Rod Hilton's Reviews > The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment

The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
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Sep 07, 2010

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bookshelves: audiobooks, science
Read from August 24 to September 07, 2010

The Guinea Pig Diaries is essentially a collection of short essays from writer A.J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All.

A.J. uses his trademark "immersive journalism" technique with a number of small, month-long experiments. He attempts to live a month practicing brutal honesty, a month outsourcing his life to India, a month of doing whatever his wife tells him, and other experiments.

The book is entertaining and engaging, just like A.J.'s other works, but it lacks the level of detail and insight that his other books provide. In both The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, A.J.'s experiment is funny and entertaining but also allows the reader to learn quite a bit about the encyclopedia and the bible, respectively. Jacobs's treatments of his various experiments are so surface-level and short that this level is never reached.

If you're a fan of his other books, you'll likely enjoy this book the same way that you enjoy a candy bar: it tastes good but it isn't particularly filling. If you've never experienced Jacobs before, skip this book and pick up The Year of Living Biblically (his best) or The Know-It-All (his second best).
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