By Timothy Ferriss
Gonna give a heads up on this one: At the moment of this posting, if you go on my Goodreads, you will see that I have not finished this book. I KNOW. I KNOW. Put down that goddamn tomato, Gerry! This is not a time to lose your head. Here’s my reasoning behind reviewing the book before finishing it: This ain't a real book. Oh, yeah, it’s got pages and words and pictures, like all the best books. It’s got a through line, a bunch of information that while not in a narrative context does provide a stable illustration of one man’s view on life. It has all that shit and more. BUT I submit to you that this is not a real book so much as this is a collected group of guidelines and anecdotes through which you can change your life. Using it in the last month I have lost about twenty pounds of fat, gained some muscle and feel awesome. Plus the author says you don’t have to read it all right away and it’s Tuesday and I need to review something.
The ultimate guide to one man’s attempt to hack the human body, the 4 Hour Body provides an ample amount of diet, exercise, sleep and female orgasm information. You read that right.
What I liked
Matter of Fact Approach
This book is written by someone with a clear goal to present information in a matter of fact fashion. Yeah, the book can get sciency, but it let’s you know that and allows you to skip over it by presenting a lot of practical advice with studies and information to back it up.
Division of Labor
I love how the pages in this book are organized. Basic advice has a white background, anecdotes and science stuff are backed with gray so you can skip them and return later. A great device for compartmentalizing information.
The book makes it clear that this is all your choice. There is not flat “do this and everything will be great forever.” When something is gonna hurt or just suck to do, Mr. Ferris tells you. When something is going to be awesome (like cheat day), he tells you that to. All along, though, I got the feeling that every suggestion was just that, a suggestion, a choice for a way to a better life and not a demand or regimen that you had to stick to religiously.
What I didn't like
Not Travel Friendly
It’s really big and cumbersome. It’s awesome because of the amount of information in it, but I could not see taking this book to the park or out. I almost wish the book were divided up into “diet,” “exercise,” etc books on their own, but that would defeat the point of parts of it. Anyway, a gripy bullshit thing, but I didn't like it so there you have it.
Feels Like It Jumps
From chapter to chapter, there are at times a stutter to the information. For something that feels and reads like a textbook, this should not be a problem, but going from diet to exercise to orgasms to sleep and back to diet was confusing. This is such a thing that Mr. Ferriss in his intro recommends multiple ways to read through the book and even suggests that cover to cover is the worst way to read it. I agree.
A lot of the advice given is... impractical. Even that’s not the right word. There were times I read a certain passage and thought, “well, fuck that, I’ll just do an extra sit-up ” Most of this included drugs and vitamins that I either do not have access to or cannot afford, so this may just be personal. Most of these I believe Mr. Ferriss even points out are extreme. Also, I’m not going near a needle that I do not have to and I don’t give a shit what my glucose levels are doing if that’s what needs to be done.
Who would like this
If the amount of testimonials out there for this book are correct, then anyone who wants to change their body in even the smallest ways would enjoy this book. While I did comment on some of Mr. Ferriss’s more “extreme” weight loss measures, I did not talk about the multitude of small changes that can be performed to better yourself. Also, if you want a simple drinking game, play the game of “famous or not,” where in you read what the person’s anecdote and another person has to guess if the person is famous or not.
Why was it banned?
I have found no mention online of this book being kept out of schools or libraries, but medical images, some language, alcohol use, and various body... he tests himself a lot. This should most definitely not be found in schools (no extreme fitness/diet book should), but the nonfiction section of any public library would benefit from this item.