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The Man Who Ate the 747

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  1,276 ratings  ·  189 reviews
This is the story of the greatest love, ever....

J. J. Smith, Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records, is an ordinary man searching for the extraordinary. J.J. has clocked the world’s longest continuous kiss. He has verified the lengthiest single unbroken apple peel. He has tasted the world’s largest menu item. But J.J. has never witnessed great love.

That is, until h
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 29th 2002 by Bantam (first published 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,022)
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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
Sarah B.
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
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
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
Alison Looney

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
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
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.
Jessica Pelasky
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
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
Lauren Magee
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
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
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
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
Jennifer Wardrip
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
Miguel Ramos
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
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
Jul 02, 2014 Caryn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 678
The title made me think…a man eating a plane? Really? This Alex winner would intrigue teens that enjoy facts and statistics like the Guinness Book of World Records. The book is based on real records, but the story is fiction. The main character, J.J. , The Book of Records fact checker, and Wally, the airplane eater, both learn about themselves and love in this book. Even though the premise is odd, I think the quirkiness will appeal to teens.
Davor K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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 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
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
The hyperbole on the back, "the greatest love story ever" probably raised my expectations, but then I realized hyperbole was part of the hook.

So, it isn't, IMHO, the greatest love story ever, (I think you have to have characters who were married 20+ years, suffered hardship, and stuck it out to have that), it is a cute love story with a lot of implausibility. I liked the premise a lot, but the economical prose style put me off. I also thought there was too much detail of small town life and not
I picked this up at a library booksale because I enjoyed Sherwood's The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud. It only took me a few days to read it--it's short and a quick, easy read. I would say I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first. I felt like Sherwood took a lot of time getting us to a point we all knew we'd end up at. The book is predictable but still cute. I liked the use of "greatness" and what it means throughout the book. One of my favorite quotes: "We chase chase wil ...more
It is literally about a man who ate a 747 airplane to impress the woman he loved. The story is written from 3 different perspectives but mainly from the perspective of the man who comes out to record the airplane eating for the Guiness Book of World's Records. He too falls for the girl that the 747 guy is in love with and we weave a horrible web. It is of course not a true story but super cute. It is a mindless read and a darling story. Would I recommend it? Sure but it isn't super high on my li ...more
Rica Idioma
Definitely a good read. At first, I was really curious about the title like, who in the right mind eats an airplane? But yeah, as soon as I understand the whole story, it's something to learn about. The selflessness and all.
4.5 stars
adore this charming and original love story. It is full of small town warmth and spirit and it is sure to inspire you, at least a little. I wouldn’t want anyone to eat a 747 for me, but I had to admire Wally ingenuity. It’s amazing to find out what foods you can put ground up metal into. It should have included a few recipes in the back

The quirky characters and plot will bring a smile to your face. This was not at all what I expected, but I cannot recommend it enough. At only 250 pages
Aug 05, 2009 Jodi rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: book-club-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
4.5/B+ -- Warm, tender story about setting your own special records & finding your own great love & living it. Sweet story. JJ Smith works fot The Book of Recoreds. He travels all over the world. In Superior, Nebraska, Wally Chubb is eating a 747 to get the attention of WIlla, the woman he thinks he loves. Well...JJ & Willa fall in love & Wally finally notices his friend Rose. But prior to realizing Rose is there he is devastated that Willa can not reciprocate his love & goes ...more
I love this book but I realize it isn't for everyone. My first experience was with the audiobook which is excellent. The reader makes one mistake which is that he speaks in a falsetto when he is reading a woman's dialogue. I really don't enjoy that. But other than that he was remarkable. After I recently read this in book form I realized that if you are someone who enjoys character driven books this may not be enjoyable. I love character driven stories and still found this quirky and delightful ...more
Very funny and charming. The end was meant to be by the third chapter, but the way it gets there is a minor surprise.
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Ben Sherwood is a bestselling author, award-winning journalist and founder of 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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The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud The Survivors Club: The Secrets and Science that Could Save Your Life Ho Sognato di Te El club de los supervivientes. Los secretos y la ciencia que podrian salvar tu vida The Zero Game / The Fire Baby / The Promise Of A Lie / The Death And Life Of Charlie St. Cloud

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