Cassandra'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
Aug 17, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: nonfiction
Recommended for: no one
Read from August 16 to 17, 2010 , read count: 1

I didn't realize Jacobs had written and published another book. When I found mention of this book on his website, I immediately headed over to the library to check it out.

Well... I'm disappointed. The previous two books covered long term challenges (reading the entire encyclopedia and a second challenge to live according to one interpretation of Biblical rules for an entire year). This book was about a series of short term challenges, such as outsourcing his personal life to India, fulfilling his wife's every whim for a month, and impersonating a movie star at an awards ceremony.

Covering multiple short term experiments in one book was pointless. Jacobs didn't go into much detail about any of the experiments and he admitted in some of the chapters that he didn't fulfill some of them completely. The concept of living different extreme ideas (just to see what it's like to walk in someone else's shoes) is compelling, but this book didn't provide enough detail.

Combine that flaw with a bit of vulgarity and flippancy and it just wasn't a good read. The best part of the book was a list of 110 rules that George Washington tried to live by, rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation.

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