An unconventional weight loss tale from an unconventional personality. Penn Jillette tells how he lost 100 pounds with his trademark outrageous sense of humor and biting social commentary that makes this success story anything but ordinary.
Legendary magician Penn Jillette was approaching his 60th birthday. Topping 330 pounds and saddled with a systolic blood pressure reading over 200, he knew he was at a dangerous crossroads: If he wanted to see his small children grow up, he needed to change. And then came Crazy Ray. A former NASA scientist and an unconventional, passionate innovator, Ray Cronise saved Jillette's life with his wild "potato diet".
In Presto, Jillette takes us along on his journey from skepticism to the inspiring, life-changing momentum that transformed the magician's body and mind. He describes the process in hilarious detail, as he performs his Las Vegas show, takes meetings with Hollywood executives, and hangs out with his celebrity friends and fellow eccentric performers, all while remaining a dedicated husband and father. Throughout, he weaves in his views on sex, religion, and pop culture, making his story a refreshing, genre-busting account. Outspoken, frank, and bitingly clever, Presto is an incisive, rollicking listen.
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Full disclosure I’m a huge fan of Penn Jillette, if I have a man crush it’s Penn, I listen to his Sunday School podcast, watch Fools Us religiously and have seen him live any number of times….but I HATE diet books. I hate Dr. Oz and the self-righteous nonsense that goes with so many fad diets. So it was with some trepidation that I embarked upon Presto! I was painfully aware that Penn had done this crazy diet and lost 100 lbs.quickly because we doesn’t stop talking about it on his podcast. That’s OK but I have been known to fast forward through the diet parts. However I’m happy to report that this book, read by the inimitable and gloriously foul mouthed Penn, is nothing like most boring preachy diet books...it's very good.
Presto tells the story of his near death encounter with fat blocked arteries all the way through to the new svelte (and somewhat weird looking) Penn 100lbs later. It’s highly entertaining often very funny and really quite fascinating. The fanatical cult like diet regime which appears to be grounded in some pretty sound science is described in enough detail to be believable but not so much as to be boring. It’s a thoroughly entertaining read. If I had one tiny complaint it’s that Penn has a wonderful life… and boy does he name drop. I can hear him shouting an appropriate obscenity at me for saying that but in the context of a book rather than a podcast or a magic show…it can get a bit much…enough already with your Bob Dylan and Lou Reed stories! The overall demeanor of the book is a self-mocking aw shucks we’re just carny trash…who happen to be best friends with almost everyone. That’s probably just sour grapes (you can’t eat grapes coz they have sugar in them) on my part. This is a wonderful read, read wonderfully. You may not follow his path and join the cult to shed the pounds but it’s very entertaining to hear his story...I feel a bit thinner just from listening to it.
Look, I like Penn Jillette. He's an entertaining personality and a hell of an entertainer. I bought this book because I was impressed with his weight loss transformation, and I wanted to find out more about it. I've been listening to it most of the day, and I am just finishing up Chapter 22...which is about half the book. But, I'm done. This was an exhausting listen. I like a lot of the content here...in addition to the small amount of actual weight loss info included, you get little show biz tidbits and stories, his view on atheism (and corresponding need to dump on people of faith), are treated to a full-on overdose of profanity and graphic sexual imagery, and get to play witness to his need to be recognized as a full-on a-hole. No, I didn't make that up. He calls himself that and "fat f*ck" probably a thousand times in the first 22 chapters. OK, I got the point. So, here's my review. If you love Penn, you'll probably love the book. If you just want to listen to a story, maybe try the Abridged version (if there is one). This was like a bad first draft that needed to pass through an editor's hands about a half-dozen times before being unleashed on the public. Insanely repetitive...even two or three incredibly repetitive sentences back to back to back...and this was kind of a non-stop thing. I have a hard time believing there was an editor involved in the process at all. Pure stream-of-consciousness (as seen from the inside of a mildly manic mind). I could easily have cut this thing in half and you still would have thought it was all over the board. So, for me...I got what I needed. Not sad that I bought the book. Penn is entertaining. I now know more about his bodily functions and genitalia than I ever knew I wanted to know. He's a fun guy. But, enough for me. ;)
Yes it is motivating
I liked this book but it is not for everyone. Audio addition
Why you might not want this book:
Penn swears a lot in this book if you are looking for a book that you can listen to when you are driving a bunch of boy scouts to a camp this book is not the one to listen to :)
Penn talks a lot about his atheistic view, if this will up set you this book is not for you, unless you like being upset.
