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 a couple of pounds, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol.
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 wife.
This latest work bursts with hilarity and warmth, all the while testing our culture's assumptions and obsessions with what makes good health and allowing the listener to reflect on his or her own health, body, and eventual mortality.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-25
- Reviewer: Staff
In this third book in A.J. Jacobs’s self-improvement trilogy—the previous two volumes focused on mental and spiritual health—the author takes aim at physical fitness. Jacobs, frightened by a bout of pneumonia and wary of his gradually expanding midsection (partially because of his wife’s gentle chiding), attempts to achieve ultimate bodily health. Throughout his journey, he experiments with numerous workouts and diets and consults with a battery of health experts, from nutritionists to dermatologists. Jacobs provides crisp, clean narration in this audio edition, and possesses an everyman quality reminiscent of Woody Allen that’s particularly appropriate for a title about personal improvement. And if Jacobs’s performance falters occasionally—at times his voice becomes high-pitched and squeaky—fans of his work will likely be able to look the other way. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Apr.)