My Life as an Experiment

  • by A. J. Jacobs
  • Narrated by A. J. Jacobs
  • 6 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One Man's Humble Quest to Improve Himself by Living as a Woman, Becoming George Washington, Telling No Lies, and Other Radical Tests
One man. Ten extraordinary quests. Best-selling author and human guinea pig A. J. Jacobs puts his life to the test and reports on the surprising and entertaining results. He goes undercover as a woman, lives by George Washington’s moral code, and impersonates a movie star. He practices "radical honesty", brushes his teeth with the world’s most rational toothpaste, and outsources every part of his life to India - including reading bedtime stories to his kids.
And in a new adventure, Jacobs undergoes scientific testing to determine how he can put his wife through these and other life-altering experiments—one of which involves public nudity.
Filled with humor and wisdom, My Life as an Experiment will immerse you in eye-opening situations and change the way you think about the big issues of our time—from love and work to national politics and breakfast cereal.


What the Critics Say

“Jacobs' experiments are about understanding oneself, making life more interesting and showing the reader a good time. And I love them for it.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“Off-the-wall and uproarious.” (Publishers Weekly)
"The virtuoso of this self-as-guinea pig genre." (Time)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Incredibly entertaining anecdotes

My biggest complaint about this book was something that AJ Jacobs mentions himself, which is that his voice has a somewhat nasal tone. When I first heard his voice I thought "That is NOT how I imagined him sounding", since I've read his book "The Year of Living Biblically" and saw many photographs chronicling the growth of his beard. But after awhile I grew used to his voice, and he does a good job of being expressive.

I liked that each chapter of the audiobook was based on a different experiment which AJ tried in his life. My personal favorite was the one about outsourcing. It was really funny to picture AJ's Indian assistants actually finishing his chapter on outsourcing for him.

For anyone who is not familiar with AJ's work, I think the introduction that AJ gives at the beginning of the book does a good job of describing the type of experiments he has done for the purpose of his writing.

Since each chapter is based on a different experiment, this book is good for breaking up over a long amount of time as one chapter does no depend upon the previous chapter for reference.
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- Jean

Exactly the right speed for my tired brain

After several heavy science books and a full load of school reading, I was ready to take on a lighter subject. This was perfect. Jacobs, the author, also does the reading and he has a great voice- even tone, lots of intonation, and clear. His stories are varied and all funny. The chapters are all stories of experiments he has done for articles in Esquire. These are great in themselves but Jacobs goes one step further and adds a Coda at the end of each chapter reflecting on the experiment, how much it changed his life, and how it compares to some of the other stories in the book. Some of the chapters might not seem that interesting at first glance (acting like George Washington), but Jabobs makes them interesting through his combination of facts, stories, anecdotes, and attitude.

This would be ideal for a long car ride with a friend or a summer read. It is not heavy material but it is poignant and funny.
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- sarah

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-12-2010
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio