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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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  •  
    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
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    J. Snider Maryland, USA 08-13-16
    J. Snider Maryland, USA 08-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "coach is too talented a writer for her own good"

    listened to only the first eight chapters. too much clever anecdote sidetracking the promised story line.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    17crewchief 07-29-16
    17crewchief 07-29-16

    17CrewChief

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    "Mary Roach perspective never ceases to amaze me"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Natalie 07-25-16
    Natalie 07-25-16 Member Since 2015
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    "A Great Adventure"

    Mary Roach has an unabashed and humorous approach to topics of random intrigue. I have loved all of her books!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Crystal DeBondt 07-24-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Good Lesson on human digestion for the lay person."
    Where does Gulp rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This audio was well-performed and very enlightening. I rank it high up among the non-fiction books.


    What other book might you compare Gulp to and why?

    I don't immediately think of a book that compares with Gulp. It is unique to me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    I have become a fan of Mary Roach. She writes well and does her research. I enjoy the topics of her books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia Ferrer Delray Beach, Florida USA 07-11-16
    Patricia Ferrer Delray Beach, Florida USA 07-11-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Roach had guts!"

    clarity and humor as only Mary Roach can pack into a story about our guts! excellent read, recommend for school health classes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suea 07-08-16
    Suea 07-08-16 Member Since 2012

    zoeq is a trained chef an innkeeper. Currently she is writing a cookbook for the family cook. She lives in Florida and loves kayaking.

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    "Entertaining as well as informative"
    What did you love best about Gulp?

    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!


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Emily Woo Zeller’s performance did you like?

    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.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    scott klutman 07-01-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Eye opening"

    A great look at all that goes into your mouth and what comes out in the end is a new appreciation for the digestive tract and the strange people that study it.

    0 of 0 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

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