Drop Dead Healthy: Book summary and reviews of Drop Dead Healthy by A. J. Jacobs

Drop Dead Healthy

One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection

by A. J. Jacobs

Drop Dead Healthy

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"He’s a clever humorist who successfully takes his readers on a round trip from reality to absurdity, dispensing solid, valuable health information along with fascinating oddities." - Publishers Weekly

"Jacobs's account of his journey is engrossing and will have readers chuckling at the measures he takes in pursuit of perfect health." - Library Journal

"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 agoat' physique to perfect specimen? From Roman soldier workouts to Areca palm plants, fromthe sublime to the absurd, AJ 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, AJ Jacobs sets himself an ambitious goal: to become the person we all wish we could be. It's vintage AJ. 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

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Author Information

A. J. Jacobs Author Biography

Photo: William Pelkey

A.J. Jacobs is an author, journalist, and a lecturer. He has written a few New York Times bestsellers that combine memoir, science, humor and a dash of self-help. He is also editor-at-large at Esquire magazine, a commentator on NPR and a columnist for Mental Floss magazine. He is currently helping to build a family tree of the entire world and holding the biggest family reunion ever in 2015.

His bestsellers include The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection. He also published a collection of essays called My Life as an Experiment: One Man's Humble Quest to Improve ...

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