Winner of the 2016 Thurber Prize for American Humor


One of the "Best Nonfiction Books of 2015"

— Kirkus Reviews


"A loose and rollicking compendium of stories that's billed as a memoir but comports itself more like a killer concept album […] The reader registers chest pain, and presumes all the laughing has caused a rib to fracture. But no. One's heart has cracked. Yet the laughter keeps coming, humor salving the hurt for reader and writer alike."

— Garden & Gun


"Key’s writing, in addition to being hilarious, is also marked by a Saroyanesque big-heartedness. An emphasis on family and the struggle to be a decent person when what you really want to do is firebomb your neighbor’s house."

— Ploughshares


“You don’t need to be a hunter or even a man to enjoy this exceptional memoir.”

New York Journal of Books


"Smart, funny, and wildly engaging [...]

Fans of memoir, personal essays, and humor writing will devour this in one sitting."

Library Journal


"Both laugh-out-loud funny and observant about the ways we become our parents while asserting

ourselves, The World's Largest Man is a wise delight."

BookPage


"Key's talent is all his own [...] An uncommonly entertaining

story replete with consistent wit and lethal weaponry."

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


"This book is funny as s#&t. I am by myself laughing the really loud laugh."

  — Some woman on the internet who is afraid to write curse words


"It was better than I thought it would be."

  — My loving wife


The World's Largest Man: A Memoir (HarperCollins) is the riotous, tender story of a bookish Mississippi boy and his flawed, Bunyanesque father, told with the comic verve of David Sedaris and the deft satire of Mark Twain or Roy Blount, Jr.

Harrison Scott Key was born in Memphis, but he grew up in Mississippi, among pious, Bible-reading women and men who either shot things or got women pregnant. At the center of his world was his larger-than-life father—a hunter, a fighter, a football coach, “a man better suited to living in a remote frontier wilderness of the nineteenth century than contemporary America, with all its progressive ideas, and paved roads, and lack of armed duels. He was a great man, and he taught me many things: How to fight, how to work, how to cheat, how to pray to Jesus about it, how to kill things with guns and knives and, if necessary, with hammers.”

Harrison, with his love of books and excessive interest in hugging, couldn’t have been less like Pop, and when it became clear that he was not able to kill anything very well or otherwise make his father happy, he resolved to become everything his father was not: an actor, a Presbyterian, and a doctor of philosophy. But when it was time to settle down and start a family of his own, Harrison started to view his father in a new light, and realized—for better and for worse—how much of his old man he’d absorbed.

Sly, heartfelt, and tirelessly hilarious, The World’s Largest Man is an unforgettable memoir—the story of a boy’s struggle to reconcile himself with an impossibly outsized role model, a grown man’s reckoning with the father it took him a lifetime to understand.