It Burns by Marc Fennell

It Burns

Written and hosted by Marc Fennell, It Burns is the story of a 10-year scandal-plagued international competition that will take listeners from the Australian Coast to South Carolina (via an Indian Research Facility).It’s a war filled with larger than life characters. There will be sledging, accusations of cheating, theft and performance enhancing drugs. And allegations that Australia was cheated out of a Guinness World Record. In the process of...

Details It Burns

TitleIt Burns
Release DateApr 15th, 2019
GenreNonfiction, Audiobook, Food and Drink, Food

Reviews It Burns

  • Montzalee Wittmann
    It Burns: The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli by Marc Fennell and narrated by author is not a book I thought it would be. I thought it might be about the different contest, peppers, how they judge...I really don't know what I thought but this wasn't it. This book bounced all over the world finding the hottest chili peppers, the killers! Discussing why people love the pain and talking to dedicated Pepperheads to find out...
  • Karen ⊰✿
    It’s like a car crash. You can’t stop watching (or listening in this case!) This is a fascinating and compelling look into the world of hot chillies. Who knew there would be so much controversy, back stabbing and even death threats in this community!Told honestly and with humour, once you start you just have to listen until the end. Much more about humanity and communities than chillies, this is highly recommended listening and currently avai...
  • Cathy
    Have you heard of Chilliheads? These people are nuts. Bonkers. Wacked in the head. Look at this, the really painful bit starts 8 minutes into it: Delightfully silly topic. Unless, obviously, you are a chilli head. In that case this is dead serious, mate! A fun playlist is further down.Shockingly, there are some shocking and disturbing parts in this narrative as well and not in a good way.The mentioned Ed Currie and bre...
  • Thomas
    I'm not a chili lover and I wouldn't have gotten this if it hadn't been free on Audible.I enjoyed it. Chili history and science, along with insights into human nature definitely made this one worth it.
  • Liam
    Like most people I imagine, I've gotten this free from Audible.I was pleasantly surprised to hear Marc's Aussie accent when I first started listening to It Burns, I went into it knowing literally nothing about it (other than the title), which I think was a good decision as I didn't go in with any expectations.As it was, it was a rambling, mostly aimless, but very charming and entertaining little adventure through the world of high-enthusiasm chil...
  • David
    Do you like mouth-burning pain?This Audible original is about chili peppers and the people obsessed with breeding (and eating) the hottest of the hot. Today's foodie culture includes those gastronomic sadomasochists who enjoy eating Ghost Peppers, Chocolate Habaneros, Trinidad Scorpions, and the reigning king of mouth-burning pain, the Carolina Reaper.A plain old jalapeno? 8,000 Scovilles.Tobasco sauce? 50,000 Scovilles.The Carolina Reaper? Over ...
  • Becky
    Note: take the trigger warnings seriouslyI really appreciated that Fennell spoke to his issues with food, he was very honest and open and it was a strength of the book. It was short, free, and fairly interesting.That said, there were some great ideas that Fennell seemed to wish to discuss but didn't have the time, leaving the book feeling like it didn't stick the landing at the end. Ideas of community, relationship to food, addiction to pain, eve...
  • Sarah
    This is a story of hot peppers, told through a personal lens of the narrator's difficult relationship with food. While I appreciated the personal aspect, I do wish that this focused more on science/psychology, rather than speculation and personal anecdote. This isn't to say that the story completely lacked the science/psychology perspective; that was definitely in there. However, I would have preferred if the narrative focused solely on it.
  • Kristina Stefanova
    The author, Marc Fennel, brings us around the world in the pursuit of the hottest chilli and many spicy stories.Surprisingly, the story begins in Australia, where the previous record is held. The hottest chilli in the world until 2013 is called "The Trinidad Scorpion Butch T", and it grows in Central Coast (NSW). But then in suspicious circumstances, hotter chilli pepper is claimed in South Carolina (US) - "The Carolina Reaper". Many people think...
  • Karissa
    I got this for free as an audiobook from Audible Originals. It was okay and I learned some interesting things about peppers and the crazy people who like to cause themselves pain with them. I didn't think the book was especially humorous, it also took a weird turn a few times as it explored how hot food and religion are linked. Another weird digression was taken when Fennell decides to visit a dominatrix to explore people's addiction to pain (thi...
  • Alan
    Entertaining Overview of the Hottest Chili Peppers in the WorldReview of the Audible Audio audiobook (2019)This was entertaining and informative and also provided a bit of insight into the somewhat masochistic world of hot chili pepper eaters. Also note the cover image of a hot pepper wrapped in barbed wire, an extension of the 'heart in barbed wire' meme representing a person trapped in love.Image source = Wikipedia illustration for the article ...
  • LeeTravelGoddess
    It wasn’t interesting to me.
  • NATE
    Pretty interesting and entertaining short listen. Would recommend.
  • Richard Gray
    Marc Fennell’s enthusiastic style takes him around the world in pursuit of the world’s hottest chilli. Sort of. What’s most surprising about this short Audible feature is how it marries the obsession of the ‘Chilli Heads’ with Fennell’s own issues with food. On this level, I can totally relate: hating yourself because you can’t control your own intake. Or intaking because you hate yourself. This is, of course, a double-edged sword: ...
  • Anna Heidick
    Short review: You start with rumors and speculations, you end with rumors and speculations. Nothing learned. Nothing gained. Well, I guess you get one answer.. Sort of.. Hard to say, but for the majority you end up right where you started, after a long series of personal interviews. Long review:This audiobook is a deep dive into the main players behind the hottest chili peppers, a youtuber all about it, and the society and mentality that surround...
