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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection | [A. J. Jacobs]

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

A. J. Jacobs tackles his most challenging experiment yet: a yearlong mission to radically improve every element of his body and mind - from his brain to his fingertips to his abs. First, he had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. Second, he had to consult a team of medical advisers. And finally, he had to subject himself, over the course of two years, to a grueling regimen of exercises and a range of diets and nutritional plans.
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author and king of "immersion journalism" A.J. Jacobs tackles his most challenging experiment yet: a yearlong mission to radically improve every element of his body and mind - from his brain to his fingertips to his abs.

Having lifted his spirit in The Year of Living Biblically and sharpened his mind in The Know-It-All, A. J. Jacobs had one feat left in the self-improvement trinity: to become the healthiest man in the world. He doesn't just want to lose a couple of pounds, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol.

First, he had to tackle a complicated web of diet and exercise advice, most which is nonsensical, unproven, and contradictory. Second, he had to consult a team of medical advisers. And finally, he had to subject himself, over the course of two years, to a grueling regimen of exercises, a range of diets and nutritional plans, and a brutal array of techniques and practices to improve everything from his hearing to his sleep - all the while testing the patience of his wife.

This latest work bursts with hilarity and warmth, all the while testing our culture's assumptions and obsessions with what makes good health and allowing the listener to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality.

©2012 A. J. Jacobs (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“We can become healthier by learning from AJ's discomfort in this very funny book. He moves us from theory to practice by dragging his body through all the longevity practices. (Dr. Mehmet Oz)

"Can one man go from a 'python that ate agoat' physique to perfect specimen? From Roman soldier workouts to Areca palm plants, fromthe sublime to the absurd, AJ has tried it all. I laughed my ass off the wholeway and learned a ton ... including about my ass." (Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek)

"Who wouldn't want to be fitter, happier, more productive? In this riotous, madcap book, AJ Jacobs sets himself an ambitious goal: to become the person we all wish we could be. It's vintage AJ. Do your future self a favor and read this book." (Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (452 )
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4.0 (386 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Martin Cork, Ireland 05-16-13
    Martin Cork, Ireland 05-16-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    94
    ratings
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    71
    21
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    Performance
    Story
    "Work on that speaking voice ......"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was a reasonably good listen. I like the whole concept of participatory journalism and, being susceptible to health and fitness fads myself, the core idea of the book was attractive. In the end, it was a little bit too light-weight and insubstantial for me. I know he was not attempting a truly "serious" book on the subject but it ended up feeling like not being one thing or another - not truly satirising the whole health and fitness obsession but not really fully committing to it either. I did like the descriptions of his grandfather and aunt.


    Would you recommend Drop Dead Healthy to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would be slow to recommend it because I did have to force myself to finish it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I did not like the narrator's voice at all. Ironically it was not strong or punchy enough in delivering the material. I suspect I would have given a higher rating to the book if someone else had narrated it. I sometimes listen to audiobooks on a cheap docking station and his voice was barely intelligible.


    What else would you have wanted to know about A. J. Jacobs’s life?

    His book is quite personal so I don't think there was much lacking with regard to insights into his personal life.


    Any additional comments?

    Wanted to like it more than I did ....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    janateach Georgia 01-05-13
    janateach Georgia 01-05-13 Member Since 2012

    janateach

    ratings
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    15
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    "Funny and relatable."
    What did you love best about Drop Dead Healthy?

    Jacobs is a relatable, anxious, narrator. He is honest about his life and his health status.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    He is not consistent in his monthly reporting. I want to know how many pounds he weighed each month so I can hear how he is improving, etc. He does not try diets that are truly sensible - I'd love to hear how he did on a recommended and healthy diet rather than just a juice fast.


    What about A. J. Jacobs’s performance did you like?

