My Experimental Life


A. J. Jacobs has carved out a strange career for himself as an immersion journalist -- perhaps my favourite of his books was My Year of Living Biblically, which was oddly moving and spiritual as well as snortingly funny. My Experimental Life is a collection of past experiments, mostly conducted for articles for Esquire, in which Jacobs variously manages a dating profile for his babysitter (slightly less creepy than it sounds); outsources as much of his life as possible to a team of very polite, efficient workers in India; tries out Radical Honesty and Unitasking (the revolutionary notion of focusing on one activity at a time). It's all very entertaining but it lacks the deeper dimension that I enjoyed in Living Biblically.

I bought this book from Brotherhood Books and some kind previous reader had left a post-it note inside, saying This is a Good Read XY, and I certainly concur. AJ Jacobs is the kind of writer you'd love to go out for dinner with, he is wonderfully amusing and witty company. 

Possibly my favourite chapter in this book was the last ('Whipped'), in which he puts himself in the hands of his long-suffering wife, Julie. AJ's expectation was that Julie would soon tire of being the boss of everything and welcome back his old self. Didn't happen. Julie relished being in total charge and dreaming up tasks for her husband to cheerfully perform, like foot rubs, sorting out the kids' toys, and doing all the daily shitwork that usually fell to her. Best. Experiment. Ever!! Maybe I'll try it out myself.

AJ Jacobs has a new book out, The Puzzler, and I'm looking forward to reading it.

No comments:

Post a Comment