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
I almost gave up on this one (glad I didn't) because of the narrator's voice. She has an almost child-like sound throughout, which is inappropriate for this book. When she used different 'voices' to distinguish people in conversation, it pulled me right out of the narrative. Very distracting.
This book was little disgusting, quite graphic at times, thought provoking and utterly fascinating. I enjoyed it immensely. It will give you insight into some concepts you may have never considered before. Highly recommended. I gave the narration four stars, only because the speaker had a habit of including inflections that made it sound like she was laughing at her own joke. It sounds trivial, but it was very distracting.
I am a retired school counselor (middle and elementary) and an avid reader. I am a lover of great mysteries, quirky protagonists, and medical/scientific non-fiction. I travel a lot and love the freedon audiobooks give me to drive, work, and relax while enjoying a good book. On my ipod I have eclectic musical selections as well as audiobooks. I will strive to never steer you wrong in a review.
I would recommend this to my frineds who are of a certain scientific bent. Some people would just be grossed out but if you are interested in why and how we turn food into all of the nutrients and necessary by-products of digestion here you go. You will also find very interesting information about people who have made careers of studying about things the rest of us would rather not talk about.
As with all of Ms Roach's books this one is very well researched, incredibly interesting and funny- both intentionally and unintentionally. I love the fact that she interviews people in fields of science that I didn't even know existed. I also have learned about people whose jobs would make anyone else's bad day look pretty good such as people who study and evaluate human flatus.
I love the scenes where the author visits scientists in their labs or their research facilities and gets to actually participate in the science. Good ol" Ms. Roach is nothing if not a trooper.
This is a very interesting question since the book is about the alimentary system. Much of the book is about movements bowel and otherwise.
Can't wait for her next books. Through her I have learned about corpses, human sexuality, the alimentary system and more and laughed a lot while doing it.
Eclectic physical philosopher, carbon free commuter, fitness consultant, personal trainer, non-medical nutritional counselor, yoga teacher.
I enjoyed this book and appreciated the descriptions of things that I frankly never bothered to think about much. She goes into deep detail. having read this you will know more than you might even want to know about the elementary canal and so many aspects about it that felt like what I like to call 'yoga for the imagination', who knew? But if you're into nutrition and that sort of thing it can really be very interesting. Definitely worth reading or listening to!
My preference for a good story is something totally unusual and not run of the mill stuff. Give me something I haven't heard before.
Mary Roach is a literary treasure of good and bad taste. So far, of her books that I've read, they are masterpieces of wild, untamed info on a variety of subjects. I give this one a 3 star rating ONLY because I damn near vomited many times hearing some of the descriptions. It's not for the faint, believe me and don't eat while reading. Keep your stomach empty till the end ... or carry large, plastic bags (an industrial box load) with zip ties.
First off, I must admit to being a fan of Mary Roach, whose books delve into the eccentricities, trivialities, and the “have you ever wondered how” aspects of our human bodies. In this vein, Gulp dares the reader to boldly explore the splendor of what our bodies do to food from bite to bowel. Roach’s style isn’t to take any of this too seriously, or to drown the reader in arcane science; rather, she interviews experts in various fields or takes on the role of observer or occasional lab rat. All of this is infused with liberal amounts of tongue and cheek humor which is narrated in such a breezy, personal tone that I thought Roach herself was doing the narration. In the end, the reader won’t come away with anything close to encyclopedic understanding of human digestion but if that’s what you are looking for then Gulp is the wrong book for you anyway. Instead if you are looking to have a little info to go with your entertainment, and you don’t mind occasionally being a little grossed out (see the bit on tasters), Gulp may just leave you feeling a little awed by how your body works its unseen magic turning what you have eaten into what you are.
For someone who loves science and humor, this book was great. I've read Mary Roach's Stiff and so decided to try this one even though I'm not that into food. She makes everything interesting and her author's notes are really delightful. Emily Woo Zeller does a good job of narrating the text. All of a sudden I only had two hours left and I ended up trying to listen less often so I could enjoy it for longer.
In the upper fourth or fifth.
The fact that the author finds the most interesting aspects of the subject, ones that are totally unanticipated.
The book is lively, factual and entertaining. The performer seemed to capture the spirit of the book.
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