'Skinny Bitch' Authors' New Goal: Making Men Buff (book review)

New York Times | MOTOKO RICH | 09/11/09

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Can the sassy, foul-mouthed, hectoring tone that prompted millions of women to buy "Skinny Bitch" work for men?

In an effort to capture the other gender with their best-selling diet book franchise, Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, the authors of "Skinny Bitch," a vegan manifesto clothed as a weight-loss primer, have retrofitted the original book for men under the title "Skinny Bastard." The book, published by Running Press, goes on sale on Monday.

The authors and publisher believe that the tough-love message of the original book will translate to men who want to lose weight and "get ripped." Running Press, a division of Perseus Books, has planned an initial print run of 100,000 copies.

"Skinny Bitch," with maxims like "sugar is the Devil" and "soda is liquid Satan," has spent a total of 92 weeks on The New York Times Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous Paperback Best-Seller list, and has sold 1.1 million copies, according to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of sales. The authors have also written a recipe book, "Skinny Bitch in the Kitch," which sold a healthy 217,000 copies, and a book for pregnant mothers, "Skinny Bitch: Bun in the Oven," which has sold only 26,000 copies.

"Skinny Bastard," said David Steinberger, chief executive of Perseus, is "a testosterone repackaging of basically the same book, prepared in a way that will get the message out to men."

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