Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour.
The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis?
In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of - or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach as our guide, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists - who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
©2013 Mary Roach (P)2013 Tantor
This book was sooo nasty. Warning: Do not read while eating! I would listen to this on the way to work, while eating of course, and I would just feel so repulsed afterwards. The author leaves nothing out - she discusses spit, the colon, defecating...it's disgusting. However, it will leave you with a nice appreciation of your body. In all seriousness, a lot of the anecdotes were interesting - albeit gross - but the storyline dragged some. It is hard to listen to someone talk about spit for 30 minutes - unless you're into that kind of thing.
Narration of this book is awful and might have detracted from my enjoyment of the story. The narrator has a terribly annoying sing-song quality to her reading. These intonation problems were exacerbated by very bad pronunciation or articulation of scientific words, i.e., even highest quality Boze speakers could not deliver clarity on many of the highly technical words. It was often like words were slurred.
As for the story, there were some fascinating details and nothing near as good as Mary Roach's "Stiff."
This is amusing, sure, but I wanted more science. I learned some things in an amusing way, but I was hoping for an accessible introduction to more of what's happening in my body. But, since it's not fair to judge a book on what I wanted it to be and not what it is, I'll say this: It's sometimes amusing, sometimes informative, sometimes a little gross, and often goes on tangents when it is none of those three. It was fine but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who asked. And Emily Woo Zeller's voice annoyed me.
As a science teacher I read all of Mary roaches bucks and have loved the others. This one suffers from two things: first, the information provided is balance toward the latter end of the digestive system and well interest is high there, there was much more to say about the other parts of the system and second, the performer sounds like she is half asleep for the majority of the performance and her random slew of voices are awkward at best. If you are a Roach fan, of course you will listen, if you are new to her work choose Stiff or Boink first.
listened to only the first eight chapters. too much clever anecdote sidetracking the promised story line.
Mary Roach never seizes to amaze me! Her professional and witty approach toward this book and five others that I've enjoyed, have left me wanting more. Her exploration of the medical history, anatomy and physiology of the alimentary canal is exact and concise and left me inspired and fascinated.
She is truly a gifted artist showing no restraint regardless of her subject. Professionals respect her and she is able to get an uncanny eye "behind the scenes" regardless if it is a OR, biological lab, vomit comet, or given firsthand demonstrations of weapons of war. The places where you and I would not be allowed to go. I certainly thank her for taking me to places I will never be able to visit on my own.
If you have an interest in your body and what happens when you eat food, get this book.
This audio was well-performed and very enlightening. I rank it high up among the non-fiction books.
I don't immediately think of a book that compares with Gulp. It is unique to me.
I would like to listen all in one sitting, but would not be able to listen for 8 hours straight in a normal day. I might go back and listen again when I am traveling.
I have become a fan of Mary Roach. She writes well and does her research. I enjoy the topics of her books.
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