Smith’s Sarah Campbell gets going nicely, with a wry randiness, stray sorrow (like bone in a hamburger), and a humorous self-deprecation
Carol Sturm Smith
Seeking redemption through booze, hard driving and bouts of gorging, Sarah Campbell leaves her New England home, her husband Sweep and her lovers, Will, Hangrove the local plumber, Young Viking, Ernest, and Bailey. In her red Porsche, she attacks the western landscape, stopping along the way in roadside rest areas to exorcise demons with her hand drum, sampling diners, sleeping in motels, until an unlikely encounter in the middle of the desert forces her to slow down and begin the painful process of digesting her experience and coming to terms with herself. Armed with a guitar and protected by 80 pounds of “insulation,” she returns home to face her friends. It is Sarah Campbell who contributes the first-person voice to this fast, tough, funny investigation of sex, excess, music and the power struggle between men and women, but in some sense all the characters in Fat People are heavy — fat or made plump for slaughter, oily or unctuous, corpulent, substantial, rich in some desirable element, or pregnant.