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The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experimentby A. J. Jacobs
Synopses & Reviews
For his first book, The Know-It-All, A. J. Jacobs read the entire Encyclopaedia Britannica from cover to cover in a quest to learn everything in the world. In The Year of Living Biblically, he followed every single rule of the Bible — from the Ten Commandments right on down to stoning adulterers.
Now comes a collection of his most hilarious and thought-provoking experiments yet. In his role as human guinea pig, Jacobs fearlessly takes on a series of life-altering challenges that provides readers with equal parts insight and humor. (And which drives A.J.'s patient wife, Julie, to the brink of insanity.)
Among the many adventures:
The Guinea Pig Diaries is a book packed with both laughs and enlightenment — and that's a promise we can make with Radical Honesty.
"Having already read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover-to-cover (The Know-It-All) and spent a year living by every rule in the Bible (The Year of Living Biblically), Jacobs, a kind of latter-day George Plimpton, tests our patience and our funny bones once again with his smart-aleck, off-the-wall and uproarious experiments in living. No cross-dresser he, Jacobs lives a vicarious life as a beautiful woman, the experiment growing out of his role in persuading his son's nanny, Michelle — a stunning beauty — to participate in an online dating service. He signs her up for the site, creates a profile for her, sifts through her suitors and co-writes her e-mails. Pretending to be Michelle, he learns not only the regret of rejection (having to let some guys down), but he also predictably discovers that there's a lot of deceit, boasting and creepiness in Internet dating. In another experiment, Jacobs outsources everything in his life to a company in India, from his research for articles to a complaint letter to American Airlines. This experiment worked so well that he continues to use this company every few weeks to make car rental reservations or to do research for him. Although a 'coda' of reflection follows the tale of each experiment, they provide no clarity or wisdom about his experiences. Everybody plays the fool sometimes, and with this book, Jacobs seems to have made a career out of it. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jacobs…could be the funniest nonfiction writer this side of Bill Bryson…The experiments themselves are fascinating and lead to genuinely surprising conclusions…and Jacobs’ storytelling is lighthearted and frequently laugh-out-loud funny…There aren’t a lot of nonfiction books you want to read over and over, but this is certainly one of them." Booklist, starred review
"Jacobs continues his unique brand of immersion journalism…[and] his style is crisp and often laugh-out-loud funny….[An] endearing and nimble look at how pursuing absurd extremes can illuminate the more mundane aspects of contemporary existence." Kirkus Reviews
The uproarious New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All gathers his adventures as a human guinea pig into one of the funniest and most enlightening books of the year.
• An irresistible page-turner filled with surprising wisdom: For his first hit book, Jacobs read the Encyclopedia Britannica. For his second, he followed every single rule in the Bible. Now comes a collection of his most outrageous and thought-provoking experiments yet. In The Guinea Pig Diaries, Jacobs goes undercover as a beautiful woman. He outsources everything in his life to India, from answering his emails to arguing with his wife. He spends two months saying whatever is on his mind. He lives like George Washington. Plus several other life-changing experiments—one of which involves public nudity.
• Amazing sales record: The humor of A.J. Jacobs has produced sales that are anything but laughable. His books have more than half a million copies in print, and they have spent a combined twenty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists and counting. He has inspired many imitators, but none has matched his ability to combine side-splitting entertainment with profound life lessons.
• A media favorite: To promote his books, Jacobs has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today show, Good Morning America, Anderson Cooper 360, Conan O’Brien, and NPr’s Fresh Air. Jacobs is all over the Internet as well, from Slate to the Huffington Post to Playboy.com. He is a regular contributor to NPR’s Weekend Edition. And he’s the editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, where versions of some of these experiments have appeared.
A book of essays on all of A.J.'s hilarious adventures as a human guinea pig, including My Outsourced Life and The Truth About Nakedness.
About the Author
A.J. Jacobs is the editor of What It Feels Like and the author of The Two Kings: Jesus and Elvis and America Off-Line. He is the senior editor of Esquire and has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Glamour, New York magazine, New York Observer, and other publications.
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