I am a Michael Kimball fan (and this was even before he’d said nice things about Not So Perfect). Dear Everybody is comfortably in my top five books, and Us isn’t all that far behind.

Michael’s latest, Big Ray, does everything a Michael Kimball novel is supposed to do. Expertly constructed from small entries, it weaves them together to tell the story of the narrator’s super obese father, their relationship and an awful lot more, after Ray has died. It’s moving, often heart breaking, and it’s funny too. It’s a book about grief and, ultimately, about missing something or someone you don’t really like. Do check it out. It’s a gem.

But don’t just take my word for it. The New York Times said, “Big Ray is a disgusting man and a great character. He’s dead at the start of the novel, and it’s impossible not to wish him deader. … Mr. Kimball is not one to flinch” and it was Oprah’s Book of The Week a little while ago too. High praise, and absolutely right.

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