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Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like
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Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like

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3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  189 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Have you ever wondered what it feels like:

to be stuck in a tornado?

“[It] is exactly the feel of a freight train approaching—that low, ever-louder howl and the shuddering ground.”

to participate in an orgy?

“And all the while, the thought that keeps going through your mind (and through the cab ride home, and into breakfast the next day): ‘I’m at an orgy! I’m at an orgy!’”

to h
...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 23rd 2003 by Three Rivers Press (first published 2003)
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ツ Kathy  Worrell
3.5 Stars

I thought these short stories were very interesting.....I only wish I knew what happened to these people afterward!
Loren
What fun! Did you ever wonder what it felt like to have a shark crunch down on your head or to win the lottery or to go on a hunger strike or to survive a tornado from inside a trailer in Mississippi or to have amnesia? This is your reference.

I first became aware of some of these stories when they appeared in Esquire. Several of them stuck in my head, especially the tale of Sir Rannulph Fiennes getting frostbite as he tried to reach the North Pole alone. Having his fingers freeze was bad enough,
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Abby
I read this book this afternoon. It was a very fast read. And I'm kind of glad, because it was sort of a downer. It sounded so interesting, right? But in reality, it was only kinda interesting, and depressing.

It's a bunch of short essays about different crazy experiences. They are really short (1-3 pages), so you don't get any deep life lessons or follow up. You just get the basic experience, in a couple paragraphs.

So, in one chapter I imagined almost being killed in a tornado, then I was being
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David Ward
Esquire Presents: What It Feels Like by A.J. Jacobs (Editor)(Three Rivers Press 2003)(nonfiction). This is a collection of columns written by A.J. Jacobs for Esquire Magazine under the title "What It Feels Like." In these columns, the author posed a question, and the answer was a several-paragraph long response in the first person from someone to whom it had happened (e.g., "What it feels like to be attacked by a bear", "What it feels like to be struck by lightning", "What it feels like to be ad ...more
Crystal
This is basically a collection of very short first person accounts. They're not poorly written but they're all so short that no story really has enough time to grab you.

If you keep a bathroom book, this would be a good candidate. Otherwise, meh.
Angel
Aug 09, 2007 Angel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: if you feel like you need that pivotal moment in your life
Shelves: shortfun
After reading this- you don't have to first hand feel... ever again.
(All written on first-hand accounts. All written by the person's own creative voice.)

Some of my faves:
What It Feels Like to be Attacked by a Swarm of African Killer Bees
What It Feels Like to Touch Fake Boobs
What it Feels Like to Have Fake Boobs
What It Feels Like to Have Multiple Personalities (which I often feel)
What It Feels Like to Participate in an Orgy (which I often am asked to join)
What It Feels Like to Be 105 Years O
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Nine
This is a pretty nice book! The focus is very much on physical sensation, with only the most basic background info; I like that it doesn't stray far off-topic. There are a whole lot of different things in here, like being bitten by a shark, having OCD, being in solitary confinement, being in a coma, being very tall or very short, transitioning, and so on. Really interesting, and allowing people to describe their experiences in their own words means there isn't a sensationalist tone. Also, nice d ...more
Michael
Not so much a "book" as a collection of short excerpts from Esquire articles, or maybe pieces that were intended as Esquire articles but didn't make the cut. I assume that it is or was given out for free with Esquire subscriptions.

All of the various experiences described are mildly interesting, but none remarkably so, as least in these tellings. Each individual piece is about a thirty-second read, so not a bad read for a day where you are going to spend a lot of time waiting for things to happe
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Beth
Feb 18, 2008 Beth rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
I've never read a book so fast in my life. It helps that it's small, has pictures, and is broken into easy-to-read passages, but considering I was wiping away boogers, peanut butter, and dog slobber while trying to read this, I think I read this pretty quickly. Many stories are gut-wrenching, many made me gasp in pity or horror, many made me want to know what had come of the people profiled. Truly a must-read.
Sebastian Stabinger
The book consists of short texts in which people explain what it feels like to experience something. Crashing in a plane, being attacked by a bear, walking on the moon, ...

The main complaint that I have is the fact that the stories are very, very short and therefore more often than not also very shallow.

One of the rare cases where a book twice as big would have been a good thing.
Marilyn
I'm pretty much a devotee of this author. Although he only actually edits this, I presumed it would carry his mark. Not so much. I skipped the entries on orgies, sex changes, and mob hitsters. Interested to note that Melchizadek greeted the woman who "died", and the entry on surviving a plane crash was gripping. Short quick reads.
Alli
I gave this only a 4 out of 5, because it wasn't actually written by AJ Jacobs, and also, because while on the whole the collection was very interesting, there were about 5 essays that I just wasn't a fan of. Don't know why, really... but the ratings wouldn't let me give a 4.5, when that's really what I meant.
Sara
An interesting collection of stories from people who survived disasters, accidents, addictions, or have won awards, born differently than the average person, and descriptions by the more adventurous peoples of the world.
Andy
Perfect for my short attention span, I suppose, but nearly every little (1-4 pages) account of whatever just left me wanting more, or wanting to smack the person for not talking about the thing(s) that were -really- interesting.
Sandi
A really quick but fascinating read...a nice, safe, voyeuristic way to experience things like being shot in the head (gored by a bull, have fake boobs, undergo an exorcism, etc) without having to actually go through it.
xq
this was a quick read - i would've liked some of the stories to be longer, but since a few of them were for Esquire originally, i understand why they're short.

fun little book, nice collection of essays.
Rob Johnson
Not exactly a world changing book, but there were a few good 1-pagers in there. What it felt like to be attacked by killer bees sounded scary (and kind of hilarious).
Gemma Williams
A very quick read that was full of interesting stories, more like reading a blog in book form, it doesn't take up much time so if you get a chance have a look.
Kristi Bumpus
A neat book in theory, but there really wasn't much to it ... each of the excerpts left me with more questions. Just wasn't enough substance to suit me.
Jerry Smith
Sep 05, 2008 Jerry Smith rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jerry by: jerry@balancelifework.com
Shelves: general-interest
Ok, interesting diversion if you have an hour or so to kill. It really doesn't take much longer to read. Nothing in depth here.
Carly Johnson
WAY too short! What a fantastic compilation of stories. I keep hoping a part II will come out . . .
Jennifer
My only complaint is that I felt like some of the experiences lacked detail. Otherwise an enjoyable read.
Chrishna
From getting hit by lightening to dying! A great, fast and fun read.
Sandu
good examples but too short examples, sometimes.
Jason
good for a plane ride, that is about it
Brittany
Brittany marked it as to-read
Feb 26, 2015
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A.J. Jacobs is a New York Times bestselling author, Esquire editor and human guinea pig.

Among Jacobs’ life experiments:
--The Know-It-All. The bestselling memoir of the year he spent reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica in a quest to become the smartest person in the world.
--The Year of Living Biblically. The bestseller about his life as the ultimate biblical man. He followed every rule of th
...more
More about A.J. Jacobs...
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World Drop Dead Healthy: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment Fractured Fairy Tales

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