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Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party

by Alexander McCall Smith

Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Contemporary Fiction Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party

Winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2015.

A scrumptious, joyous read, stuffed full of sharp wit, laugh out loud frolics and gentle soothing compassion. Fatty and his loving, loyal saint of a wife Betty leave the comforts of home for a holiday to Ireland in 1979. A number of lamentable and often laughable events befall Fatty and because she is at his side, Betty too. The author as well as pointing out the ridiculous, also allows us to see Fatty from Betty’s eyes and therefore opens ours. Completely charming, this is a little gem of a book and an absolute pleasure to read. ~ Liz Robinson

Liz Robinson

Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party Synopsis

It takes a lot to get under the skin of Cornelius 'Fatty O'Leary, but then there is a lot of skin to get under. The heroically proportioned Fatty can normally take life as it comes. Right at home in easy-going Fayetteville, Arkansas, he is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Betty, and likes nothing better than the company of good friends Tubby O'Rourke and Porky Flanagan. But when Fatty and Betty head off to Ireland on the trip of a lifetime, they find that they have left their comfort zone far behind. Calamity and mayhem ensue as one mishap after another befalls the beleaguered couple. Can Fatty's broad shoulders take the strain or will he suffer one indignity too many? Will he get his just deserts, or just dessert?

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Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Ray Orgill - 'A very attractive little book with a hard back cover and quality paper which would make a pocket-size present for anyone in need of cheering up.' Read full review >
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'What readers can expect from Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party is that it is full of humour and a must read short novel.  I highly recommend Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party to all readers.' Read full review >
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Considering this is only a slim book, Alexander has managed to get the reader so involved with the characters, so much, you find yourself not wanting the book to end.' Read full review >
  • Janet Gilliard - 'This cute little book is a stand alone novella...It is a story of the value of friendship. I shall be trying more books by this author.' Read full review >
  • Ann Peet - 'Some amusing bits but not up to his usual high standard.' Read full review >
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'I am not a big fan of McCall Smith –find his work too ‘lite weight’ – but this one has somewhat changed by view.  I loved Fatty!' Read full review >
  • Les Warriner - 'The jury is still out. much the same way as Victor Meldrew, it is indeed a black comedy with a twist in the tale.' Read full review >
  • Jillian McFrederick - 'The vindication as revealed in the last pages gives us a glimpse of hope and humanity, rounding off the story in a satisfactory way.' Read full review >
  • Elisabeth Thomas - 'Not Alexander McCall Smith at his best.' Read full review >
  • Susan Walsh - 'Hilariously funny in parts with a few real Irish twists...This will have you smiling as you read. Very well written & immensely enjoyable.' Read full review >
  • Christine Phillips - 'The situations Fatty finds himself in are very funny and I liked him and his wife. I was on their side throughout the book.' Read full review >

The Good Book Guide Review

Cornelius ‘Fatty’ O’Leary and his devoted wife Betty take a trip from their home in Arkansas to Ireland. Hopeful that his ancestral land would be full of delights and that the holiday would be memorable for all the right reasons, Fatty finds himself beset by a series of misfortunes and humiliations, indignities and embarrassments, and returns home a little wiser and more self-aware. This ‘literary amuse bouche’ puts its genial main character through trial by ordeal, but happily gives its amply proportioned hero the last laugh.

Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party Press Reviews

'All you can eat platter of humour ... once again McCall Smith doles out an appropriately extra-large helping of fun'- Scotland on Sunday


'A scrumptious, joyous read, stuffed full of sharp wit, laugh out loud frolics and gentle soothing compassion - Completely charming, this is a little gem of a book and an absolute pleasure to read-' Lovereading


'Delicious' - Scottish Field

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781846973239
Publication date: 10/04/2015
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781846973000
Publication date: 07/08/2014
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781846973239
Publication date: 10th April 2015
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 176 pages
Genres: Reader Reviewed Books, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Modern and Contemporary Fiction, Relationship Stories,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Alexander McCall Smith

McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humor, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers — New York Times Alexander McCall Smith, often referred to as ‘Sandy’,  is one of the world’s most prolific and best-loved authors. For many years he was a professor of Medical Law and worked in universities in the UK and abroad before turning his hand to writing fiction. He has written and contributed to more than 100 books including specialist ...

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