Customer Reviews for

Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recal

Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recall that improve his mind he read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Aardvark to Zygote and then wrote "The Know-It-All", to improve his spirit he wrote "The Year of Living Biblically" and n...
Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recall that improve his mind he read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Aardvark to Zygote and then wrote "The Know-It-All", to improve his spirit he wrote "The Year of Living Biblically" and now, in his humble quest to achieve bodily perfection, he has written "Drop Dead Healthy". This third of his "humble quest" series is a lot more amusing than the stieg Larsson trilogy (and moreover, it doesn't contain all those confusing Swedish names).
Drop Dead Healthy takes us through two years of Mr.Jacobs life during which he experiments with the pros and cons of a myriad of health fads, from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. He goes "caveman" by running through Central Park with members of the Paleo movement and sharing their diet of nuts and berries (but passes on the crushed insects, notwithstanding their high protein value). He consults with experts of all stripes and takes to heart a study in the journal Neuro Report showing that volunteers could hold their hands in freezing water longer if they uttered expletives. He reads books like "Slow Death by Rubber Duck" which argue that such toys are made from endocrine disrupting plastics "that will cause my boys to grow breasts the size of Katy Perry's when they're twelve". And in an attempt to combat the "Crimes of Excessive Sedentary Behavior" and expend extra calories while at work he bypasses the webpage advertisements for a $400 treadmill desks by jury-rigging his own, with his laptop teetering atop four cardboard boxes that rest on an end table, and he dares to include a photo of it.
Once again the writer's wife Julie is there to serve as both a lightning rod and a reality check to his over-the-top excesses, but this time his three sons are also there to bear witness to his eccentricities. One of many memorable moments occurs when Mr. Jacobs surprises his family with an attachment to the household toilet seat that requires a third world squatting pose, which he had read is healthier than than the conventional sitting position.
All of this is not for naught. After two years of following his regimen and despite some quirky detours, Mr. Jacobs has lost 16 pounds, gone down two belt sizes and more than halved his body fat percentage. His physician congratulates him that his lipid panel numbers "are so good they'll give you a heart attack".
Amidst the insightful humor and seriously valuable health tips, the book has some poignant and bittersweet aspects as well. We appreciate the writer's attentive visits to his 94 year-old grandfather and we come to know his self-described "eccentric Aunt Marti" who, despite her over-the-top preoccupation with living her life by following all things healthy, passes away at a relatively early age. There is a lot of wisdom among the book's wit, all of which makes for a most enjoyable read and a perfect gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, National Secretary's Day (April 25), Arbor Day (April 27) or any other occasion one can think of.

posted by harpospeaks on April 10, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Interesting, but could have done with more info and less ramble

Good premise, and an easy read. Slightly depressing though and I didn't learn as much as I wanted to. Frequently I wanted to know where he got a factoid from, but except for the bug sections, there's no info on that and no endnotes. Often the writing was disjointed, ...
Good premise, and an easy read. Slightly depressing though and I didn't learn as much as I wanted to. Frequently I wanted to know where he got a factoid from, but except for the bug sections, there's no info on that and no endnotes. Often the writing was disjointed, makung me wonder if I was missing pages. Lots of abrupt ends! And I could have done without tge constant references to his last book. I guess being agnostic ups your credibility, since he mentions it in almost every chapter? Got tired of that - please talk about health, not religion.

Basically, if you read this, do it for the random mildly amusing stories, not the health information. And don't expect too much.

posted by Pyrusj on April 19, 2012

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  • Posted April 10, 2012

    Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recal

    Fans of AJ Jacobs, a long-time writer for Esquire, will recall that improve his mind he read the Encyclopedia Britannica from Aardvark to Zygote and then wrote "The Know-It-All", to improve his spirit he wrote "The Year of Living Biblically" and now, in his humble quest to achieve bodily perfection, he has written "Drop Dead Healthy". This third of his "humble quest" series is a lot more amusing than the stieg Larsson trilogy (and moreover, it doesn't contain all those confusing Swedish names).
    Drop Dead Healthy takes us through two years of Mr.Jacobs life during which he experiments with the pros and cons of a myriad of health fads, from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. He goes "caveman" by running through Central Park with members of the Paleo movement and sharing their diet of nuts and berries (but passes on the crushed insects, notwithstanding their high protein value). He consults with experts of all stripes and takes to heart a study in the journal Neuro Report showing that volunteers could hold their hands in freezing water longer if they uttered expletives. He reads books like "Slow Death by Rubber Duck" which argue that such toys are made from endocrine disrupting plastics "that will cause my boys to grow breasts the size of Katy Perry's when they're twelve". And in an attempt to combat the "Crimes of Excessive Sedentary Behavior" and expend extra calories while at work he bypasses the webpage advertisements for a $400 treadmill desks by jury-rigging his own, with his laptop teetering atop four cardboard boxes that rest on an end table, and he dares to include a photo of it.
    Once again the writer's wife Julie is there to serve as both a lightning rod and a reality check to his over-the-top excesses, but this time his three sons are also there to bear witness to his eccentricities. One of many memorable moments occurs when Mr. Jacobs surprises his family with an attachment to the household toilet seat that requires a third world squatting pose, which he had read is healthier than than the conventional sitting position.
    All of this is not for naught. After two years of following his regimen and despite some quirky detours, Mr. Jacobs has lost 16 pounds, gone down two belt sizes and more than halved his body fat percentage. His physician congratulates him that his lipid panel numbers "are so good they'll give you a heart attack".
    Amidst the insightful humor and seriously valuable health tips, the book has some poignant and bittersweet aspects as well. We appreciate the writer's attentive visits to his 94 year-old grandfather and we come to know his self-described "eccentric Aunt Marti" who, despite her over-the-top preoccupation with living her life by following all things healthy, passes away at a relatively early age. There is a lot of wisdom among the book's wit, all of which makes for a most enjoyable read and a perfect gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, National Secretary's Day (April 25), Arbor Day (April 27) or any other occasion one can think of.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2012

