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It Burns

The Scandal-Plagued Race to Breed the World’s Hottest Chilli, An Audible Original
Narrated by: Marc Fennell
Length: 2 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (187 ratings)
Non-member price: $0.00

About This Audible Original

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 charting the scandal-plagued race to breed the world’s hottest chilli, the audio documentary lifts the lid on the subculture of ‘Chilli-heads’, hardcore chilli fans spread across the globe who compete in chilli eating and breeding competitions.

The internet is filled with videos of grown men being reduced to tears by a square millimetre of chilli. The docu-series asks: what motivates someone to breed and eat a demonic nugget that is so hot it no longer has flavour? At what point does this stop being cuisine and start being an endurance sport?

This humorous series shows that all this has never really been about chilli. It’s been about how people use pain to shape themselves, define themselves and make themselves feel alive.

This series contains mature themes and graphic imagery, and listener discretion is advised.

It Burns will be available free until 15 June 2019 with an Audible account.
©2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd. (P)2019 Audible Australia Pty Ltd

Listen to audio snippets

Ed is an addict
Marc is hospitalised because of a chilli
Marc meets Damiana
Ted and Ed used to be friends
The Carolina Reaper

Up next

  • It Burns
  • Ed is an addict
  • It Burns
  • Marc is hospitalised because of a chilli
  • It Burns
  • Marc meets Damiana
  • It Burns
  • Ted and Ed used to be friends
  • It Burns
  • The Carolina Reaper

Our new Audible Original with Marc Fennell

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Critic Reviews

"It’s so full of weird twists and turns that I binged the entire five episodes in one go during a road trip." (PedestrianTV)  

"A mental image isn’t hard to conjure when your headphones swell with the frantic splutters and gags of chilli eaters in pain, or the guttural aftermath of Youtuber Ted Barrus’s infamous Carolina Reaper chilli “bong rip”. Heed Fennell’s warning in episode one: “You might want to think twice about eating while listening.” (Broadsheet)  

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

My first non-fiction audio(book)

Well, it was free...for a limited time. Who could resist that? And it was entertaining, ...and educational (about something that I don't really need to know about). And it was connected with Australia, and as a NZer that's cool.
I don't usually read non-fiction, in fact I could count on the fingers of one hand the never of non-fiction titles I have read since school (and that was 40 years ago). So, this was fun. I will probably keep an eye out for other work by this creator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Mildly interesting

This was mildly interesting. The chilli community is like any other ... full of passionate people who embrace it wholeheartedly in both positive and negative ways. I think this showed that.

The stuff about the narrator's eating disorder detracted from the story for me. It felt like a desperate attempt to build a connection with these other characters.

Overall reasonably entertaining.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good when it's about chilli

The most interesting parts of what is essentially a 3 hour podcast are the parts about the competitions and obsession with chilli.
When Marc goes into his personal life and opinions it can grate and get very boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Surprisingly engaging!

I didn't realise how interesting the world of chillies is! Marc Fennell takes his audience on an intimate and engaging journey through chilli eating competitions, the competition and politics of growing the hottest chillis and the psychology that comes with the cross-over between pleasure and pain. Loved every moment!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating and compelling

This is like a car crash. You just can’t stop watching (or listening in this case). Fascinating look into the underworld of hot chillies (who knew), which is really much more about humanity and communities

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

great audio story with easy to listen aspects

thought it was well produced and a great listen on the way to and from work. hope there is more in the pipeline from marc fennel as I will one of the first to purchase.

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didn't see this coming

I really didn't expect that!
it's free, I'm curious, it's a long weekend, what the hell I'll download it ...
5 chapters later I'm enthralled, educated, entertained and emotional after a truly fascinating and engaging roller coaster of discovery. both of yourself and the mighty chilli

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wow! give it a listen!

Marc you are an incredible investigator. you took me on an amazing journey. thankyou for letting all us listeners in and giving me something to connect to. absolutely loved it.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Mark Fennel, that pudgy guy.

seemingly balanced story that had me going down a rabbit hole that I didn't know existed

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different

didn't know what to expect from this, but it was funny, poignant, interesting and involving. Give it a listen, but not round small people