What It Feels Like

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 January, 2004, 12:00am

What It Feels Like

Edited by A.J. Jacobs

Three Rivers Press $123

Fifty-three articles, plus photographs, culled from the pages of Esquire magazine, most a mere 1,000 words long, and each one a meaty first-person account of some extreme of human experience. It starts with painful accounts, such as being struck by lightning, gored by a bull or attacked by a swarm of killer bees. It then gets increasingly voyeuristic - participating in an orgy, doing heroin, having a sex-change, having an obsessive-compulsive disorder, being a mob hitman. Most entries are deeply unpleasant, but there are a few feel-good efforts on giving birth, winning the lottery and walking on the moon. Each article is written with maximum detail and minimum fuss. The subject matter is so gripping there's no need for extra flourish.




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