    Interesting, but could have done with more info and less ramble

    Good premise, and an easy read. Slightly depressing though and I didn't learn as much as I wanted to. Frequently I wanted to know where he got a factoid from, but except for the bug sections, there's no info on that and no endnotes. Often the writing was disjointed, makung me wonder if I was missing pages. Lots of abrupt ends! And I could have done without tge constant references to his last book. I guess being agnostic ups your credibility, since he mentions it in almost every chapter? Got tired of that - please talk about health, not religion.

    Basically, if you read this, do it for the random mildly amusing stories, not the health information. And don't expect too much.

    5 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 13, 2012

    Wonderful, funny, informative, I think!

    This book gives this nations obsessiveness on getting healthy, a good and humorous evaluation. From the ridiculous to the possible, A.J. Jacobs explores and attempts to live the many and often contradictory ways to achieve health. I laughed all the way through. I may even try some of the things he found helpful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Highly recommended!

    This book is lough out loud funny. His wife must be a Saiint
    to put up will all his "experiments". You need to read this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    All this book is about is one person venture into eating healthe

    All this book is about is one person venture into eating healtheir and living a healtheir lifestyle. This is one persons point of view that doesn't cover a lot of areas in the health industry. A complete was of time to read. I learned more watching the new.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    I'm a fan

    I have read all of AJ Jacobs books and they are fun to read, informative, well researched, funny and well written. I highly recommend them all. Can't wait to see what his next challenge will be!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Fun. At first I thought the style might be a little much, but I

    Fun. At first I thought the style might be a little much, but I soon got into the flow of it and enjoyed it. You learn quite a bit too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2012

    Funny and informative

    I am an avid reader of health related material. This was a very funny and thought provoking book. I am now interested in reading some of his other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Forevermore Downfall

    "Yay I'ma punch Photo Finish in the stomach too!" <br>
    Real Fluttershy: "S-she wasn't really that-t bad." <br>
    Pinkie: "Yay we get to kill Chrysalis again!" Takes out her party cannon. <br>
    Vynx: Takes out a walky-talky. "Agents Gordon Freeman and MiCheLLe JoHnsON report to Ponyville immediately." <p>
    But really, continue now or IWILLFALLOFFACLIFF!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    RD

    YAY IMMA MEGA PUNCH HER!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2013

    Nightmare Rarity chapter 21

    Fluttershy shuddered at the words. Twilight tryed zapping Crysilis." Oh. So the itty bitty ponys wanna fight, huh?" She sneered." We'll give you a fight!" Suddenly the Changelings, Timberwolves, and their two leaders were rushing at the ponies. Before they reached them, however, the Elements of Harmony appeared on the ponies. Not Spikes element, though. Nightmare Rarity went for Twilight first." Snap out of it, Rarity!" She yelled as the wrestled on the ground. Twilight punched Rarity in the stomache, but it hardly had an effect. Dashie punched waaayyyy harder. Nightmare Rarity growled and levitated Twilight in the air." Put me down!" She screeched. Laughing at Twilights weak attempt at escaping, she threw her across Ponyville. The others were busy fighting Changelings and Timberwolves. Soon the hiding ponys came out to fight. The Cutie Mark Crusaders, The Cake family, everypony. Finally Rarity found who she was looking for: Photo Finish. Making Fluttershy a model, but not her a designer? That was uncalled for, and Nightmare Rarity wanted to teach her, and everypony else who had wronged her, a lesson.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 8, 2013

    Enjoyed it very much.

    I always enjoy A. J. Jacobs' books. Like his others, this isn't a "how to" type of book. He enjoys experimenting, using himself as the guinea pig, and reports what he finds. There are gems of information as you read and a wonderful sense of humor that makes the book highly readable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Funre Fun read

    Informative and entertaining

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Drop Dead Healthy:

    Hilarious read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Couldn't put it down!

    This book, as all other A. J. Jacobs books I've read, has been both hilarious and fascinating. I now have a great mental archive of cool facts to annoy my husband with, ha!
    Honestly, I really enjoyed this book and definitely learned something along the way.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Ivyheart

    I see no kitty. *grabs his scruff and brings him to the next result*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    Brownkit

    Ok whats that smell grandma look a bad kitty

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2012

    A stump

    100 mice

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Very enjoyable read

    A.J. makes this quest of his an entertaining and informative story. His wife and kids have a lot of patience with him as he goes through his "transformation". Great read.

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A fun read

    This book was a fun if somewhat scatter-shot approach to being fit.
    Worth reading for the entertainment value, and I did pick up a few interesting health tips along the way

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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