Penn is not a scientist or a nutritionist as he points out in the start of his book. You are listening to the point of view of a juggler.
Penn talks about his politics which is a combination of both left wing and right wings ideas.
I respect him for that. If you only want to listen to people who have a left or right wing attitude this book is not for you.
Penn talks about sex.
Why you might want to buy this book:
Penn is vary entertaining.
Penn talks about his world view, a good insight into his mind
.My view are somewhat aligned to Penn and I like listening to him even when our views differ.Penn is likely to have different views than you.
**Even if you don't want to follow his diet the book it will motivate you lose weight.**
Penn talks about sex. He had me LOL even when I was alone in my car.
Things that could have been done better:
Include recipes Penn reads as a PDF file.
Right from the beginning this audiobook captures your attention and draws you in to the story of the author, a famous magician who struggled with issues related to obesity for much of his life. When he finds out from a doctor that his health is in serious jeopardy, he decides to reach out to a friend who has the capacity to guide Penn on his journey to losing over 100 pounds in 90 days.
This is a well told and charming book that flows in the style of the Penn's Sunday School podcast, where events unfold naturally as told by the author as though he were having a conversation with you. This book is filled with interesting anecdotes and fascinating asides that delve into the lifestyle of a famous person and the daily issues one would have to contend with.
I listened to the entire audiobook in one sitting and only stopped to use the washroom and make food for myself, and after having listened to this account, I'm considering making more positive changes to my eating habits and thinking of ways that I can improve my own well-being.
This is a lifestyle book that makes sense to an asshole. I am an asshole. It makes me want to read and delve into the upcoming book by Ray Cronise , and I am reading all I can get my grubby little hands on by Dr.fuhrman.
Yes, I did, then I started it for a second round.
The narration by the author was very good.
If you are a fan of Penn, you will probably enjoy hearing him talk about his life. If you are looking for any diet info, look elsewhere.
Since I purchased this to hear about how he lost weight, I feel somewhat duped. He spends a very small part of this book on his weight loss and speaks about himself, his friends and his life most of the time. As I said, if you are a fan you will probably enjoy it. But I did not get what I expected.
Maybe. If you're a Penn Jillette fan, you'll probably enjoy this.
I've digested a lot of Penn Jillette material (and Penn & Teller entertainment in general) over the years, and I'm a fan of some of it. I'm a Christian, but I enjoy Penn's style. Even though he's ridiculously vulgar and obscene, he's "real" and doesn't hold back, and is very likable as a persona.
If you like Penn, if you want to hear some stories and name-dropping, and you possibly want to be inspired to lose weight yourself, then give this book a try. Outside of that, it's a bit "stream of consciousness" and all over the place. Many of the anecdotes have little to do with the subject matter. Overall, the book could have been tighter-focused. But then again, how could you edit Penn? That would seem to go against his very way of doing things. Plus, it's not really a strict diet book. It's more like several episodes of his podcast crammed together, with a central theme of tales about how Penn stuck to the highly unorthodox diet created by Ray "CrayRay" Cronise.
Work Hard. Be Nice.
I love Penn. We share the same world view and he's already inspired me to lose weight. Full of humor, showbiz stories and info on how lost weight. My only wish is that there had been more detail on what he did when, some of that gets glossed over in story telling.
artist/writer/youtube Mayor Bloomberg King of New York
Yiddish Meshugna or chutzpah in a wonderful weigh...oops way - I really enjoyed the audio version listening to him in his own voice what a character. He talks like a full throttle so when he's a little quieter we make some kind of admission like one about an ex-girlfriend or really touching moment about his little daughter that really crown the book. Weight-loss aspects were kind of fascinating in the vegan and an atheist to praise...
I went to see them once Penn and Teller and I thought their fans were wonderful I really enjoyed standing online with them chatting.
An excellent listen! Inspiring and interesting at the same time. Started listening around 12:30 and tried to stay awake through the entire read. My body gave up at around 4:30. I was up around 9 the next morning and listened to it throughout the day. Penn...is just amazing.
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