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The Man Who Ate the 747

3.35  ·  Rating Details ·  1,459 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
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 sin
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Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 2nd 2004 by Bantam (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Sarah B.
Dec 30, 2013 Sarah B. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love love stories, but I do have one rule: all parties to the story have to actually be in the story. This book fails. The reader is given page after page after page of the interior life of J.J. Smith, who is a wet dishrag of a protagonist. Holy trivial minutiae, Batman, this guy is boring. BORING. Claw my eyes out, do not care to know him better, too boring for a first name boring. Then he briefly meets and is brushed off by a gorgeous redhead named Willa Wyatt and boom he is "in love" with h ...more
Carla ♥
_ i saw this b0ok at the BOOKSALE and i was immediateLy captured by the titLe .. at that time, i d0nt have en0ugh m0ney t0 buy the b0ok, s0 i hid the b0ok under a L0t 0f 0ther b0oks , s0 n0 0ne w0uLd see it .. :))

after a few days, i went back and im s0 happy because it's stiLL there and i b0ught it instantLy .. and i never regretted having b0ught and read this b0ok becuse it is s0o g0od .. the characters were great and the st0ry was n0t a c0mm0n 0ne .. i LOVE it <3
Night
Jun 14, 2009 Night rated it liked it
I bought this book, the first of this author's, after I read his second work (The Death and Life Of Charlie St.Cloud). I just like his style.

This book is even less dramatic than the second. It's just a love story in which one man literally eats an airplane for the woman he loves, and one man finds a love in the least expected place.

The narrative is so flowing that I can read in one sitting. All in all, it's a warm-heart and pleasant read.
Neeraja S
J.J is the record keeper for the World's Book of Records, who has traveled far and wide to record and verify world records of all kinds being created and shattered by aspirants who wanted to immortalize themselves through a mention in the Book. JJ's life revolved around seeking such greatness - he'd witnessed men do the most grueling and incredulous things to achieve that greatness. Through every euphoria of a "record", J.J lived his dreams vicariously and chased his life in search of more great ...more
Nadine Larter
So you know how you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover? Well I imagine the same sentiment is probably applied to judging books by their titles. I have to admit that I do both. I have bought books because they were pretty, and very often I buy the most random books simply because they have a cool title. I further admit that they usually end up just sitting in my bookshelf, but as I have said before, I am finally doing something about that.

The Man Who Ate the 747 is one of my weird titl
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Alison Looney
[spoilers]

Attention authors, current and aspiring: putting your characters in a coma so they can miracously emerge at the story's climax is a wretched plot device.