  • Corinna
    Four stars may be the highest rating I've ever given an Audible Original. I expected to learn some scientific information and fun trivia facts about peppers, and this was so much more. This digs deep into the psyche of why torturing oneself with dragon fire fruits took off in a blaze of fanaticism. Why would someone eat something that would cause them intense agony for hours on end? Why are the chili breeders in such sharp competition to get the ...
  • Juan Rivera
    Really interesting reading the book "It Burns The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli" by Marc Fennell. I like spicy, and so I learned that capsaicin is what makes a hot pepper, there are measures of capsaicin with the Scoville scale that show us that so many units have a hot pepper. For example, the habanero pepper (very spicy) has about 577,000 units, and the hottest chili has about 2.2 million and is the Carolina Reaper....
  • James Sheaves
    It Burns is a highly entertaining and surprisingly dark look at a subculture most probably haven't given much thought to. Marc Fennell, who will be most familiar to Australian audiences from SBS' The Feed, is a highly engaging host, who doesn't shy away from any opportunity to explore personal, unflinchingly honest angles to the story. There is a kind of rhythm to the story that almost seems to mirror the experience of eating a hot chilli, where ...
  • Andy
    Given away free from Audible (I'm never one to turn down a free book), this feels more like a podcast series as Marc Fennell injects an awful lot of himself into the narrative. Delving into the psychology of why people eat these chilies is interesting but it comes across as more a self realisation journey than an in depth journalistic look into the world of super hot chilies. That doesn't necessarily make it bad (it's definitely an interesting to...
  • Jade Wright
    As lovers of chili's, my partner and I popped this audio book on while on a road-trip. I wasn't sure what to expect - it was his pick... and I ended up LOVING IT!! It's fascinating to learn about what makes chili's so hot - and how absolutely crazy some people are to try the worlds hottest chili's that literally make you hallucinate!! Ambulances have to be at the ready.... people end up in hospital. Madness - but so interesting!! This is such an ...
  • Lindsey
    This quick docu-series takes you behind the scenes of the destructive chili world. It dives into the history of SHU (Scoville Heat Unit) aka the level of spiciness and how hotness is scored, how chilies have been used as weapons in history, and what sort of person would ever in the heck want to participate in a chili eating competition. It's interesting hearing why people self inflict this sort of pain and agony on themselves, whether it be to fe...
  • Alan
    Short but hot and sweet as nam chin kai! Marc Fennell interviews chilli growers vying with each other to grow the hottest chilli in the world, chilli contestants competing to eat hotter chillis than the competition, and chilli heads - YouTubers who film themselves each week as they torture themselves by eating super hot chillis. I was fascinated by the short history lesson of how colonialism brought chillis from South America to Europe and then o...
  • Candice
    Not nearly as much about the world of chilis as you might think. We end up delving into Marc's damaged "fat kid" (his choice of term) psyche for the most part. Which is fine, but that's not what I came here for. Mind your damage on your own time, not in a book that's supposed to be your exploration of the world of chiliheads.The world's hottest pepper debate never gets resolved, btw. Probably a spoiler, but honestly, I'll just save you the troubl...
  • Andy Klein
    A decent Audible freebee. I like learning about new things and I knew next to nothing about hot chili peppers, so this was somewhat interesting. I didn’t care one bit about the whackos who are obsessed with eating hot peppers and posting videos of them doing so or the whacko conspiracy theories about which peppers are the hottest and false testing of the peppers. If this cost me anything, it would get 2 stars but I’ll go to three because it w...
  • Solace Winter
    It Burns is a documentary style story with interviews of the "big names" in chilis. You'll get some insight you were not expecting, and it's interesting to delve into it. I would have liked to have more of the competition people's accounts rather than it being a feud between a creator of a pepper and a non-creator of a pepper. The story is still interesting to hear, but the story here is half rumors and gossip, half backstory on why we crave a ho...
  • Laura Smith
    This was a documentary about chili heads. The people to basically eat the hottest peppers they can get their hands on and it kind of followed the race for creating the worlds hottest pepper. I thought it was really well done and very interesting. I enjoyed the narrator and I think he did ample research into the world of chili peppers and I liked his presentation of the facts and information that he found.
  • Elijah Shervey
    (Audiobook) Above and beyond for verbal performance with music and sound effects. Felt very lively. Bumped from 3 to 4☆. The story doesn't have that much hype. The scandals and deceit are just as menacing as you'd expect from a race to produce some damn hot chilli. Looking forward to this sort of quality in further audiobooks.
  • Amanda Anger
    Not bad for a free book from Audible! I had no idea the history behind chili festivals and the label of "world's hottest chili." The disclaimer at the beginning is legit - and for that reason, I would probably not listen to it again or recommend it. There was some course language and sexual content, which was not expected in a book on chili peppers.
  • Chris DiLeo
    As someone who does not care for spice, avoids hot peppers and tabasco sauce, I was fascinated to listen to this account of spice lovers.This starts as a simple exploration into hot peppers and their appeal and then turns into an engaging exploration of obsession, masochism, and addiction.Recommended.