head. Eric learns why people act the way they do. When he knows why Sarah is in the hospital he is shocked of what happened, not being able to swallow the truth. This is a tear dropping book that makes you relate things that are going on in your life. I did not want to put the book down but when I did I was wondering what will happen next. Chris Crutcher did an amazing job at describing the places and events that were going on in the book. While I was reading the detailed book, it felt like I was actually in the story, feeling the tension and emotions throughout the characters. After reading this book, I give the book a five star rating because of its thorough descriptions. I was satisfied with the book and I would love to read it again.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.