Drop Dead Healthy One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A. J. Jacobs

73%

24 Critic Reviews

...if you prefer your jokes served up like a hanging curveball to Jose Bautista, this is the book for you.
-Globe and Mail

Synopsis

 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.
 

About A. J. Jacobs

See more books from this 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.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. 420 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 29 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Drop Dead Healthy One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection
All: 24 | Positive: 18 | Negative: 6

Kirkus

Below average
Jan 15 2012

Despite his labors, the best advice the author offers is eat less, move more and try to steer clear of pollutants. Periodic visits to his 94-year-old grandfather...alleviating the drudgery and providing much-needed authenticity to an otherwise contrived exercise.

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NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Apr 15 2012

Despite his strenuous efforts to tart up and oversimplify this endeavor, “Drop Dead Healthy” turns out to be bright, funny and even useful.

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Book Reporter

Excellent
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan on Apr 12 2012

Jacobs is curious, thoughtful and respectful of other ideas, no matter how nuts they may be.

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Star Tribune

Excellent
Reviewed by Laurie Hertzel on Apr 06 2012

Jacobs' light touch camouflages the impressive amount of research that goes into each chapter.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Louis Bayard on Apr 20 2012

He can’t get enough of himself...And can A.J. Jacobs conceive of a book that doesn’t have A.J. Jacobs as both its subject and object?

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by JAY JENNINGS on Apr 15 2012

In the end, no matter where you're reading the book - treadmill or toilet - you'll find an entertaining guide to the skinny on a healthy life.

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Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by JAY JENNINGS on Apr 23 2012

I would heartily recommend A.J. Jacobs’ new book, Drop Dead Healthy, as bathroom reading — and I do mean that as a compliment-

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Below average
Reviewed by Stefan Beck on Apr 13 2012

Jacobs will flit from topic to topic, body part to body part, anxiety to anxiety, the reader will almost but not quite fail to notice that Jacobs isn't accomplishing very much at all.

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Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Douglas Bell on Apr 27 2012

...if you prefer your jokes served up like a hanging curveball to Jose Bautista, this is the book for you.

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Salon

Below average
Reviewed by Stefan Beck on Apr 15 2012

And because Jacobs will flit from topic to topic, body part to body part, anxiety to anxiety, the reader will almost but not quite fail to notice that Jacobs isn’t accomplishing very much at all.

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Watermark Books And Cafe

Excellent
Reviewed by Melissa Fox

It helps, I think, that his books are so readable: he's self-deprecating, but not to the point where it's annoying. He's funny.

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Bloomberg

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lopatto on Apr 24 2012

Acquiring healthy habits isn’t easy, but Jacobs makes it feel like something that’s within reach of any Joe or Jill Couch Potato. That’s an accomplishment worth admiring.

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Las Vegas Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Rick Lax on May 09 2012

It took him a decade, but I think he figured out the key to happy living: moderation. It’s an old, unsexy idea, but that doesn’t make it untrue.

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Willamette Week

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Lopez on Apr 25 2012

The innocent willingness shown by Jacobs throughout Drop Dead Healthy helps transform a book about subjects most of us willfully ignore into a great read.

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Blouin Artinfo

Excellent
Reviewed by Noah Charney on Mar 26 2012

...funny and enlightening book.  Read this instead of worrying over medical studies, and allow Jacobs to lead you through the labyrinth of questionable and conflicting information.

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A Musing Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Nancy on Apr 11 2012

Jacobs does what might make the rest of us uncomfortable, again much to my glee...got kicked out of bed by my husband for laughing out loud...

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5 Minutes for Books

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on May 12 2012

I still recommend Drop Dead Healthy for fans of A.J. Jacobs or those who are interested in health news and trends.

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West Metro Mommy

Below average
Reviewed by West Metro Mommy on May 10 2012

There was just too much. I would have rather he had chosen to write a book on just the best nutrition or just the best workouts or whatever.

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Misbehavin' Librarian

Good
Apr 12 2012

I think this is my favorite non-fiction books this year... bursts with hilarity and warmth, all the while testing our culture’s assumptions and obsessions with what makes good health...

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Book Nut

Good
Reviewed by Melissa on May 09 2012

If I have become insufferable with "Did you know..." and "I read in Drop Dead Healthy..." statements, it's only because this book is packed with so. much. information. And all of it interesting. I

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Nefarious Fiddlesticks

Below average
Reviewed by Melissa Morrow on Apr 10 2012

He claims to do research in every other sentence, but rarely shows his work. He claims to share results, but then goes off on unrelated (and uninteresting) tangents.

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LazyLowCalLifestyle

Good
Reviewed by Becky on May 29 2012

Not only was this a fact-based, interesting read, it was also poignant and laugh-out-loud funny.

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London's Fog

Good
Reviewed by Karen on May 26 2012

Drop Dead Healthy is funny, informative and touching; filled with wonderful anecdotes...

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Things Are Good

Good
Reviewed by Meggie McDonald on May 25 2012

By the end of the book, readers can feel like we’ve run the gauntlet of health with Jacobs. We stand up straighter, we’re more aware of what we eat...

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