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Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection [Kindle Edition]

A. J. Jacobs
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $10.38
You Save: $5.62 (35%)
Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc

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Book Description

 From the bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All comes the true and truly hilarious story of one person’s quest to become the healthiest man in the world.

Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” and ashamed of a middle-aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: maximal health from head to toe.

The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts— sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself to dozens of different workouts—from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and he measured.

The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just may be the healthiest book ever written. It will make you laugh until your sides split and endorphins flood your bloodstream. It will alter the contours of your brain, imprinting you with better habits of hygiene and diet. It will move you emotionally and get you moving physically in surprising ways. And it will give you occasion to reflect on the body’s many mysteries and the ultimate pursuit of health: a well-lived life.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, April 2012: You may know A.J. Jacobs as the man who attempted to read the Encyclopedia Britannica from cover-to-cover. Or you may have been introduced to him when he spent a year trying to follow the Bible as literally as possible. He returns once again with another seemingly impossible task--that of becoming the healthiest man alive. As with his earlier books, Jacobs brings his quick wit, self-deprecating humor, and journalistic eye to the experiment. He leaves no health stone unturned: from literally running his errands and wearing noise-cancelling headphones for hours a day to rigging a desk that he can work at while walking on the treadmill (there are instructions at the end for those interested), Jacobs chronicles the good, bad, and ugly of trying to attain "perfect" health. Jacobs's writing is breezy, informational, and entertaining, and he manages to achieve the near impossible--discussing issues of health without sounding preachy. --Caley Anderson

Review

"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


“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, "The Dr. Oz Show"


“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


"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, A.J. 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, A.J. Jacobs sets himself an ambitious goal: to become the person we all wish we could be. It's vintage A.J. 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


“While Jacobs’s attempts at health enlightenment can be hilarious, visits with his grandfather, famed labor lawyer Theodore Kheel, provide the most revealing glimpse into the secrets of aging well.”More


"Jacobs' light touch camouflages the impressive amount of research that goes into each chapter. He reads books and medical reports, interviews experts and scientists as well as enthusiasts on the fringe, then tries everything himself. He brings a skeptic's eye to each point of view, but he remains respectful of even the wackiest ideas... Yes, the results are funny, but this is, at heart, a serious book, with an underlying poignancy: As Jacobs works to get healthier, his beloved grandfather begins his slow decline, reminding us that no matter how healthy we are, it's all going to end the same way."—Laurie Hertzl, The Minneapolis Star Tribune


"You'll exercise your abdominals laughing over his adventures."Entertainment Weekly


“Why go to the gym when you can sit and read a funny book about it instead?”USA Today


"Bright, funny and even useful... Jacobs is methodical and savvy..."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times


"An entertaining guide to the skinny on a healthy life."—Jay Jennings, The San Francisco Chronicle


“His pursuit of perky pecs is sure to enlighten, but read it at your own risk: Side effects may include involuntary fits of laughter.” —Spirit (Southwest Airlines Magazine)


“You’ll learn fascinating facts, but really this book is a testament to the joys—and benefits—of moderation."People

Product Details

  • File Size: 3714 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1416599088
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 10, 2012)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005GG0N3M
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,878 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
160 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Professional Amateur April 5, 2012
Format:Paperback
Magazine writer A.J. Jacobs calls it "experiential journalism." He takes on seemingly ridiculous, yet intriguing, challenges. He reads the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. He lives the Bible, even the apparently trivial parts, such as not shaving your face. He outsources his life to a team of personal assistants in India.

He learns along the way and shares his discoveries. It's very entertaining. Jacobs has an easygoing and, for someone who writes almost exclusively in first person, surprisingly non-egotistical style. He works hard at his projects, preparing ahead, and doing research throughout. He's a real pro at being an amateur.

In his latest undertaking, he attempts to become healthy. This is more difficult than it sounds. He plans to go from slightly overweight and out of shape to heroic fitness. And that's not all. He also intends to improve the condition of all of his body parts: skin, nose, hands, etc. All this in two years!

One of the first roadblocks he runs into is the sheer volume of information and theories on how to be fit. The second obstacle is that much of the information is contradictory. There is no agreed upon, guaranteed path to health. Even trusted experts don't agree with one another.

