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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 (473 )
5 star
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3.9 (402 )
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4.0 (406 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    gailb 08-06-12
    gailb 08-06-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    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 2015

    4 timer

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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
  •  
    Cindy Olympia, Wa 07-05-12
    Cindy Olympia, Wa 07-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fun listen and learned a few things too"

    I enjoy books by A.J. Jacobs, and have listened to all of them and enjoyed them all. This one did not disappoint and is one of my favorites of his books. I am glad that he narrated it himself, which makes it even better.

    Most of us need to get healthier, and this book was a fun way to learn healthier habits. It helps by wading through the current health info out there and make sense of it. And A. J. doesn't just tell us, he tries it for us!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael 06-19-12
    Michael 06-19-12

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative and entertaining, no more."
    What made the experience of listening to Drop Dead Healthy the most enjoyable?

    I could relate to Mr Jacobs pursuit of healthiness. I am confused on what to pursue and feel that I am damn if I do, damned if I don't. He helped a little with clearing up some of this confusion.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    A.J. Jacob voice is a little whiney. Part of his charm I guess, but it grated on me a bit.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is entertaining an informative. It is easy to listen to and relate to. It isn't a guide to fitness and health, just a log of a journey. It might change your life, but then again it might just entertain you. Good book, enjoyable and informative. Worth a listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerry 06-13-12
    Kerry 06-13-12
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    "#1 seller for a reason!"

    Great story and a great listen. I knew I wanted to read this book but since I get motion sick on the bus, I was happy to enjoy the audio version on my commute. Jacobs has a great voice and reads with enthusiasm. I enjoy his little side stories about his wife, children, grandfather, crazy aunt and trips to the doctor. I was surprised this book didn't have a profound turning point where he really started shedding pounds drastically but I think his overall message is important: We're overwhelmed with health propaganda and we needed someone like him to investigate what works and what doesn't. Great, great book and I'd definitely recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dee South MS 06-08-12
    Dee South MS 06-08-12 Member Since 2015

    bookie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Funny Book"

    I thought this book was well written and very witty. It actually had some imformation about different products or diet and exercise methods that I had read about and thought about trying.

    This book was very entertaining but not one that stuck to my ribs. I enjoyed it at the time but almost forgot about it until I was looking through my library for something else to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 06-03-12
    Karen Louisville, KY, United States 06-03-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Unscientific and unamusing"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Those who are just looking for an amusing read. I've been doing a lot of my own research into diet and thought this might help me understand the issues and provide a few laughs along the way. I read and loved The Year of Living Biblically. This book failed on both accounts for me.


    What was most disappointing about A. J. Jacobs’s story?

    I wasn't expecting a rigorous study, but I thought this would be more of a real effort to look at different approaches to health. Instead he just did a little of this and a little of that, using the fringe approaches for laughs. I turned it off right when he said that he listened only to scientists about diet, and proceeded to settle the issue once and for all by saying that a mostly vegetarian diet is what scientists recommend. There are scientists from all points of view from vegan to 'eat lots of meat.' He chose only to listen to those who advocate a diet similar to his own and was pretty negative about alternative approaches to health - at least as far as I read.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel Auckland, New Zealand 05-31-12
    Nigel Auckland, New Zealand 05-31-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Well worth it!"

    An enjoyable one time listen. Good balance of humor and human interest. Touching ending - you gotta hang in til the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ProConsumer Glendale, CA, United States 05-29-12
    ProConsumer Glendale, CA, United States 05-29-12
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    "Our roadtrip felt like a drive around the block."
    Any additional comments?

    We listened to Drop Dead Healthy while driving up and down the California coast and were so entertained by the book that we worried we would arrive too soon.

    We found the book to be equal parts entertaining, informative and funny.

    A.J. is a phenomenal story teller!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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