The hilarious new work from Van Whitfield, writer-on-the rise and author of the Blackboard bestseller Beeperless Remote.
In Something's Wrong with Your Scale, Van Whitfield introduces the likeable Sonny Walker, a thirty-something Mr. Nice Guy who's found companionship and comfort with Marsha. The only problem is that he's become too comfortable. Weighing seventy-five pounds more than when the courtship first began, the newly food-obsessed Sonny just can't stay away from Marsha's marvelous dishes, even in the middle of their breakup conversation.
Determined to slim down and get his girlfriend back, Sonny joins the FutraSystem weight-loss center and meets potential love interest Kayla, as well as a host of other colorful characters. In a heartwarming tale that is alternately hilarious, wise, and ultimately self-affirming, Whitfield has created a thoroughly delicious and engaging novel sure to be enjoyed by those who have waged the battle of the bulge, or know someone who has.
|Publisher:||Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.62(d)|
About the Author
Van Whitfield's first novel, Beeperless Remote, originally published in paperback in 1996, was an underground sensation. The following year, Blackboard and Emerge placed Van Whitfield among the ranks of a cadre of young up-and-coming African-American male writers such as Omar Tyree and Eric Jerome Dickey. Whitfield established the "Education Works!" Foundation to encourage literary excellence among young people. He's single and lives in the D.C. suburb of Lanham, Maryland.
Table of Contents
|2.||Weddings, Special Events|
|4.||To Get Someone's Attention|
|5.||So We Can Say, "Look at Me Now!!"|
Reading Group Guide
1. Sonny Walker, the lead character in Something's Wrong with Your Scale!, is dropped by his girlfriend Marsha because he gained too much weight. Is Marsha wrong for dropping him, or should she be viewed in a positive light for being honest and straightforward? How could Marsha have better handled the situation? If you were involved with someone who had gained a significant amount of weight over the course of the relationship, would it be a problem? How would you respond if you thought a mate or potential mate were overweight?
2. Kayla Jennings, Sonny's new love interest, is portrayed as an intelligent, successful, overweight woman. How would you describe her relationship with Jonathan James Leslie? Considering her achievements, is her relationship with Sonny, a low-level employee at The Sports Authority, realistic? During a phone call, Sonny calls her, "The big girl." How did you feel about this statement, particularly since Sonny has a weight problem of his own?
3. When Sonny and Kayla first dine out at Leon's Eat & Weigh Kountry Buffet, they are insulted by a waiter and his brother. How do you feel about that incident and Kayla and Sonny's response? Are you aware of incidents of this sort? Have you ever been out with someone who was clearly overeating and was insulted by the wait staff or by other customers in the restaurant? If so, how did that make you feel? Do you think that people who are overweight are sometimes treated unfairly?
4. Chet and E, Sonny's closest friends, are depicted as acknowledging Sonny's weight problem, yet they have disdain for overweight people. Are their attitudes typical? How would you handle a friend who discrimates against a particular group of people to which you also happen to belong? Did Sonny overreact the night he and his friends were drinking?
5. Like Shawn in Beeperless Remote, Sonny is dropped by a woman he cares about, yet he never tells his closest friends. Is this typical of the men you know? Who do men talk to when they have concerns about their relationships?
6. Van Whitfield said that while interviewing people for Something's Wrong with Your Scale! he found that overweight people were often not attracted to other overweight people. How do you explain this? What do you suppose are the issues regarding overweight people and romance? Are those with weight problems perceived as especially romantic or particularly unromantic?
7. In one sequence, Kayla says that other people had a bigger problem with her weight than she did. How do you think those with weight problems are perceived by others? How do you think they perceive themselves? Are you uncomfortable with overweight people? If you had a friend that you thought was overweight, but who didn't seem bothered by it, would you address it?
8. In a scene at Sonny's job, he is asked to pose as a "jumbo family-sized tent." Do you think overweight people are subjected to workplace ridicule more than those without weight problems? How are those with weight problems perceived in the workplace? Could a weight problem cause one to miss out on a promotion? Do you think a subordinate sees a supervisor with a weight problem as a competent supervisor or as "just another fat person?"
9. Did Something's Wrong with Your Scale! affect your perception of people with weight concerns and the problems they endure? Do you feel the book would be beneficial to younger people with weight problems?
10. Van Whitfield has been hailed for his unique writing style and use of metaphors and humor. How would you define his style? Is his use of dialogue realistic and/or effective? How, if at all, does Sonny's tone differ from Shawn Wayne's in Beeperless Remote? What are the strengths of Van's style and what might be his shortcomings?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Have you ever read a book that is so like you that it's scary? Well, if that's the case, then I've got a book you've got to read. In "Something's Wrong with Your Scale", the reader finds themselves on the wrong side of a relationship gone bad. While most people can't understand what it feels like to be dump because of weight, others will know only to well how it feels.After getting the dumped, the main character of the book tries to lose weight, only to fail.However, he eventually joins a weight loss center which does nothing to make him feel better. By the end of the book though, we see that the main character is a changed man, at least in terms of his opinion of himself.What Van Whitfield manages to accomplish here is amazing. Not only does he write a truthful book, he also writes it from a real point of view. By this I mean that he doesn't make things easy for his main character to achieve his goal nor does he make apologizes for the way his life is going.Instead, he write a great story with true to life characters.
Books written by guys for guys which deal with body image aren't always easy to find--especially when they feature someone like Sonny Walker. A nice, goodlooking guy, Sonny packed on the pounds and lost the girl of his dreams. Now he's stuck in a rut, and trying to deal with his body issues while falling for a beautiful (and huge) lady he met at his weightloss group. Sonny, Kayla, and the rest of the characters are pretty harsh and blunt to one another, and the love-making scene is *ridiculously* funny. An all-star GUY-LIT read, if ever there was one, this thing oozes testosterone.
Good, fun book to read.....Deals nicely with the battle of the budge and how shallow people can be...if your close friends...nice story told well!
Something's Wrong with Your Scale will have you laughing out loud! Sonny is a good brother who just happens to gain weight. He battles with his weight, but the battle enables him to see people for what they really are. And in the end he is all the better for having gone through the battle. You will laugh from the beginning to the end !
Finally, a book about being overweight and undesirable from a man's point of view. In a society where the focus is always on a woman's weight gain or loss, this is a breath of fresh air to know that men have the same problem eventhough being fat is more accepted for men than women. Having been overweight at one time, I understood the emotional rollercoaster Sonny was riding during his weight loss. I am glad to know that men go through some of the same insecurities that women do. Finally!
Something's Wrong with Your Scale was so funny, I laughed out loud (on a crowded bus). Sonny and Kayla were good together. At first I feared they'd fall into the rut of becoming food enablers and therefore they'd both grow even heavier. But they were supportive of one another in the end and that made their relationship positive and healthy. Van Whitfield touches on all the pitfalls of losing weight. Like spending money on those weightloss programs that promise if you only follow THEIR plan you will trim down. FALSE! Losing weight is hard work. Anyone who's ever done it will tell you that. There are no easy solutions. You just have to eat less and exercise more and make that a lifelong commitment. Bravo, Van. You were inspiring without being maudlin.