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Gulp Audiobook

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2013 - Mary Roach is willing to “go there” in the name of Science. She has tackled sexual physiology in Bonk, the life of cadavers in Stiff, and now takes on the (not-so-hot) topic of the digestive system in Gulp. This journey begins at the top and ends at the bottom of the legendary alimentary canal, but Roach does not take us there in a straight line. There are side excursions to visit experts in the field of morning breathe and pet-food engineers. We explore the power of salvia and the origin of mythical fire-breathing serpents. By asking seemingly ridiculous questions like, “Does noxious flatus do more than clear a room?” Roach manages to dismiss those common misconceptions we all seem to have but never question out loud. In Gulp she serves-up Science just the way I like it: Well-researched, relevant, offbeat, and hilarious. —Tricia, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Connie Elliston, MT, United States 04-06-13
    Connie Elliston, MT, United States 04-06-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Another wonderful tour in taboo land"

    Mary Roach has an inquiring mind, and while many of her topics are way off the beaten path, she always uses an approach of scientific inquiry with a quirkiness that's charming and funny and absolutely fascinating. Zeller's reading is right on the mark. As with "Stiff," the fascination factor far outweighs the yuk factor. What a great listen! And what a lot I learned...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krispian 04-05-13
    Krispian 04-05-13 Member Since 2013

    The more you love books... the more books you love!

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    "Love Mary Roach!"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 10-11-13
    Jasmine 10-11-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Gulp=Gross"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E F 06-29-16
    E F 06-29-16 Member Since 2015

    ...I love listening!

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    "Loved this digestive tale"

    I love Mary Roach, I have listened to several of her books and enjoyed them all. This one was very fun for me to listen to because of my interest in human anatomy and nutrition. I think anyone who likes biology, anatomy or similar scientific topics will really enjoy this book. It has fairly basic information but many interesting and unusual case studies that I liked to hear. The only thing I wasn't to into was the narrator's fake accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Calgary, Alberta, Canada 06-16-16
    Carrie Calgary, Alberta, Canada 06-16-16 Member Since 2008
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    "Entertaining and informative!"

    I picked this book up on a whim during an Audible sale, and I'm so glad I did! I've recently discovered I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have been doing a lot of reading about how to manage it, as well as digestion in general. Frankly, most of the information I've come across is so dry and boring that I have a hard time even paying close attention to what I'm reading. Not this book!! Don't misunderstand me - this book is in no way a book about how to manage IBS or any other intestinal disorders, but it is a very interesting and frequently humorous look at how food enters our bodies, how it leaves, and everything in between. I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion! The narrator also does an excellent job and I can't imagine anyone narrating it better. She has such a natural style with the material that I actually thought it was narrated by the author until I thought to check! I highly recommend this book to anyone even interested enough to check out the reviews. I'm pretty sure I would have finished this book in one sitting if the rest of my life could have been put on hold for a few hours ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    GMO 06-14-16
    GMO 06-14-16

    History, world religions, pop economics, food and wine, agribusiness and audiobooks

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    "Fantastic and humorous journey-snoot to toot!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Mary Roach has done it again, but with another "taboo" topic that is near and dear to everyone (or at least should be) - the alimentary canal! Food from snoot to toot - with lots of interesting anecdotes of people and discoveries along the way!


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    Every chapter provides new insights and hysterical commentary about the relatively recent history of understanding our insides!


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this audiobook - the narrator is great, making Mary Roach's dry humor "pop" with witty sarcasm and elements of cultural taboo around one of the most elemental functions of our human existence.. if you liked it, definitely check out other Mary Roach: "Stiff", "Bonk", "Spook" - and I'm about to tackle "Grunt" (released June 2016)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dionneanne 05-29-16
    Dionneanne 05-29-16 Member Since 2013
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    "An Alimentary Adventure"

    As a medical professional, I have a fair amount of knowledge but this just brought so many different angles to such an amazing part of the human body. I took great delight in sharing some of the more bizarre things Mary explored with my family!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Karen 05-23-16
    Karen 05-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Stereotyped portrayal of female scientists"

    I haven't finished this book yet, but I'm not sure that I am going to be able to. This book is offensive in the way it portrays women scientists. Inevitably, the appearance of female scientists is described. "The latex blue of the gloves so well matched the gray of her blouse that they might have been part of the ensemble." Male scientists are not subject to this treatment. For a book published in 2014, this is freaking unbelievable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Darlene Frie 04-18-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Great all around!"

    The narration was great. I had no problem telling which parts were the author's footnotes (start and end). Book was fascinating and gross and times. I'm a critical care nurse and learned a lot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Anthony Brice Navarre, Florida 03-20-16
    Anthony Brice Navarre, Florida 03-20-16 Member Since 2012
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    "Take care of your gut health. FDA isn't your BFF."

    Knowledge is power. Mary Roach illuminates the importance of knowing what is good for you versus the hype you see and hear in advertising. A must read for the health conscience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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