119. The Guinea Pig Diaries (A.J. Jacobs)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Shortly before my recent surgery, I stopped by the local chain bookstore (I know, shoot me now!) to look for a magazine I couldn't find anywhere else. On my way to the checkout (ironically, to buy a different, more popular magazine found everywhere), I spotted the sale bin. Much to my surprise I found two books that I had been wanting to read; one of these was A.J. Jacobs' The Guinea Pig Diaries. Regularly priced at $32 CDN, it was marked down to $8, and then again to a mere fiver for a hard cover copy. Can't go wrong with that! So, although it wasn't one of our fabulous, locally owned book sellers, I bought it. 

In Jacobs' third book (he also penned The Year of Living Biblically and The Know-It-All), he takes on a series of 30-day experiments.  These include outsourcing his life to a company in India, a month of Radical Honesty (no lies, not even little white ones), following George Washington's rules to live by, and finishing with doing everything his wife asks.  The premise of the book sounded interesting, and I quite enjoyed Jacobs' first two offerings, so I was quite glad to have this on hand while relaxing at home these past few weeks.  Sadly, it just didn't cut the mustard.

The book was far too short.  At a mere 205 pages, including pages separating each chapter, there just wasn't enough space devoted to any specific topic.  Just as I was getting into the George Washington experiment, it was over.  The experiment in Radical Honesty?  Who wouldn't want to give that a try (without consequences naturally)?  Unfortunately, it ended far too soon.  I was left wanting more.  My other complaint?  Unlike his first two books, it seemed as though the book was a half-hearted attempt and merely a group of random items thrown together just for the sake of putting a book out. 

I'm certainly glad that I read The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically prior to The Guinea Pig Diaries.  If I had read this one first, I wouldn't have picked up any of his other books.  Ever.  Disappointing is an understatement.  Thankfully it only cost me five bucks.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

The fact that you were left wanting more could be taken as a sign of a mesmerizing book. It's too bad that this was the bad kind of left wanting more.

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