Journalist Ryan Nerz spent a year penetrating the highest echelons of international competitive eating and Eat This Book is the fascinating and gut-bustingly hilarious account of his journey.
Nerz gives us all the facts about the history of the IFOCE (Independent Federation of Competitive Eating)--from the story of a clever Nathan's promotion that began in 1916 on the corner of Surf and Stillwell in Coney Island to the intricacies of individual international competitions, the controversial Belt of Fat Theory and the corporate wars to control this exploding sport. He keeps the reader turning the pages as we are swept up in the lives of Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, “Cookie” Jarvis, “Hungry” Charles Hardy, and many other top gurgitators whose egos and secret agendas, hopes and dreams are revealed in dramatic detail. As Nerz goes on his own quest to become a top gurgitator, we become obsessed with him as he lies awake at night in physical pain from downing dozens of burgers and learning to chug gallons of water to expand his increasingly abused stomach.
Sparing no one's appetite, Nerz reveals the training, game-day strategies and after-effects of competition in this delectably shocking banquet of gluttony and glory on the competitive eating circuit.