The campy ending reflects one of the book's major flaws - it lacks originality. It's disappointing that a book about a man eating a 747 could be so boring, but if you fill the pages with bland characters and stock revelations, I suppose anything can happen. Will our leading man, John Smith, discover that love can't be summed up in sta
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Melissa Lee-Tammeus
I don't know what to make of this book. I think it was supposed to be a Nicholas Sparks wannabe, but I'm not sure it pulled it off. And, to be fair, Sparks is good but certainly not one I run out to buy. So, with that said, I think the attempt at a cute love story was here, but it just didn't live up to it. This is what I think a Lifetime movie special would be. Man works for a pretend Guinness World Records. Travels the world recording greatness, is scientific and has never had love. Goes to po ...more
Siewjye Chow
The Man Who Ate the 747 is hilarious, wonderful, lovely, romantic and touching. Wally is the man who would actually eat a Boing 747 which was drifted and crashed on the little farm in Nebraska to show and prove his love to a girl he have been crushing on since he was 10 years old, Willa. On the other hand, J.J Smith, the keeper of The Book of Records, who has spent his whole life dedicated to The Book of Records on finding new record breakers came across a letter and reliable source about a man ...more
Miz
Dec 17, 2015 Miz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice easy book. It was okay.
Josie
Oct 19, 2009 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light read with a good romantic edge for us girlies!
Grace Hobbs
“Richly romantic, whimsical, and uplifting, The Man Who Ate the 747 is a flight of fancy from start to finish.” So says the back flap of the little book I was unfortunate enough to choose to read, and would in fact very much like to incinerate, but I’ll have to settle for doing it with words rather than fire, as I’m not terribly good with matches but do fairly well using words to get my point across. And this is a point I’m eager to make: The Man Who Ate the 747 is an absolutely abominably bad ...more
Karen Terrell
Jan 16, 2017 Karen Terrell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had moments of brilliance. I enjoyed the humor and the characters, and the author's insights and wisdom. There were places where the story dragged a little, and the plot lost its momentum. But, for the most part, I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun read.
Annie
May 23, 2017 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely little tale
Joey Sharpe
Ok read.
Geri
May 05, 2017 Geri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this at the library and the title intrigued me. It is certainly a quirky little story. I kept picturing Paul Rudd as the main character (J.J.). Very quick read.
Norrin2
Aug 27, 2016 Norrin2 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
There are a lot of problems with Sherwood’s first novel. And they start with the cover blurbs. “Smart, funny, touching and quirky,” says Tom Brokaw. And I’m sure he’d say the same thing if Sherwood were not senior producer of NBC Nightly News. That’s right – he’s Brokaw’s boss. Fannie Flagg praises “747” to the sky too. It’s too bad that Ms. Flagg seems to have stopped writing whimsical gothic books like “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” and now seems to make her living calling peo ...more
Kristin
Oct 08, 2012 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
My cousin gave me one of Sherwood's other books, 'Getting Into Guinness', about the author's attempt to break a record printed in the Guinness Book of World Records, and this one was mentioned within. Clearly the author has a fascination with breaking records, as that was the focus of this one too, albeit a fictional record.
Main character John Smith, J.J. to distinguish him in the long familial line of John Smiths before him, is an employee for the Book of Records still looking for the record th
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Jennifer Wardrip
May 06, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it it was amazing
How far would you go for someone you loved? We've all heard people state that they'd lie or die for a loved one, but would you eat a Boeing 747 jet plane?

Such is the case for Wally Chubb, a man on a mission to garner the attention of Willa Wyatt, the town's newspaper editor. Wally has been in love with her ever since she was the only schoolmate to attend his tenth birthday party--and now that he wants her attention, wants her to see just exactly how far he'd go to gain her approval and admirati
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Jessica
This was a completely random book that I think I got free on my Kindle. I will say that I actually started it last year and it didn’t grab me, so I went on a reading hiatus and went back to it a year later. The second time around it definitely held my interest a bit more.

It’s about a man named JJ Smith who is a Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records (similar to the Genius book of World Records). The story revolves around him being an ordinary man searching for the extraordinary; whether i
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Em
Jun 21, 2014 Em rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Calling this a novel certainly could have a double meaning. Atop the cover of the book is the cut-line from the Washington Post that 'this one is a gem'. It was an okay book but I would never call it a gem. It is a very unusual tale, but Sherwood is no Jon Hassler. And while the tale has a quality that is not dissimilar from 'The Accidental Tourist' it falls far short of Anne Tyler's best. The characters of J.J. Smith and Willa Wyatt are 'nice' as far as Sherwood takes them, but he could have pu ...more
Miguel Ramos
Apr 15, 2013 Miguel Ramos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good, i recommend it to all of the lovers out there and it really traps your feelings and you learn a little something about love or risks people take for whom they love! This is the story is the greatest love, ever. J.j Smith, Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records, is a man searching for things no one has ever seen or have ever done in the world. J.j. has clocked the world’s longest things and kiss just anything. He has tasted the world’s largest menu item which ther ...more
Barbara
The opening chapter hooked me and it's the rare writer who can do that just by describing a character's job duties. JJ Smith, the protagonist, 'authenticates greatness' by observing and recording Guinness World Records. Yet he feels ordinary and inadequate after his girlfriend Emily breaks up with him. A letter arrives on his desk telling about a man literally eating a 747 that recently crashed in the Midwest. Intrigued, JJ heads to Omaha, Nebraska, to authenticate this feat. There he meets Wall ...more
Maria
Jun 01, 2012 Maria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, romance
Believe it or not, this is the first book I've bought for my Kindle app on my iPod Touch.

