Author pokes fun at banting culture

Sarah Chapman

HB Thom Theatre Foyer – While surveying the menu at a restaurant and wishing she could order a bowl of pasta, Paige Nick’s banting friend exclaimed “I could kill Tim Noakes!”

“Take a number, stand in line,” Nick replied. And with that, the seed was planted for her latest book, Death by Carbs, a satirical novel that pokes fun at advocates of the high-fat low-carb (HFLC) diet and anti-banters alike.

“I became very amused by the length of the list of people out to get poor prof. Tim Noakes,” said Nick. Noakes is known for revolutionising the banting diet with his popular diet book, The Real Meal Revolution.

She pokes fun at the entire phenomenon of banting and illustrates the often times ridiculous nature of South Africa’s obsession with the HFLC diet.

Nick, a banter herself, admits that she is a fan of the diet but that while doing research for the book, she came to realise the absurdities inherent in the banting culture.

“I spent a lot of time on all the Facebook banting pages and some of the crazies there made me laugh out loud. There was just so much humorous material. People take this thing very, very seriously and out of that a lot of humour is born.”

The plot of the novel is simple: Prof. Tim Noakes is murdered and it is the job of Bennie September, the donut-loving detective, whose wife has made him start banting, to find the killer.

The list of suspects is equally interesting, among them is the ex-publisher, who turned down Noakes’s successful book The Real Meal Revolution, the co-authors, who struggled for the lime-light while Noakes was alive, and the CEO of SnackCorp, a company whose sales of carb-rich food plummeted due to the popularity of banting amongst consumers.

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