    He's funny and willing to try things like accupuncture.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia United States 10-21-12
    Patricia United States 10-21-12 Member Since 2014

    Cusanus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightfully Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Jacobs is a very entertaining writer and his reading is just terrific. The information is good, because he is able to access people who are experts in the field that he is talking about.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were many wonderful chapters, but the chapter on germs was one of my favorites.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Thurman 09-30-12
    S. Thurman 09-30-12 Member Since 2014

    JanScott

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh, this guy is good!"

    I was not familiar with AJ Jacobs, but now I feel as though I know his entire family! He is not only a great writer, but he is a wonderful narrator. This is a truly entertaining book, and I literally laughed out loud at some of his health experiments....I'm pretty sure my ears are healthier by listening to the book instead of reading it. It's an aural thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Auckland, New Zealand 09-17-12
    Jenny Auckland, New Zealand 09-17-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love this book - laughed and learnt."
    Would you listen to Drop Dead Healthy again? Why?

    I loved the relaxed conversational style of the author and narrator. There is something special when an author reads his/her own work. AJ Jacobs has a natural delivery and easy going style. I learnt so much - however I will definitely listen again for the gems I missed.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Drop Dead Healthy?

    AJ's account of the conversations with his grandfather, and also the triathlon event.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the account of the 'cave man' work out in Central Park, and the odd characters mentioned throughout the book.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Dont knock it till you've tried it? Check!


    Any additional comments?

    Looking forward to the authors next work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lurene Chemainus, BC, Canada 09-04-12
    Lurene Chemainus, BC, Canada 09-04-12 Member Since 2008

    Avid reader with eclectic tastes - I know what I like!

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    "A Giggling, Investigative Journey to Better Health"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Drop Dead Healthy to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version, so it would be unfair to compare. However, I love a book read by an author when they convey their tone, voice and meaning so well. A. J. Jacobs does all that.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Drop Dead Healthy?

    "I want it, I want it, I really, really want it!" I still laugh when recalling this section.


    What about A. J. Jacobs’s performance did you like?

    He has a self effacing, wry sense of humor while still conveying his interest in the world and willingness to give new things a try.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I love that the author.'s wife and kids, and friends and family, are willing to "play along" when he thrusts new experiences upon them. Funny as it is, it also shows how much they care about him and the things he tries or embraces. And in doing so, he broadens their horizons, too. Not always for the best, but definitely broader!


    Any additional comments?

    More, please, A.J.!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teri Bremerton, WA, United States 08-11-12
    Teri Bremerton, WA, United States 08-11-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It was ok"
    What did you like best about Drop Dead Healthy? What did you like least?

    I liked it ok BUT I still thing his other book year of living biblical was more fresh funny


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gailb 08-06-12
    gailb 08-06-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "interesting story but narration weak"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Professional narrator


    Would you ever listen to anything by A. J. Jacobs again?

    Possibly as content was interesting, informative and humorous


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of A. J. Jacobs?

    Not sure


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Interest in taking charge of your health


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hlew Palos Park, IL, United States 07-13-12
    hlew Palos Park, IL, United States 07-13-12 Member Since 2014

    4 timer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun"

    I like all of his books and this was the first one I listened to. I enjoyed it very much and the content was very good. Basic but still with good information. I am now considering listening to other books of Jacobs.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer princes OMAHA, NE, United States 07-10-12
    Amazon Customer princes OMAHA, NE, United States 07-10-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny but not a Manual"
    Would you try another book from A. J. Jacobs and/or A. J. Jacobs?

    I don't think so. He was a good writer and all, but hearing him jaunt about spending money and time doing this outrageous stuff started to get my jealousy going.


    What does A. J. Jacobs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice, his personality, his true perspective as he wrote it. :-)


    Could you see Drop Dead Healthy being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    no no. It's not made for that.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a good read. Sometimes unrelateable and at times definately unbelievable. There were some topics I thoguht he could have developed more and others could have been left out or the detail pared down. It's good for a laugh, but not as a reference guide.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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