Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Horsemen of the Esophagus

I saw former Penn Stater Jason Fagone read from his first book last night at a very packed KGB Bar on East 4th Street (two other authors and their fan base were on hand). It's called Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream. He read a very funny scene that captures the drama behind that watershed moment in the "sport," the July Fourth that Japanese 23-year-old Takeru Kobayashi ate 50 hot dogs in 12 minutes, using the new technique of snapping the dogs in half and shoving both halves into his mouth. It would become known as, yes, the Solomon method.

Note: As happens sometimes in the publishing industry, two books with similar angles have been released around the same time. Don't confuse Fagone's book with Eat This Book : A Year of Gorging and Glory on the Competitive Eating Circuit. Fagone's cover shows weiners in Oscar-Meyer-esque wrapping, whereas the other book, by Ryan Nerz, shows three dogs in their buns. Fagone's is by Crown/Random House; Nerz's is by St. Martin's Griffin. Both, however, seem to be the same number of pages: 320. Amazon.com is even offering a discount if you buy both, under their Better Together deal, so you can gorge yourself on competitive eating books.

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