Synopses & Reviews
New York Times
bestselling 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 weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far, far greater.
The task was massive. 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 long-suffering wife.
This latest book bursts with hilarity and warmth, all the while testing our culture's assumptions and obsessions with what makes good health and allowing the reader to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality.
"With three bestselling titles in his One Man's Humble Quest series, Jacobs decided to become 'the healthiest man alive,' first consulting medical experts, making a list of outre diets, and putting himself in unusual situations. To try out the Paleo movement's Caveman Workout, 'which is all about being natural and savage and out in the wilderness,' he ran bare-chested through the wilderness of Central Park. He investigated the antiaerobic 'slow fitness movement' that requires exercising only 20 minutes a week. With a 70-page to-do list, he tried everything from acupuncture to Nature's Platform, a metal stand for squatting on top of a toilet since 'there's bona fide evidence squatting is better for you.' Each body part gets its own chapter; in 'The Gonads' he recalls a urologist who told him, 'When I do a prostate exam, it's easy. I use one finger. Maybe two if I want a second opinion.' Jacobs achieves an instant intimacy with the reader, making his family life as much a part of the narrative as his many meetings with medical theorists and health gurus. He's a clever humorist who successfully takes his readers on a round trip from reality to absurdity, dispensing solid, valuable health information along with fascinating oddities." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book, and once again, the brilliant A.J. Jacobs had me laughing out loud — and also deciding to change the way I live. Drop Dead Healthy is a rare mixture of the hilarious, the absurd, and the scientifically sound. Who knew it could be so entertaining to read about broccoli puree and shoeless jogging?" Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project
"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, host of "The Dr. Oz Show"
"A.J. Jacobs is very, very bad for your health. He will keep you up reading til 2 a.m., disturbing your circadian rhythms, making you sleep through breakfast and overeat at lunch. He is delicious. He's habit-forming. He will give you infectious titters and terminal glee. Don't let that stop you. Indulge." Mary Roach, author of Bonk and Packing for Mars
"Can one man go from a 'python that ate a goat' physique to perfect specimen? From Roman soldier workouts to Areca palm plants, from the sublime to the absurd, AJ has tried it all. I laughed my ass off the whole way 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
"You'll burn calories laughing out loud." Shape
About the Author
A.J. Jacobs is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and The Guinea Pig Diaries. He is the editor at large of Esquire magazine, a contributor to NPR, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids. Visit him at AJJacobs.com.