Drop Dead Healthy: One Man’s Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection by A.J. Jacobs
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio
Review copy provided by the publicist
After perfecting his brain in The Know-It-All and getting his spirit cleansed in The Year of Living Biblically, A.J. Jacobs decided it’s time to get his health in order. Drop Dead Healthy is Jacobs’ chronicle of the time he spent trying to become the healthiest man in the world. Over the course of two years, Jacobs embarked on many diet and exercise regimes, and other techniques, in the quest to find out how to actually become healthy. Many of the advice he received was contradictory, but he devoted himself to the task of truly becoming healthy and finding out what will actually get him there.
I chose to read Drop Dead Healthy because I quite enjoyed The Year of Living Biblically and was hoping Jacobs would provide me with a similar experience in his newest memoir. I have to say that I got exactly what I was hoping for with this book: a funny, engaging, and actually a bit informative memoir by the very entertaining A.J. Jacobs.
The thing with this book is that it’s not exactly educational … he’s not trying to tell the reader how to be healthy. Rather, he’s on a journey for his own knowledge and takes the reader right along with him. There is some real information in here, though, and I was surprised to learn about some of the interesting techniques the “experts” say are necessary to get healthy. Especially some of the exercise regimes! I found it hilarious and also interesting how many diets there are which are supported by “evidence” – all of these diets contradict each other but each one has many followers.
What makes the novel is Jacobs’ snarkiness throughout the book. He is trying out all these different methods, while poking fun at them and also bringing up real issues with many of the things he tries. His style is funny and keeps the reader entertained throughout the book.
I listened to the audiobook of Drop Dead Healthy and I think it was a good choice. Jacobs narrates the audio himself, and while initially I wasn’t a fan of his voice (it has a nasal quality that annoyed me at first) after the first disc I got used to it and came to appreciate his narration. I tend to like when authors narrate their own books, especially nonfiction, because it makes me feel like they are reading it to me, and that was the case with Drop Dead Healthy as well – once I got used to the voice.
This isn’t a serious memoir by any means, but it was quite enjoyable and entertaining so I would definitely recommend it. The audio wasn’t my favorite production ever, but I liked it and would recommend either the audio or the print version of the book.