Getting into Guinness: One man's longest, fastest, highest journey inside the world's most famous record book

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9780007261291: Getting into Guinness: One man's longest, fastest, highest journey inside the world's most famous record book

Getting Into Guinness is the hilarious true story of record breaking attempts, how record obsession has become a global phenomenon, the weird and wonderful characters that set records and the history of the Guinness Book of World Records.

Meet Larry Olmsted, a freelance travel and sports writer, always on the hunt for new and intriguing stories. In Spring 2003, somewhere over the North Atlantic, Larry stumbled on an article about the worldwide popularity of Guinness. Inspired by what he read, and in a bid to impress his editor, he took the drastic decision to set a record of his own and become part of the book's history. This leads Larry to break the record for the greatest distance travelled between two rounds of golf played on the same day and two years later to play poker continuously for 72 hours.

After his own hilarious record attempts, Larry sets out to discover more about the vast and colourful history of the Guinness Book of World Records. This leads him to his fellow record setters with their widely varied motives for record-mania. Meet Ashrita, Record Breaker for God, who has been breaking records for 30 years and has set or broken 177 Guinness World Records in his lifetime. And Jackie 'The Texas Snakeman' Bibby, who became one of the book's all time icons by sharing a bathtub with poisonous rattlesnakes and dangling them from his mouth, and who literally puts his life on the line every time he breaks one of his rattlesnake records.

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Review:

'A funny and revealing look at the reference classic of everyone's childhood. I read it straight through in exactly 5 hours and 21 minutes, with hourly rest breaks. While balancing a milk bottle on my head. And riding a unicycle.' Ken Jennings, author of Brainiac: Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs

'Larry Olmsted is a gifted storyteller who captures the heart and soul of the wonderful, wacky world of Guinness records. As a two-time record holder himself, he paints a vivid and hilarious picture of the silliness and absurdity of the global quest for fame. Brimming with unforgettable characters and delicious stories, you'll want to devour this book as fast as record holder Tom Waes can consume an entire pizza…19.91 seconds!' Ben Sherwood, author of The Man Who Ate the 747

'Getting into Guinness is a full-throttle joyride through the bizarre world behind the records. These people are delightfully misguided, and Olmsted is one of them. But his obsession is his greatest advantage as a storyteller: he goes off the deep end and takes us with him.' Michael Roberts, Executive Editor, Outside magazine

'This book records the minute-by-minute physical agony of Olmsted's own feats while setting records of its own-funniest, quirkiest, most interesting and most practical guide to what is arguably the world's best known book, after the Bible. From Olmsted's many astonishing accounts of record seekers there emerges something both touching and profound-the desire of ordinary men and women to escape the humdrum, to show their stuff, to be noticed and remembered.' Tom Powers, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets

About the Author:

Writer, editor and book author specializing in travel, golf, lifestyle topics, skiing, food, wine & spirits, poker & gaming, outdoor recreation and participant sports. Published more than 3000 articles, including features and cover stories. Contributor to major publications. Previous books include
“Snowshoeing: A Trailside Guide," Companion book to PBS television series, Trailside. W.W. Norton, October 1997.
"Fairways: America's Greatest Golf Resorts," co-authored coffee table book, Tehabi Books/DK Publishing, Spring 2001.

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