Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Eat Only When You're Hungry

Eat Only When You're Hungry

A Novel

Lindsay Hunter; read by David LeDoux

Macmillan Audio

BUY THE BOOK

$26.99

Macmillan Audio

Macmillan Audio

08/08/2017

ISBN: 9781427292254

7:34:0

One of Nylon's "50 Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"

One of Chicago Reader's "Books We Can't Wait To Read In 2017"

A father searches for his addict son while grappling with his own choices as a parent (and as a user of sorts)

In Lindsay Hunter’s achingly funny, fiercely honest second novel, Eat Only When You’re Hungry, we meet Greg—an overweight fifty-eight-year-old and the father of Greg Junior, GJ, who has been missing for three weeks. GJ’s been an addict his whole adult life, disappearing for days at a time, but for some reason this absence feels different, and Greg has convinced himself that he’s the only one who can find his son. So he rents an RV and drives from his home in West Virginia to the outskirts of Orlando, Florida, the last place GJ was seen. As we travel down the streets of the bizarroland that is Florida, the urgency to find GJ slowly recedes into the background, and the truths about Greg’s mistakes—as a father, a husband, a man—are uncovered.

In Eat Only When You’re Hungry, Hunter elicits complex sympathy for her characters, asking the listener to take a closer look at the way we think about addiction—why we demonize the junkie but turn a blind eye to drinking a little too much or eating too much—and the fallout of failing ourselves.

NPR Best Book of the Year

It was too late to be a lunch, too early to be a dinner, this disappointing collection of food Greg was packing. He was leaving in the odd smear of time between the markers of his day. Not in the morning, not in the night. Not even in the midday....

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

"A novel of staggering vision and tremendous heart. On full display here are Hunter’s nonpareil technique, her skillful excavation of her characters’ interior landscapes — a digging done both ruthlessly and yet with abundant mercy — and her inspired inventiveness at the level of language . . . All of which is to say that Eat Only When You’re Hungry is in every way majestic: stunningly detailed, formidably written, and profoundly affecting." —Vincent Scarpa, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Hunter delves closely into Greg's world as he travels from West Virginia to Florida in a rented RV, and also delves into the troubled lives of his family members, with an honesty that is both harsh and tender. Eat Only When You're Hungry does many things—it's a painfully vivid family portrait, a road novel, and a novel about addiction in its many forms—and it does them all wonderfully, with a stunning emotional impact." —Isaac Fitzgerald, Buzzfeed

"There’s a vibrant ruthlessness at the heart of Lindsay Hunter’s second novel, Eat Only When You’re Hungry, the kind that makes it hard, at times, to catch your breath . . . What are we to do with all this love and longing, imperfect and incomplete though it may be? Eat Only When You’re Hungry eschews easy answers, or resolution in any fundamental way" —David Ulin, 4Columns

"Hunter specializes in spotlighting characters at their low point. . . . In … More…

Praise for Eat Only When You're Hungry

"A novel of staggering vision and tremendous heart. On full display here are Hunter’s nonpareil technique, her skillful excavation of her characters’ interior landscapes — a digging done both ruthlessly and yet with abundant mercy — and her inspired inventiveness at the level of language . . . All of which is to say that Eat Only When You’re Hungry is in every way majestic: stunningly detailed, formidably written, and profoundly affecting." —Vincent Scarpa, Los Angeles Review of Books

"Hunter delves closely into Greg's world as he travels from West Virginia to Florida in a rented RV, and also delves into the troubled lives of his family members, with an honesty that is both harsh and tender. Eat Only When You're Hungry does many things—it's a painfully vivid family portrait, a road novel, and a novel about addiction in its many forms—and it does them all wonderfully, with a stunning emotional impact." —Isaac Fitzgerald, Buzzfeed

"There’s a vibrant ruthlessness at the heart of Lindsay Hunter’s second novel, Eat Only When You’re Hungry, the kind that makes it hard, at times, to catch your breath . . . What are we to do with all this love and longing, imperfect and incomplete though it may be? Eat Only When You’re Hungry eschews easy answers, or resolution in any fundamental way" —David Ulin, 4Columns

"Hunter specializes in spotlighting characters at their low point. . . . In a book about binge eating, Hunter is always feeding the reader more metaphors, sometimes handfuls per page. What might feel gratuitous from a lesser writer is a signature success for Hunter; she serves up images that are at once salty and sweet, satisfyingly tragicomic. . . . Ultimately, Eat Only When You’re Hungry is an extraordinary trip of a novel not because of its scene-setting but the quality of its characters." —Ben Purkert, Fiction Advocate

"Hunter has a gift for dark fiction, rendered with a tender and generous touch . . . In Hunter’s smart twist on the classic American road trip, the novel becomes an instant-gratification junk-food tour through the national underbelly." —National Book Review (Five Hot Books This Week)

"[A] commanding narrative . . . A savage tale of parenthood and squandered hope from an author whose unsparing eye never ceases to subvert the mundane." —Kirkus

"Hunter's absurd Floridian landscapes and darkly tender moments are keen and hilarious, exposing the complexities of addiction and an overweight man with a weak heart but unfailing love." —Booklist

"The frailties of the human body and the human heart are laid bare in Lindsay Hunter’s utterly superb novel Eat Only When You’re Hungry. There is real delicacy, tenderness, and intelligence with which Hunter tackles this portrait of a broken family of people who don’t realize just how broken they are until they are forced to confront the fractures between them and within themselves. With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." —Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Hunger

"This novel takes us on a road trip with an American Everyman into the heart of American hunger—for freedom, for connection, for junk food, for love. Hunter has a brilliant sense for the perfectly telling image, and her humor is so biting and smart it was almost a surprise, at the end of this engrossing book, to realize how thoroughly she had broken my heart.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

"Compassionate, claustrophobic, gut-wrenchingly observed, Eat Only When You’re Hungry probes the fine lines between hunger and addiction, addiction and desire. In perfectly nuanced prose, Lindsay Hunter observes the human ability to go on in the face of the unexpected, the unknown, the regretted, and, perhaps most important, the mundane." —Lori Ostlund, author of After the Parade

Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

Lindsay Hunter; read by David LeDoux

Lindsay Hunter is the author of the story collections Don’t Kiss Me and Daddy’s and the novel Ugly Girls. Originally from Florida, she now lives in Chicago with her husband, sons, and dogs.

image of Lindsay Huntero
Lili Calfee

Macmillan Audio

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER