Fatboy Fall Down: A Novel

Maharaj, Rabindranath

  • Winner of the 2019 Foreword Indies Silver Medal for Literary Fiction

    “Heavy yet rewarding, Maharaj's novel is a reminder that resilience takes many forms — and that most exceed our naming.” — Kirkus Reviews

    A heartrending novel about one man’s search for meaning in a difficult life

    A child ridiculed for his weight, a son overshadowed by a favored brother, a husband who falls short of his wife’s ambitions, an old man with a broken heart… As Orbits’s life passes, he doggedly pursues a simple dream — a little place in the country where a family might thrive — while wondering if he can ever shake free of the tragedies that seem to define him. 

    Fatboy Fall Down is the lush and heartbreaking musings of a man trying to understand his place in the world. Though shot through with sadness, Fatboy Fall Down is also full of surprising moments of wry humor, and Rabindranath Maharaj's deft touch underscores the resilience of the human spirit.


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  • Rabindranath Maharaj is the author of seven novels and three short story collections. His fifth novel, The Amazing Absorbing Boy, won both the Toronto Book Award and the Trillium Fiction Prize. In 2013, Maharaj was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He resides in Ajax, Ontario.

  • Published: April 2019

    ISBN: 9781770414525


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“Heavy yet rewarding, Maharaj’s novel is a reminder that resilience takes many forms — and that most exceed our naming.” — Kirkus Reviews

“In Fatboy Fall Down, Orbits gazes into the distance, hoping to escape the reality of who and where he is and what it all means.” — Foreword Reviews

“Author Maharaj was born on the island of Trinidad, and he suffuses his novel with wonderful detail of the varied and exotic indigenous plants and animals of the West Indies. But most of all there is the spoken language of the characters, almost musical in its manner and rich in imagery . . . This is a quiet book that builds slowly, gradually taking on momentum and urgency, just as the passage of time seems so slow when we are young and so fleeting when we get older.” — New York Journal of Books

“The vividness of island life, so richly conveyed, adds to the depth of this remarkable character study.” — Booklist

“The very slightness of [Orbits’s] journey is perhaps what is most intriguing about this subtle and atmospheric novel: It is not exactly satisfying, but convincing, a tiny victory in the hot, long afternoon.” — Globe and Mail

“Maharaj's stream-of-consciousness style for Orbits' inner monologue is engaging and though there are only text breaks in lieu of chapters, the narrative pace hums . . . The pace of the work moves forward on the momentum of Maharah's observations and in pursuit of an elusive happiness. Fatboy Fall Down is a sad yet surprisingly inspiring story.” — Portal