This ambitious first novel by David Whitehouse features a humongous protagonist at its comic center. Mal Ede, world's fattest man and bed-bound grotesque, finds his reluctant Boswell in his put-upon younger brother. Part parable of contemporary excess, part portrait of a dysfunctional family, the outrageous narrative evokes comparisons to Junot Díaz and John Kennedy Toole.

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.