Presto! How I made over 100 pounds disappear and other magical tales by Penn Jillette

Perhaps the first adherent of the potato diet, fingerling extraordinaire and connoisseur of the nightshade tuber, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome on stage, Mr Penn Jillette.

* cue applause*


I think you probably either love Penn Jillette. Or hate him.

I fall into the love Penn Jillette camp. I think he has a fantastic mind.

How I made over 100 pounds disappear and other magical tales feels like a 350 page blog. It details Penn’s journey from ‘Fat-Fuck (his words) to skinny but still freakishly tall guy, all done while documenting his newfound relationship with the ambrositic* spud.

* I’m trying turn ambrosia into an adjective. Maybe it will catch on.

I really enjoyed this book. But am likely compromised (because I have recently joined the potato-cult) and extremely bias (because I really like Penn&Teller). I blazed through this book and was entertained throughout. Penn’s writing style is quite easy going although also a bit bipolar. He can be so unbelievably clever and stylistic with language in one sentence (to the point of awe). And then completely crass and boorish in the next. It tends to lurch from one extreme to the other throughout the book. That’s just who Penn is though. He doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not.

The book is full of wit and self deprecating humor. Although not really big on the science. In so far as there is any science to this crazy diet. I mean there is some science. But its more a psychology battle I feel.

I only did the pure potato diet for three days. I have less weight to lose, so I feel I don’t have to venture into that level of extremism. I’m sure there are purists who will disagree… still it was mostly nice to read about someone else struggling with big weird feelings while their body goes into detox shock. Day four is the tough one.

This books is very niche and I’m weary of recommending it based on that. If you are a fat-fuck however, maybe this will tip you in the right direction. Maybe it will even save your life. Good luck.