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Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American…

by Jason Fagone

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691340,443 (3.15)3
Bill 'EL Wingador' Simmons, Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas, David 'Coondog' O'Karma, Eric 'Badlands' Booker, Timothy 'Eater X' Janus - just a few of the stars of one of America's fastest growing sports- competitive eating. In a country in which a third of the population is clinically obese, competitive eating has made the leap from trestle tables and paper napkins to stadium arenas - in the past two years, more than 1.4 million households have tuned in to Nathan's hot dog contest on ESPN.Beginning with a trip to Japan in search of the elusive (and surprising slim-line) champion Takeru Kobayashi and ending up at the sport's annual grand finale in Coney Island, Jason Fagone spends a year with the stars of the scene, watching as they eat their way into (or out of) oblivion, and finding out just what compels a 'gurgitator' to force down forty-six dozen oysters in ten minutes.Wickedly funny and devastatingly insightful, Jason Fagone uses this weirdest of sports as a lens through which to examine the dark side of the American Dream - the never-ending quest for wealth, celebrity, possessions and food. And along the way, he uncovers the wonderfully human stories at the heart of this seemingly unnourished corner of American culture. Bigger, better, richer, fatter, INSATIABLE unlocks a world we all need to face up to. Dig In.… (more)
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» See also 3 mentions

I mainly picked this up because of the awesome title, but I just got a little grossed out after a while.
It would have made a great New Yorker-length article, but a book was a bit much. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Fagone grows too fond of his chomping, chewing, chowing mates; not admiring exactly, but painfully aware of their outsize (they are mostly outsize) humanity. So he shies away from a proper analysis of what it all means; that might involve disgust, and he doesn't want to upset anyone. [...] Fagone's failure of distance renders Insatiable a curiously bloated affair.
added by Nevov | editThe Observer, Rachel Cooke (Jul 16, 2006)
 
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Bill 'EL Wingador' Simmons, Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas, David 'Coondog' O'Karma, Eric 'Badlands' Booker, Timothy 'Eater X' Janus - just a few of the stars of one of America's fastest growing sports- competitive eating. In a country in which a third of the population is clinically obese, competitive eating has made the leap from trestle tables and paper napkins to stadium arenas - in the past two years, more than 1.4 million households have tuned in to Nathan's hot dog contest on ESPN.Beginning with a trip to Japan in search of the elusive (and surprising slim-line) champion Takeru Kobayashi and ending up at the sport's annual grand finale in Coney Island, Jason Fagone spends a year with the stars of the scene, watching as they eat their way into (or out of) oblivion, and finding out just what compels a 'gurgitator' to force down forty-six dozen oysters in ten minutes.Wickedly funny and devastatingly insightful, Jason Fagone uses this weirdest of sports as a lens through which to examine the dark side of the American Dream - the never-ending quest for wealth, celebrity, possessions and food. And along the way, he uncovers the wonderfully human stories at the heart of this seemingly unnourished corner of American culture. Bigger, better, richer, fatter, INSATIABLE unlocks a world we all need to face up to. Dig In.

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