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
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.
...I love listening!
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.
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 ;)
History, world religions, pop economics, food and wine, agribusiness and audiobooks
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!
Every chapter provides new insights and hysterical commentary about the relatively recent history of understanding our insides!
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)
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!
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.
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.
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.
50 something, retired professional, mother, grandmother, wife.
I love the author's sense of humor. And she squeezes every bit of humor out of this subject while still conveying the relevant facts. I can't wait to see what subject she tackles next.
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