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

The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs
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's review
Nov 25, 09

bookshelves: audiobooks, funny, how-to, human-behavior

A.J. Jacobs has one of the best jobs in the world. An editor at Esquire magazine, the man writes and edits essays on pop culture and social experiments. This book is a collection of articles (with follow-up notes) written over the course of a year for Esquire. He spends about a month on each, trying out various approaches to life. These approaches include living in accordance with George Washington's code of conduct (don't touch your genitals in front of people), outsourcing his life to India (apparently worth it), doing whatever his wife says (she did not get tired of it, to his disappointment), being radically honest (not easy, but showed him how his relationships could take more honesty than he thought), being a hot chick (answering emails from his nanny's suitors on a dating site), being a celebrity (impersonating the "Shine" guy at an awards ceremony in realizing how differently he was treated), being photographed nude (makes you feel powerless) and unitasking (because multitasking is really just the result of not being able to focus). The author sounds like a really friendly midwestern guy who constantly has a smile on his face. He also comes across as a horndog, since he admits his attraction to just about every woman he mentions in the book. The radical honesty piece was my favorite. When I think of radical honesty, I have exactly the same problems with it that the author brings up. How would my spouse and boss react? What about friends who ask for my opinion of their sucky art?
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