The Man Who Ate the 747

Ben Sherwood’s magical, quirky, and gorgeously written novel The Man Who Ate the 747 takes magical realism out of exotic locales and centers it right in America’s heartland. J.J. Smith is a blue-blazered, buttoned-down keeper of records, a man who ”authenticate[s] greatness,” despite an utter lack of anything great in his own life. When he discovers a man in Nebraska who is slowly — extraordinarily — consuming an airplane to prove his passion to a woman, Smith sets off to be a witness — and then a participant — in a fable of love. While the plot points occasionally flirt with predictability, Sherwood’s poetic language is nothing short of mesmerizing. A-

The Man Who Ate the 747
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