Being a foodie with Crohn’s disease is no picnic – pardon the pun – as the autoimmune disease causes serious inflammation and food digestion issues. It could be worse, though, and unfortunately for Jon Reiner, it was. When a Crohn’s flare-up caused his guts to explode, he underwent life threatening surgery and was ordered not to eat or drink anything for three months. Reiner is brutally honest about the difficulties his battle caused not only for him, but for his family in an incredibly inspiring memoir based on his award-winning essay of the same name that ran in Esquire magazine.

The Bottom Line: The Man Who Couldn’t Eat will give you a new appreciation for the importance that food and eating have in all of our lives.

"An incredibly inspiring memoir."

The months during which "foodie" Reiner was not allowed to eat anything by mouth, in a last-ditch effort to preserve his guts from the gruesome ravages of Crohn's disease, seem to last for years in this memoir of illness and food obsession.

The Library Journal

A Memoir by Jon Reiner is a disturbing, horrific and appetite-suppressing chronicle of his Crohn’s disease and the resultant torn intestine which leads to him getting all of his nutrition intravenously. Until Crohn’s disease interfered, Jon Reiner had been an enthusiastic eater; his passion for all kinds of food is clear in the flashbacks in which he lovingly describes his favorite meals and his family’s jaunts to Manhattan delis to purchase just the right kind of smoked meat and the perfect blintzes when he was a child.

Capital Region Living Magazine

"Reiner's food writing is mouth-wateringly delicious. A compelling story of triumph over adversity."

“Reiner has the moxie and the courage not only to tell the harrowingly real story of his fight to stay alive, but to do so with detachment and a crazy sense of irony.

Jonathan Waxman

chef and author of Italian, My Way

“Reiner writes a horrendously funny account of his condition in which food is his mortal enemy. He is the Olympian of a modern truth—our daily bread has it in for us—and his book hits the mark.”

Lore Segal

author of Her First American and Shakespeare’s Kitchen

“Reiner is such a vivid writer that this first-person account of a food lover's descent into hell is, at turns, gripping, horrifying, excruciating and, ultimately, redeeming.”

Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

James Beard Award-winning authors of The Flavor Bible and The Food Lover’s Guide to Wine

Let me tell you -- Jon Reiner's The Man Who Couldn't Eat is genius.  Reiner is a wonderful writer whose ability to describe his own experiences makes for a beautiful read.

Advocacy for Patients with Chronic Disabilities

"A great book."

What an interesting read.  After reading the book, I am still asking myself questions.  How often does my day center around food?  How many times a week do I schedule visits with friends and family where food is the main decision?

Kritters Ramblings

"Takes you behind the scenes of a family that as a whole must overcome this disease and learn to live a life without food as a center."

The Man Who Couldn't Eat describes life with a chronic disease in a straight-forward way.  Diagnosed with Crohn's disease, and it's completely devastating impact on his body, Mr. Reiner has to come to terms with limitations so severe that most of us could not even envision facing them, not to mention the impact on his family and relationship to the world.  The first chapter opens with a medical crisis and engrosses you, as you travel through Mr. Reiner's life as he grapples to deal with his "new normal," and not always in the most gracious of ways.

Literary R&R

"A story of pain, isolation, and ultimately, redemption."

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to not be able to eat or drink?  Not to fast, not to go without food for 30 hours in support of starving people in Africa, but to really go with nothing passing down your esophagus for longer than a week or two?  

Reflections of a Book Addict

"His insight is phenomenal.  It is a contrast between food love and food hate that exists in such extremes that it is truly mesmerizing."