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Paperback The Man Who Ate the 747 Book

ISBN: 0553382624

ISBN13: 9780553382624

The Man Who Ate the 747

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

This is a story of the greatest love, ever. An outlandish claim, outrageous perhaps, but trust me-- And so begin the enchanting, unforgettable tale of J. J. Smith, Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records, an ordinary man searching for the extraordinary. J.J. has clocked the world's longest continuous kiss, 30 hours and 45 minutes. He has verified the lengthiest single unbroken apple peel, 172 feet and 4 inches. He has measured the farthest flight...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


A debut novel with the unlikely title of The Man Who Ate The 747 is a salubrious return to a more innocent America, a laugh out loud funny romp, and a tender love story all rolled into one. Armed with rapid fire wit and bountiful imagination the author introduces 34-year-old John " J. J". Smith, an employee of the Book of Records. J.J. locates and verifies worthy accomplishments. Proudly wearing his mantle of authority, a navy blazer with a gold crest on the pocket, he "authenticates greatness." Citing benchmark moments, he recalls observing a woman "shaving the longest single unbroken apple peel in history, measuring 172 feet and 4 inches," and monitoring a determined Sri Lankan who balanced on one foot for 77 hours. J.J.'s late father, a 40-year route marker for the Department of Transportation, gave his son solid advice, "Stick to the straight and narrow, and stay in your own lane." Thus, J.J. can quote almost every record in The Book by memory. He has traveled the world and seen it all. There is only one subject about which he is totally uninformed, and that is love. Regrettably, it seems that J.J.'s days of glory may be behind him as he has not recently discovered a noteworthy feat.. New rules make standing records harder to break. For instance, couples who try to beat the longest kiss record (30 hours, 45 minutes) are now required to stay awake at all times. To make matters worse, J.J.'s insatiable superior, Nigel Peasley, reminds J.J. that he hasn't "landed anything since the world's biggest feet" and issues an ultimatum - produce or else. Sifting through his mail a dejected J.J. finds a boy with two front teeth "the mostest spread apart, " an artist who creates meatloaf sculptures and, wonder of wonders, a report of a man who is eating a 747. As preposterous as this claim appears, J.J. boards the next Dollar Jet for Superior, Nebraska, "where folks care about crops, family, and faith." There he finds a hefty farmer, Wally Chubb, who is indeed making meals of a 747 not for fame or glory but for love of a woman. With the aid of a Rube Goldberg contraption Wally pulverizes plane parts into powder which he ingests, all so that Willa Wyatt, the town's newspaper editor will know how much he loves her. J.J. believes he has found an achievement that "transcended astonishment," and that global attention will put Superior on the map. Soon out of state license plates are chock-a-block on the town's only thoroughfare, foreign tongues are spoken at the Hereford Inn, and satellite dishes sprout in Wally's pasture. The only thing of which J.J. is not convinced are his unfamiliar feelings for Willa, a response he attributes to "a surge of dopamine in his veins." As is often the case, the road to true love is rocky. While traveling that road Wally makes an unexpected discovery and J.J. learns that "the greatest joys are within our grasp, if we can only recognize them." Nimble-witted Ben Sherwood writes ably and affectionate

A Funny, Touching Story

"This is the story of the greatest love, ever." So begins The Man Who Ate the 747 and the narrator, J.J. Smith, "Keeper of the Records" for the Book of Records, ought to know. He has spent his entire life searching for and recording world records, from the longest kiss ever to the world's largest menu item, to the man hit most by lightning. But he's been in a real slump lately, too many "almost" record breakers, but no true winners for The Book. That is until he receives a letter about a man, Wally Chubb, in Superior, Nebraska, who's eating an entire 747, that crash landed on his farm. And why is Wally doing this? So that the woman he loves, and has loved since he was ten, Willa Wyatt, will finally notice him and just maybe love him back. This would be the biggest and best record, yet. Off J.J. goes to Nebraska, for what will become the greatest adventure of his life. Ben Sherwood has written a touching, witty, uplifting story, that will put a smile on your face and keep you turning pages to the very satisfying end of the book. His writing is smart and eloquent, with scenes that come alive on the page and his interesting, quirky characters are so beautifully drawn, that they grab your attention and pull you right into the novel. Getting to know these people and spending time with them, in Superior, is so wonderful, you'll really miss these folks when the story is over. This is a small, sweet book and a gentle love story, told with great insight, wisdom and humor...a book that shouldn't be missed.

This book will stir your heart!!

This is a magnificent book! Every single page is filled with a genuine spirit of sweetness and warmth all too rare in our cynical world. Its point -- that we must slow down our mad pace and take the time to see the simple wonders right in front of us -- can't be heard enough. Sherwood writes with grace, style and wit. His book is the funny, quirky product of a highly original, altogether American imagination. I can't wait to see what he'll give us next! Buy it, read it, then read it out loud to someone you love. I guarantee it will stir your heart.

The Man Who Ate the 747 Made My Heart Soar

I loved this book so much! In a world full of cynics, Ben Sherwood has written something true and pure and so very romantic.. the story is at its essense, a triumph over cynicsm about love, and negativism about relationships. It's also very funny.. and the humor is kind and generous. The author has an excellent eye for detail as well and I was delighted by the people and the places he describes so vividly. When you finish this book (teary-eyed if you're anything like me!) you'll feel like you could go to Superior, Nebraska and know your way around town and know people in it! I hope when they make the movie version (and they MUST be!) they stay true to this wonderful story and these delightful characters. Way to go Ben Sherwood! I just finished digesting 747, and I'm already hungry for your next novel!


This book is first class. I read it in one sitting, completely engrossed in Ben Sherwood's magical prose. "The Man Who Ate the 747" is a modern parable about what we crazy humans will do for love told with wonderful humor, insight and style. Sherwood spins his tale with such command that he made me laugh out loud on one page then get misty-eyed on the next. He has crafted a soaring love story that honestly earns its wings. Read it then buy it for that special someone to show how much you love them.
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