Mary Roach delivers a compelling trek down the gullet. Humor and insight backed by smarts and wit. Unfortunately, Emily Woo Zeller's reading doesn't cut the mustard. I'm sure she has many talents... voice over work isn't one of them.
Truly enjoyed the rock solid scientific approach to snacks, meals and sips. From initial olfactory sniff to the solids, liquids and gases expelled by our body... Mary nailed the digestive tract.
I'm a peaceful person. Open doors for strangers, spare change to the homeless, patchouli. Unfortunately, Emily Woo Zeller's picture book reading of otherwise compelling content has drove me to the dark side. Animal sacrifice, heavy metal music, spontaneous purchases on the Home Shopping Network. Awful. (Really... it was the worst reading I've ever experienced).
Loved the content. However, Emily Woo Zeller's reading was akin to having my skin peeled off by a Bon Jovi fan.
If you have a heart, please don't let Emily Woo Zeller do any more readings.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
Mary Roach is a unique writer. I think her closest comparison is Sarah Vowell. Where Sarah Vowell writes in a unique way about random historical matters, Mary Roach writes in a unique way about science issues. This is my third book by Mary Roach. The first books I read was the best, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, because well, who isn’t interested in sex?
The second book, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers was also interesting, but frankly cadavers are a bit disconcerting. It veered wildly between gross and fascinating.
In a slightly less disgusting way, Gulp covers pretty much everything you wanted to know, and a number of things you may not wanted to know about the Alimentary Canal (or digestive system).
What makes Roach (and Vowell’s) writing unique and interesting is the way that they put themselves into their stories. As a reader you know that she is answering her own questions and scratching her own itch to know. In Bonk, she involved herself and her husband in some of the sex studies and and in Stiff she talked clearly about visiting morgues and cemeteries and smelling decomposing bodies. In Gulp she visits cat and dog food companies to learn about how the human and animal digestive systems are similar and different and food research labs as well as attempting to be a food taste tester and smeller.
The subjects can be a bit odd, but the voice is fascinating.
Originally posted on my blog, Bookwi.se
assuming she got some sort of training
Bought the daily deal. Suffering through the recommendations list now
Good Shit, Dude!
The Alimentary Canal.
Emily did a great job. She has a light airy voice which translates mischief very well.
I did listen to this book in one sitting. I bought it as a daily deal, not sure whether to spend a whole precious credit on it. I wasn't disappointed. I haven't read the other reviews before writing mine. So, I am curious to look back and see what others thought. Of course, this isn't War and Peace. It reminded me of the old Readers Digest series "I'm Joe's Liver", but with greater depth, curiosity, and respect for the subject.
This book would be a great read for any one wanting information about the anatomy, without being bored to death. Very down to earth, interesting, and fun read.
This is the second, and the last, Mary Roach book I will be listening to. I thought perhaps she might provide interesting facts - instead it is quite simply boring and somewhat gross. Imagine someone reading a clinical trial to you - and how dull that would be. Just stupid!
Not so much, sorry.
Dissertations on intestinal microflora.
Not really applicable
A little too much time spent on poo.
The descent into gross was acceptable, considering the taboos that were appropriately
breached. Being of medical mind, I would prefer more science.
There was certainly lots of material presented in this book going from orifice to orifice. Just when I felt something was too awful to contemplate I was grabbed by some interesting bits of information that made me re think our cultural taboos.
Learning that the eating of feces by several species is a biological necessity.
There were no "characters" per se - just a travel from mouth to anus via nutritional, physiological, anthropological, pathological and historical perspectives.
There were several reactions, from being grossed out, shocked, amazed and amused - all of which contributed to making this an engrossing experience.
As I ruminate about this book (yes, this is a bad pun so I don't blame all the loud groans out there), I decided that I really liked it. There were some parts that were a bit boring to me, but overall, I found the "gut" to be more fascinating than expected. I enjoyed the narration, and as I was listening to this to and from work, it seemed to work out that the most disgusting topics (think: fecal transplants)always came up first thing in the morning! The thought of someone's fecal matter being transplanted into me is quite repulsive, but when I think of it in terms of the benefits, I would try that option if I found myself in some of the circumstances that others do with severe gastro issues. I'm glad that this research is being done and I hope that it leads to breakthroughs.
Overall, this was a very well researched book. I admire that she delved into this topic so thoroughly and I learned quite a bit of interesting facts. I would never go to the lengths Mary Roach does to learn about a subject; while she is welcome to undergo a colonoscopy without drugs so she can see the organ and learn from it, my response to that is: "hell no, bring on the drugs." I much prefer to let someone else do the direct learning and I will learn indirectly from them through the pages of a book or the sounds of the audio version!(less)
I've listened to Stiff by Mary Roach and very much enjoyed it. I was expecting much more from Gulp. I thought it would cover the most recent research and exciting discoveries relating to the Alimentary Canal. Instead it covered what one would expect from the freak show at a state fair. Most of the stories were from very long ago and I guess were selected for their sensational value. It was not what I was hoping it would be.
This was my first Mary Roach book and I have to say, I love her witty, comical nonfiction writing style. The content is certainly quirky and likely wouldn’t hold the attention of the average reader, but I love science oddities and trivial facts, so I certainly enjoyed this book (disclaimer, it’s not all trivial). I also quite enjoyed the links between science and culture that are woven throughout. It’s a quick and fascinating read that will have you laughing out loud at times. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys science-based nonfiction—not to worry though, it’s nothing like reading a textbook!