Sweet story. Wouldn't call it a beach read, but more like a before-you-go-to-sleep read, if that makes sense.

We've got J.J., a man who is The Keeper of the Records at The Book of Records, who has a reputation to be heartless or simply just a workaholic man whose got no time for personal life. And we have Wally, the man who actually ate the 747 to prove his love for a woman, Willa. And we have Willa, who is n
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Maria João
Por vezes necessitamos de leituras galopantes, com histórias fora do comum e com vocabulário que nos impede sequer de pensar que existem dicionários. Esta é uma dessas histórias!
Um triângulo amoroso em que cada vértice tem as suas falhas sociais gira em torno de um potencial recorde do Guiness que coloca uma aldeola do interior norte-americano nas luzes da ribalta mundiais. Dois homens enfeitiçados pela mesma mulher tentam mostrar-lhe atabalhoadamente os seus sentimentos: um comendo um 747, outr
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Lauren Magee
Aug 01, 2011 Lauren Magee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book brings out everything I love in Ben Sherwood. I looked it up after reading The Life and Death of Charlie St. Cloud which I loved! This book is an adorable love story that has some intense heart breaking truths which saves it from being too happy go lucky. JJ Smith is the face of any guy that looks for greatness but fails to see what is right in front of his own face, his dorkiness and tendency to quote world records makes him perfectly imperfect. Wally is probably one of the most roman ...more
Salsabrarian
Booktalk: How far would you go to show someone you love him or her? Tattoo her name on your arm? Convert to you true love's religion? Eat a whole Boeing 747 airplane? Thats what Wally Chubb is doing. He's been in love with Willa Wyat ever since she was the only guest to show up at his 10th birthday party. They're grown now, but Willa's still not his girl, and the best way he can think of to get her attention is to eat a 747. So far he's eaten his way through the front of the aircraft, from the n ...more
Louise
Mar 21, 2009 Louise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Hmmm...I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. I read Sherwood's second novel first, "The Death & Life of Charlie St. Cloud" and had to remind myself NOT to compare this quirky novel to that one, as I can't say enough about the Charlie St. Cloud story!!

Anyway, Wally Chubb decides to prove his love to a woman (Willa) by eating a 747 airplane that crash landed on his farm several years ago. Why Wally decides that doing this will finally gain Willa's attention after some 20 odd y
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Anna
Oct 17, 2008 Anna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I started off really liking this book, as it had a warm, whimsical feel to it. It reminded me of the show Pushing Daisies or maybe the movie Big Fish. I could practically hear a British voice over narrating in my head! I also loved the interesting world records facts throughout- they never fail to capture your attention.

Now, the big BUT. As in...at first I liked this book a lot BUT really thought it was a disappointment by the end. It became predictable and boring by the middle and just got wors
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Davor K
Jan 21, 2012 Davor K rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, ireni
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erin
Mar 05, 2008 Erin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish, 2008
So far I'm not too sure about this one...I added this to my "to read" list a few years ago, and my tastes have changed since then. I'm only a few chapters into it, so I'll give it a few more pages.

So far, it seems to be written from a formula.
Step 1 - describe character that is sloppy, has no success in his job, and has no "joy."
Step 2 - show character as having no success with love, etc....
Step 3 - set him in a situation where love will "find him."

I swear, I've read so many books already like
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Ben Sherwood is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and founder of TheSurvivorsClub.org. From 2004 to 2006, he worked as executive producer of ABC’s Good Morning America during the two most successful seasons in the program’s history. Sherwood guided prize-winning coverage of the tsunami in Southeast Asia, the devastation of hurricane Katrina, and the presidential election of 2004

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