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!
There are a few valuable insights in this book. I did learn *something* about the way that digestion works.
But really, the book is written for a reader who does not want much depth in the subject, but who would like to hear about the peculiarities of past researchers and the peculiarities of animal digestive tracts, punctuated by tidbits of understanding.
I won't return the book. But I would have liked to know how shallow it was prior to my purchase.
hope this helps.
Mary Roach has a real talent for taking subjects no one talks about and asking - and then answering - every single question anyone could ever ask. Her style is easy and conversational, and you can tell she's genuinely interested in all her subjects.
All her books educate and entertain, and this one is no exception.
Mary Roach does it again with her fascinating study of all things related to the gastrointestinal tract. ALL THINGS. If nothing else, Mary Roach is thorough. You may learn things you never wanted to know. I like her presentation and appreciate her humor. Roach presents historical and scientific facts in a way that makes it all very interesting.
I truly enjoy Ms. Roach's writing. I learn something, I giggle (bovine malfeasance!) and truly enjoy my morning commute. She tackles icky subjects with a sense of humor, and makes a boring subject something to enjoy. Thanks, Mary! That part about Elvis was news to me!
This is such an interesting book. A messy subject written in a light and interesting hand. But beware! It is not one for those who have a delicate stomach. Some of the historical animal research was difficult to know about although it was put in the book to support ideas and not for shock value,
I've read all of Mary's books which are hysterical! However, I just could not listen to this one! Can't decide if it was narrator or what but I'll have to buy the hard copy and give it a try. Could not keep my attention!
Only to read, not listen
Didn't have the comedic timing right - Mary's book have a lot of humor - has to be delivered properly.
disappointment big time. I love her books