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!
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
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.