Glen Neath - The Fat Plan
- Doug Johnstone
- 17 July 2008
The trouble with writing a novel satirising the mundanity of life and the mind numbing tedium of bureaucracy is, well, it risks being mundane and tedious. This second minimalist novel from Neath aims at the likes of Beckett or Kafka, but falls well short.
Our unnamed narrator is an obese man who takes a job working for a shady organisation which takes him to a cottage where he transcribes surveillance recordings made by his colleague Mona. The fat man begins imagining lives for the people on tape, as well as fantasising about himself and Mona, and when he starts making up transcripts, things go horribly awry. From the boredom of this reality, The Fat Plan veers unsteadily into surrealism and fantasy, but Neath fails to engage with either style, passages either being utterly flat or annoyingly preposterous, plus the attempts at dry humour are limp and lifeless to boot.