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
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This book takes you on an end-to-end tour of the alimentary canal, and it's a very satisfying read. I'm a big fan of Mary Roach's work, and her latest book does not disappoint. I love facts about science, and Mary Roach's inquiries go where standard science writers fear to tread!
The narrator also does a fabulous job. Her wry, bubbly style matches the tone of the book perfectly.
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.
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.
clarity and humor as only Mary Roach can pack into a story about our guts! excellent read, recommend for school health classes.
zoeq is a trained chef an innkeeper. Currently she is writing a cookbook for the family cook. She lives in Florida and loves kayaking.
I like to learn something new when I read a book - be it about human nature or things like this that I wouldn't ordinarily read about. I love that Gulp gave me enough information to pique my curiousity but not overwhelm me with too many facts - a fun yet very informative read. It is a brilliant work that achieved exactly what the author wanted. Wow!
I love how the author gave examples of real-life people to illustrate various problems with the alimentary canal and causes and (possible) cures for them.
She related the information like she would if she were talking to me as a friend. It sounded important to her - not like a big joke at all - but with a sense of humor and even wonder.
The material regarding the mega-colon and the examples of JW and of Elvis. I have more empathy for Elvis that I think it will bring me more appreciation of his music rather than view him as a druggie gone the way of other famous, careless and spoiled celebrities. I can now view him as a fine artist who suffered every day of his life from his malady.
I would have liked less info on animal foods to illustrate flavors and more about research on human taste. I would have really liked a chapter on the various remedies used in the alimentary canal for weight loss and its consequences. More on the implanting of bacteria in the colon of others' to effect cures. I would like to know research based on bacteria in the colon craving certain foods. In short, this book opened an inner world to me. I would rate it #1 in all of my adult reading for that reason.
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