It is 1996 and Anne Strelau is sitting on a plane bound for London, heading towards the man she has loved since her teens. Having tired of the pretence of living 'normally', she has given in to her 'madness' and decided to confront the object of her passion, Peter Hemstedt. In fact, there is little that is 'normal' about Anne. Most obviously, at 112 kg, she is grotesquely overweight. "This is Not a Love Song" is the story of Anne's ups and downs: of her unhappy childhood, her miserable adolescence, and the start of her obsession with her weight. 'The decision to embark on the first diet is a decisive, if not the most decisive, step in a girl's life', she decides. 'In any case, it is more important than the hugely overrated event of losing your virginity.' First anorexic then bulimic, she measures her self-worth in kilos and boyfriends. Then she falls for handsome, successful Hemstedt. When her love is not returned, she fakes 'normality' and gets a job. But still nothing works. 'I have reached a point', she records in her mid-thirties, 'where I no longer believe in anyone or anything, apart from chocolate.' A brilliantly black comedy about obesity, adult disappointment and cynicism, wars, ecological disasters and passing fashions, "This is Not a Love Song" serves up irresistibly macabre chic lit with a thick coating of grime and fat.