Mary Roach turns her attention to detailing what happens to food as it travels from our mouths to, well the other end!
Illuminating and humourous in parts, though at other times quite dry.
Personally I don't really like her chatty off hand writing style, though others may find this a plus.
She has a habit of describing what an interviewee is wering or the decor of their office. I don't really see the point of this, its just background noise to the real topic of the book.
Be warned, some of the content isn't for the faint hearted, but if you really want to know what happens to our food once we've swallowed it then you have to take the rough with the smooth.
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
Funny, informative, eye opening. Why couldn't they teach like this in school? On to another of Mary's books!
This is your typical Mary Roach book. The exploration of a somewhat unknown topic and the oddball scientific history and strange characters behind the research of the topic. All told with a great sense of humor. Very fascinating and a good read as all her books are.
My only comment is that the narrator isn't as engaging or enthusiastic about the subject as the author is (having listened to a few Mary Roach interviews over the years). Not to say that the narration was bad...it just could have been better. I would have given it all five stars across the board if it was read by the author instead.
Mary Roach does a great job at balancing humor and science writing while taking us down a journey through the alimentary canal. Like a talented tour guide, she presents facts in a digestible format relevant to both a ten-year old making scatalogical references or an adult interested in some entertaining bite-sized science fact. I can't wait to listen to or read Bonk and Packing for Mars. They are next on my reading list, just as soon as I click submit.
I now have a deeper respect for Elvis Presley and his 'taking care of business.'
There's very interesting information in this book - the truth behind Elvis' death (no, really), unappreciated and really cool bodily functions, like saliva, and the importance of belching and farting. Much better than I can communicate.
Unfortunately the tone of the book is very odd. Roach states in her introduction that she wants to get past taboos and look at all this cool information; and then goes on to make a lot of "well sure they were grossed out, it's poo!" jokes that undermines her original stated intent. Let's face it, her comedic writing is tepid.
On top of that the narrator, Zeller is weak. She's lousy at character voices and her overly perky delivery is instantly annoying. After a couple of hours I was dismayed to realize that her tone exactly matched that of the author.
Eh, if you're really interested, it's probably less painful as a read rather than a listen.
Different narrator, better jokes.
I picked out this book on a whim. I had enjoyed her other book, "Cadavers", but I really didn't expect this one to be such a wonderful combination of information and entertainment. It is formidable on both counts. Roach is certainly aware of what she calls the "Ick Factor" in her subject matter but she handles it with such aplomb that you can keep your eye n the topic and not get caught up in "Yewwwww"s.
Roach has done something that is the goal of all science writers, written about an important subject that is usually sidestepped by other writers and done it in such a way as to be useful and to make the reader feel as liberated in exploring the topic as Mary Roach became as she did her extensive research.
In case I wasn't clear, I really liked this book!
Avid audiobook listener. Mostly into memoirs / autobiographies and other non-fiction.
I decided on Gulp because I loved Mary Roach's Stiff - a superbly written and read book on human cadavers. As expected, Gulp was well-researched book on the topic of digestion and was written in a similar style. I like Roach's writing, but unfortunately the topic did not capture my interest so I struggled through the book. I learned a few things here and there, but overall I do not share the author's curiosity about the alimentary canal. I would only recommend Gulp to those who know for sure that they like the topic.
I am crazy about her books! This book from tongue and smell to the "end results" was fascinating. There was a chapter near the end of the book that I just could not listen to, my gag reflexes kept on acting up so I skipped it and enjoyed all the rest. The chapter about smuggling drugs was especially interesting. Keep them coming Mary!
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