My Mad Fat Diary, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


My Mad Fat Diary is now a major new comedy for E4!It's 1989 and Rae is a fat, boy-mad 17-year-old girl, living in Stamford, Lincolnshire with her mum and their deaf white cat in a council house with a mint off-green bath suite and a larder Rae can't keep away from.

This is the hilarious and touching real-life diary she kept during that fateful year - with characters like her evil friend Bethany, Bethany's besotted boyfriend, and the boys from the grammar school up the road (who have code names like Haddock and Battered Sausage).

My Mad Fat Diary evokes a vanished time when Charles and Di are still together, the Berlin wall is up, Kylie is expected to disappear from the charts at any moment and it's GBP1 for a Snakebite and Black in the Vaults pub.

My Mad Fat Diary will appeal to anyone who's lived through the 1980s.

But it will also strike a chord with anyone who's ever been a confused, lonely teenager who clashes with their mother, takes themselves VERY seriously and has no idea how hilarious they are.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages, Some line drawings
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: True stories
  • ISBN: 9780340950944

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After I saw the TV series, <I>My Mad Fat Diary</i>, I just had to read this - the (edited) diary of the real Rae Earl. It covers 1989, the year Rae was 17. Rae's diary is incredibly chatty, warm, honest, insightful and believably self-absorbed. Her observations about teenage life - school, friends, romantic prospects, body image and self-esteem, family issues, music, world news, hopes and struggles - make her easy to identify with. She's also frequently hilarious, particularly her poetry. I cracked up laughing.But I also wanted to give her a hug and become her friend. Even if I don't know quite what we'd talk about.It's easy to see how this diary inspired events in <I>My Mad Fat Diary</i>, but ultimately it's a different story. Rae focuses more on her weight - her struggles with being perceived as fat and funny, but not desirable - than her mental health issues. She seems more outgoing and confident than her televised-counterpart - better at hiding her mental health issues from others, more secure in her relationships with her female friends. <I>If</i> this were a fictional YA novel, I would want to see more of Rae's conversations with her close female friends. But this isn't fiction. It's likely that she didn't feel the same need to record those conversations as she did to write about things which were troubling her - or else that she edited them to respect her friends' privacy. And because it is real life, there are the acknowledgements which say "Special thanks and much love to [her best friend] for nearly two decades of being the best friend a person could have". It's lovely when people are good friends for decades. That's encouraging to read about, in a way fiction is not.<I>I feel sick. Don’t know if it’s because I have scoffed two Easter eggs or if it’s because I am so jealous – almost aching with jealousy of Bethany. Just to be loved and cared for and WANTED. I can tell you, Diary, but I can’t tell anyone else. Just to be held. Just to be needed. This stupid body. It stops everything, everything that I want. I’m like a blancmange – wobbly and good at parties, but inside all this fat I’m a girl.</i>