But the main impediment to super health is self control. No surprise there. Jacobs manages to overcome the problem with a variety of methods. When he has trouble giving up a favorite snack, he writes a large check to the American Nazi Party and vows to mail it next time he gives in to temptation. He finds this kind of negative motivation very powerful.
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217 of 245 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm starting to get a little tired of this May 5, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm probably Jacobs' biggest fan. I have all of this books and have read, I think, all of his articles. With nearly every other author, I am loth to paid extra money for hardback and will simply wait until the book comes out in paperback. With Jacobs, however, I will immediately pre-order through Amazon as soon as I hear that he's about to publish a new book.

However, I think I've turned a corner with Jacobs and am starting to tire of his approach.

This book, while it was interesting and a page-turner, is something I would never read again.

Basically, Jacobs tries to be as healthy as possible for two years, trying out various philosophies and strictures of the health movement.

Although this "I did something kooky for a while and now I'm writing a popular book about it"-approach worked with the Bible thing, the George Washington thing, the cognitive biases thing, etc., it doesn't work so well with this material.

In short, I guess I was disappointed with this book and am starting to run out of patience with Jacobs. I accuse him of not treating his material fairly (at least here) and not taking his material seriously.

This project should have taken him 5 years, but instead he rushed through it in just two. Unlike Jacob's previous outings, you get the feeling on nearly every page that his real goal was to write and sell a book, not seriously explore the different philosophies, which is what really interests the reader.

Specifically, a lot of the health, diet, and wellness approaches required more than a friggin' afternoon to really take on board! I'm sure that the proponents of these various approaches -- almost to a man -- are probably frustrated with the book and feel that Jacobs sold them short.
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60 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre At Best April 21, 2012
By AshokLA
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Jacobs seems like a nice guy from this book, but a very regular, ordinary, frankly uninteresting guy. I suppose this is why he does these " experiments" as they help make him interesting. The book's advice is unremarkable (Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, the Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating or Younger Next Year have much better information) and the various experiments he does are not particularly interesting or funny. I am in the minority here but if you enjoy things with a bit of an edge, don't appreciate trite homespun " wisdom" and a weak sitcom version of family life or if you like humor that is funny stay away. By the way I question some of the five star reviews, so many of them are so absurd (one reviewer wrote this was the best nonfiction book she had ever read!) and so strongly advise you to buy the book that it makes me feel they are written by friends of the author or perhaps by people who have some interest in its success. Maybe not, maybe some people are just more easily amused or have not read other health books, but this reader says stay away!
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70 of 94 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh.... April 18, 2012
By TRHK17
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book really just reads like an extended Esquire column more than anything else. Some of the anecdotes are interesting but I just found it more narcissistic more than anything else. I haven't read his other books so maybe that's just the style of writing.

Question for the author, did you receive any incentive or reward by any 3rd party beyond your publisher for this book? It just feels like there's a lot of product placement in there at times.

Many apologies for being the first non 5* review!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read read for the average health nut
It's not really a book about absolute perfect health, but a commentary on how extreme people can be to improve their health and finding middle ground. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Carrie E. Friddell
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, entertaining, and educational
This book is a really enjoyable read. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read that's engaging as well.
Published 8 days ago by frequent buyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Jacobs is a genuinely funny writer, and I loved reading about all the...
In this book Jacobs spends over two years trying out various methods in a quest to become the healthiest man alive. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Katharine A. Owens
5.0 out of 5 stars is so funny! This book is worth reading for the chuckles ...
Oh, A.J. is so funny! This book is worth reading for the chuckles - that is a boost to your health in itself!
Published 12 days ago by gama
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, does not make everything clear, but clearly touches on...
I enjoyed his unique perspective on the many different diets and exercises out there. I have spent years trying to find the right combination of activities that work for me, the... Read more
Published 12 days ago by josiah
5.0 out of 5 stars If Only!
I have always liked A. J. Jacobs' books. He is funny and he takes on unusual projects. In this book he lives a life of being extremely healthy. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Roxanne Yannul
5.0 out of 5 stars Drop Dead Funny
Jacobs is an author who is COMMITTED. He lives his work and takes the reader inside the story. His writing style is engaging and he makes it look easy which is what anyone great... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Spyder
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting read
The first half of the book was a good read. But it became a little bit of a drag in the second half.
Published 1 month ago by S. M. Boyne
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty and personable
A J Jacobs is witty and gives a well rounded approach to fitness. His threads of personal stories through the work makes for a touching read.
Published 1 month ago by William Keyser
5.0 out of 5 stars Great guide to a realistic healthy life approach
I liked the simple approach to an otherwise complicated research on how to take care of all your body systems. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maria T-M
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More 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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