the guardian Sat 14 March 2009
Yes, it's yet another lifestyle experiment, joining the ranks of Morgan Spurlock eating only McDonald's and Leo Hickman's mission to embrace ethical living. Jacobs has ample experience in this area, having read all 32 volumes of the Encylopaedia Britannica for his first book, The Know-It-All, and attempting to outsource his entire life to India in 2005. This time, godless heathen Jacobs throws himself into the world of scripture, vowing to follow the Bible literally for 12 months. Some things are easy, such as growing massive amounts of facial hair and avoiding mixed fibres; others - stoning adulterers - prove harder. Then there's the difficulty of interpretation. For help, Jacobs consults a variety of pious experts, from Hasidic Jews to Amish B&B owners. The Year of Living Biblically argues that religion is so powerful in the US because it seems to offer an antidote to competitive consumer culture. Overall, though, it's a light read: Jacobs comes out of the experience not so much with God or searing analysis as with a taste for resting on the Sabbath and wearing a lot more white.