Review : The Guinea Pig Diaries
The Guinea Pig Diaries by A. J. Jacobs
Pages : 230
Genre : Non Fiction, Humor
My Rating :
What it’s about :
You may have heard of Jacobs previous books, The Know-It-All and The Year of Living Biblically, where he respectively read the Encyclopedia Britannica from A to Z and followed the Bible’s rules for exactly a year.
With his third book, Jacobs shares a new collection of shorter experiments. Outsourcing everything in his life (from email to the Sunday call to his parents), trying Radical Honesty for a month or even obeying his wife for an entire month, Jacobs tries a little of everything and narrates it all with humor.
Even though I hadn’t read Jacobs two previous books, I had read some articles of his on the internet – among others, the one on his “Radical Honesty” experiment. I enjoyed his writing and really was looking forward to reading one of his books.
Luckily, I wasn’t disappointed! It was pretty much what I was expecting. Jacobs write with humor and authenticity without loosing focus from his goals. Obviously, his experiments are not hard science, but his style is extremely readable and I had some good laughs. Plus, there is something very entertaining about reading from the guinea pig’s point of view rather than from someone exterior to the experiment. He also points out various articles and books that have maybe more scientific credibility, if I may say so, and I took note of some titles I might want to read in the future.
Some of my favorite chapters were the one on outsourcing and the one about Radical Honesty. Like I said, I had already read this one previously, but I enjoyed reading it a second time. It was funny, yes, but it also give us something to think about : how much honesty do we really need in our lives? And how should this honesty be applied? In other words, nice food for thoughts. There were a few chapters that felt a little more flat for me. “What would George Washington do?” was one of those; it had some good moments, but it felt too long for what it was.
If you’re looking for some entertaining non-fiction that won’t require too much of your brain, The Guinea Pig Diaries could be a book you’ll enjoy. It’s also perfect if you don’t want something that you will have to read in one block : since each chapter is a different experiment, you can pick it up and read a small slice at a time.