The Man Who Ate the 747

Ben Sherwood, Author Bantam Books $19.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-553-80182-8
HIntroduced as ""the story of the greatest love, ever,"" by its world-record verifier of a hero, this winsome, perceptive and often hilarious comedy is not sparing in its deployment of superlatives. J.J. Smith, keeper of the records for the Guinness-clone Book of Records, has witnessed and verified the world's longest apple peel, the longest flight of a champagne cork, the longest fingernails, the longest hiccup attack. But as record book sales dwindle in the face of TV's Scariest Police Chases and When Animals Attack, J.J. is ordered to come up with a news-making world recordDor else. Just in time, the dapper, fact-loving New Yorker receives an anonymous tip from Superior, Neb., and sets out for that lonely, windswept town. There, a lumbering introvert farmer, Wally Chubb, is on a mission to prove his love for Superior's sassy newspaper editor, Willa Wyatt. His plan: to consume an entire Boeing 747, ground into grit. The whole town knows of Wally's eccentric commitment, but Willa, a blue jeans-clad blonde who longs for a more ""worldly"" love, does not have the heart to tell him to stop. Between bites of peanut butter/wing torsion box sandwiches and sips of vanilla fan-blade assembly milkshakes, Wally reluctantly agrees to allow J.J. to record his progress for the Book. Willa rails against the media circus J.J. brings to Superior, but she can't deny her attraction to the new man, and J.J. finds himself falling in love with Willa, too. Conflicts arise when Wally nears the indestructible, and possibly unconsumable black box; when the Book's editors enforce the ""no gluttony records"" rule; and when J.J. painfully realizes that his love for Willa threatens not only his job but Wally's heart as well. In telling his unlikely story, J.J. begs us to ""believe it just a little."" There's no question readers will join him in the faith. First-time novelist Sherwood, an NBC executive, has produced a heartwarming, gently humorous tale that could set records of its own. Major ad/promo; author tour; film rights sold to Bel Air Entertainment/Warner Bros. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
Prebound-Glued - 258 pages - 978-0-613-49504-2
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-24632-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 258 pages - 978-0-553-58280-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52750-6
Hardcover - 260 pages - 978-0-385-33533-1
Open Ebook - 132 pages - 978-0-307-42856-1
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-71225-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-553-38262-4
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