cover image Goodbye Jumbo...Hello Cruel World

Goodbye Jumbo...Hello Cruel World

T. Coraghessan Boyle, Louie Anderson. Viking Books, $20 (272pp) ISBN 978-0-670-83766-3

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)