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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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  • Karen
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 06-03-12

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

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  • Nigel
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 05-31-12

Well worth it!

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

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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.<br/><br/>We found the book to be equal parts entertaining, informative and funny. <br/><br/>A.J. is a phenomenal story teller!

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  • dellstudio
  • COLLEGEVILLE, PA, United States
  • 05-26-12

An entertaining book for who want to get healthy

Where does Drop Dead Healthy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks pretty high on my list of favorate audiobooks

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked AJ's chemical avoiding aunt not because I am like that but because she admit that she is perceived as nutty.

Which scene was your favorite?

I liked AJ's trial of the pole dancing class.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yup

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  • Sue
  • Tyrone, GA, United States
  • 05-21-12

Ok... amusing at times...

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The book was lightly amusing. It wasn't a book that I JUST HAD to listen to at given points in the day. It was light hearted, made me smile and chuckle at times, but truthfully I had hoped to gain more insight and knowledge from it.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes

Do you think Drop Dead Healthy needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Not really

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  • glennn
  • abilene, TX, United States
  • 05-05-12

Not what it claims to be

Would you try another book from A. J. Jacobs and/or A. J. Jacobs?

Won't read him again.

What could A. J. Jacobs have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The book felt lazy. Rather than actually try to live out the various things that might make him "the healthiest man alive" as he claimed to want, he just ran around interviewing people with fringe ideas. In some cases, he tried stuff just to try it: had his teeth whitened BEFORE going home to do a simple Google search that convinced him it was an unhealthy thing to to. As he found things that he was convinced did work, he quickly abandoned them in favor of the next thing on the buffet. It's not a book about trying to be the healthiest man alive--it's a book about trying all the various things that might make you healthier, but with very little effort actually put into becoming more healthy. It's like trying to be healthier by watching the people at the gym or reading a nutrition book.

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

First time I've ever gotten back on Audible and looked for a way to get a refund. Reminded me powerfully of Andy Rooney, who started each piece with "Did you ever wonder why..." and went on to ramble around about the topic for several minutes without ever actually saying anything.

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  • Erik
  • Glendale, AZ, United States
  • 04-29-12

Funny, perhaps even motivational

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

The idea of the walking desk is genius, and to know that he walked more than 1,000 miles literally while writing the book is fantastic.

Any additional comments?

This book was far more amusing than anticipated, although I should have expected it would be with how entertaining Jabobs' other books have been. Overall, I learned some things about what it was like to transition to a healthy lifestyle. I won't be instituting all of the changes he made (caveman, laughing room, etc) to my life, but I might actually do some of the things he did.<br/><br/>Very enjoyable, particularly if you're looking for amusing storytelling and not emotional, life-changing literature.

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AJ's Got His Groove Back

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is a "tell-a-friend" worthy listen. Informative, entertaining and quirky. Whats not to like?

What other book might you compare Drop Dead Healthy to and why?

Jacobs has several of these "reality memoir" type books. The first two, Know It All and Living Biblically, are great reads. Guinea Pig Diaries was not so engaging in audio format and the writer's performance left much to be desired. With Healthiest Man, AJ is back in form displaying his signature blend of charming personal anecdote and fascinatingly obscure factual details to the listener's delight.

Which scene was your favorite?

AJ's forays into the lesser known, more exotic forms of fringe exercise regiments will surely put a smile on your face.

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  • marcus
  • indianapolis, indiana, United States
  • 04-22-12

I have never enjoyed an audio book more

Woody Allen explores the health craze. That is how I am describing this book to my friends who I am encouraging to read this book. He combines common sense, a sense of adventure, and good humor in exploring the misconceptions, fads and good advice we are bombarded with in the media about good health. You will learn a lot, even if you read the nutrition and fitness press regularly.

You know you have enjoyed an audio book when at the end you wish you could invite the author to lunch. I hated to see this book end.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Not what you think it is.

Would you listen to another book narrated by A. J. Jacobs?

No

Any additional comments?

Was told it was funny, it's not - thought it was a guide to getting healthily, it isn't. It is an uninformative and boring account of one man's middle age crises. Ship this one.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful